Thursday, April 4, 2013

Oly 300K pre-ride

Organizer Rick Blacker, Mark Thomas, Millison Fambles and I pre-rode the course for the Olympia 300K yesterday, to put final touches on the work done by previous riders who helped develop the course. It was a pleasure to ride with strong riders with an intimate knowledge of the local roads.
Someone must have ordered the weather, no fjording of rivers, and surprise! no gravel.
The parking situation at the start, at the Safeway on Cleveland street in Tumwater was of concern, we thought it best to park if you arrive by motorcar at the Motel 6 in Tumwater and ride 2 miles to the start at Safeway.
Leaving a little after our start time of 0700 we headed out eastward for the first control at the Town of Rainier, there are a few conveniences there, mostly gas stations, that early in the ride little else was needed, most likely there will be someone there to sign cards.We followed the bike trail and relatively quiet roads to Centralia where there will be all kinds of services available. Fill up and head for the Iconic Centralia Alpha road, there will be no more local services until Mossyrock.
Centralia-Alpha will present the first significant Climb and a series of deep rollers, great vistas on a pretty day. Do not miss the Info Control as you  continue East on the WA 508, a right turn at this point will take you to the Scenic Ike Kinswa State Park and quiet fishing on Mayfield Lake. A little climb from the park will take you across US 12 into Mossyrock.
I picked a Burger, Fries and Shake at one of several establishments, for quicker "on the fly" service there is a gas station right at the crossing of US 12 and there is a grocery store in town.
Refreshed we set out to hunt down our next Info control answer, climbing up to a ridge and then descending back into US 12.
On the Highway just a little climb due West out of the Cowlitz River Valley, then quite expeditiously we get off the highway and continue West on quieter local roads albeit a bit lumpy. Eventually we cross I-5 on an overpass and join WA 506 to the town of Vader, the Control is at the J&G Grocery, there is and associated restaurant that will let you use the bathrooms.
There will be two notable climbs and descents to bring you from Vader to Pe Ell, concentrate on the scenery and if you find, like we did some buzzards on this stretch they are not waiting for you.
Control and Rest stop at  PE-Ell, by now we were all eager now to decaffeinate the ride.
As Millison intuited a gentle push from the West by Mother Nature in the Chehalis gap produced the fastest segment of the course (in Paceline). After a quick control stop in Centralia, headed north to Finish at the Motel 6 in Tumwater.
This was a relaxing 300K I started off a little woody in the legs and drifting in the mind but got more and more into it. It took us well under 15hrs including a sit down meal and two moderate rest stops.
My VDO records 6500ft. cumulative ascent.
Have a great Ride out there and see you on the road.