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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

So Far, So Good

Friday last week we drove to Bridgeport Village to pick up the Cannondale bicycle and return the Novara.  We also loaded Troubadour's Trek on the car thinking to stop for a shake down ride on our way home.

The return/purchase process at REI was super easy and we were out the door within minutes.  I tested the bike in the parking lot for a few minutes just to make sure things seemed okay.

(image from interweb)
We decided since it was just after noon we'd have a bite to eat. We locked the bikes to the rack and removed the seats.  Best not to make it any easier for any potential thieves.

We walked across the way to Native Foods Cafe where we dined on an avocado crunch wrap and blueberry lemonade for me, and nachos and watermelon fresco for Troubadour. Sorry, no pictures. Too hungry and when a place is busy I always feel a little odd or self conscious taking pictures of my food.

We walked back over to REI to get the car and decided to wander the store a bit to let lunch digest. I wanted to look for some comfy pants for riding.  The shorts I'd chosen for the day were not comfortable at all, and were riding up in places they shouldn't.  I found a pair of Columbia capri pants, paid entirely too much, and changed in the car.  Ahhhh, so much better.  Stretchy pants are my friend.

Originally we were going to stop by Hagg Lake, but opted to head south and west of Salem instead.  It was just after 2 pm, and the last thing we wanted to do was be anywhere near the Portland Metro area late on a Friday.

We turned west off of I-5 at the Brooks exit north of Salem. We stopped at a small park to use the facilities on the way and I used the break to take a quick picture of the bikes on the car.

(Bikes loaded on the trusty Subaru)
We then arrived at the Wheatland Ferry and crossed over the river.  The ferry can hold 9 cars and runs 363 days a year.  A few miles and a left turn to head south on Highway 221 and we arrived at Spring Valley State Park.  Only one other vehicle was there.  We unloaded the bikes and Troubadour proceeded to change over my seat to my preferred cushier one.  He also installed my water bottle cage, camera holder on the bars, and the tail bag.  We opted to change out the grips later at home rather than trail-side.  

(Spring Valley State Park)
A few tootles around the parking lot and some seat adjustments (had to raise it) and we were ready.

We rode a few feet to one trail that led to the Willamette River.  Doesn't that look like the perfect swimming hole?

(Willamette River - looking North - downstream)

(Willamette River looking South - upstream)
Here is a picture of the bike at the entrance of a main trail.  We lifted the bikes over the cable that is used to keep motorized vehicles out.  

(Cannondale Tango 5, magnesium white/sparkle silver)
The Perimeter Trail (1.1 miles) circled around the perimeter of a grass field and a single track TCC Trail (0.5 miles) was found part way around and encompassed two loops.

Before we knew it we were back out at the grass field.  We rode the perimeter back to the trail head, checked the map and went on to the next trail across the way - the Upper Spring Valley Trail (0.7 miles).  We stopped part way on this trail and I took another few pics.



(And sparkle silver it is)
Again it seemed the trail quickly looped around to the beginning.  Two more trails to go.  This time we rode up the paved access road almost to the highway and turned left onto the Rook Trail (0.8 miles).  A lot of roots and twists and turns but good fun.  At one point a log was down across the road and we hefted the bikes over.  Good thing the Cannondale is light.

(After surmounting the obstacle)

(Trail 3 and still smiling, that is a good sign)
This trail was a little longer but did pop us out at the road a little closer to the trail head.  We pedaled back up the access road (yes it was uphill) to the start of trail #4.  The Generator Trail (0.4 miles) was a one-way trail rated a bit more difficult.  We didn't stop along the way for pictures.  It was a fast paced single track with some big whoop-a-dee-dos.  Probably the biggest ones I've ridden over. Not huge, but if someone was going fast enough I am sure they'd catch air.

Ta-da, back at the trail head we arrived.  We rode a total of 3.5 miles (5.63km) of trails.  We took a quick break and loaded up the bikes.  We were going to go dip our toes in the swimming hole, but someone else had arrived and headed down there.  We didn't want to disturb him.  We headed for home and arrived just after 6 pm.  It was a good day and so far I am very pleased with the bike.

The bike seems quick to maneuver around trees and in the switchbacks.  I don't have to have the seat maxed out at height, and I didn't hit my knee on the front tire once.

I am looking forward to getting out on it again.  Troubadour has even switched out my grips for me already.  Thank you Troubadour.

- Au Revoir

" I thought of that while riding my bicycle." - Albert Einstein on the Theory of Relativity
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22 comments:

  1. As I've not blogged for a while I've not been keeping up with other blogs. It's been good to catch up with yours. Keep those great photos coming.

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    1. Thanks for checking in Nigel. Keep on riding.

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  2. The new bike looks pretty good and it sounds like it fits you well. Those trails look wonderful. Has it cooled off enough to make cycling tolerable? And I like the poster in the first photo.

    Though now you need different riding gear to match the Sparkle Silver or whatever they call it…

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    1. Luckily it has cooled off to the mid 80's. Unfortunately last weekend it was so smokey in the valley you couldn't go outside for long. It was eerie quiet out there looking out the windows. I have some pictures I'll share in a follow up post.

      I thought that poster was neat. I'd never seen it before but it struck a chord.

      Me thinks I won't be buying any sparkly silver gear, but I can do matte grey, lol.

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  3. Sounds like a good first ride!

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    1. It was. It was nice to do a few shorter trails just to get the feel of the bike. And, it wasn't too hot either, just really dry and dusty.

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  4. Awesome looking bike Brandy. Beats my black one to pieces (the bike I had stolen was white - I love white) White, silver plus a little sparkle, in my opinion, very fetching - must have been a crow in my former life.) I was expecting way over the top glitz, it's very subtle.

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    1. Thanks Karen. I like the color too, more than the green on my Novara. And the sparkly silver isn't too bad, but since the white is called magnesium white do you think they could have called the silver 'aluminum' instead?

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  5. Replies
    1. There are two pictures that include the motor. Sometimes it is inefficient when you put in the wrong fuel type, and every once in a while you have to kick start it, but for 44 years old it runs pretty well. :-)

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    2. Really opening yourself up for comments. Not that I would ever make one…

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    3. I have a good sense of humor, I can take it..........

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  6. Nice bike! When do you fit the chequer-board decals to it?

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    1. Ha, now you are thinking. Some blue accents too!

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  7. Hooray!! Looks lovely and, once again, I am totally jealous of the scenery!

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    1. Glad you are enjoying the scenery. It is nice to get out in the woods sometimes.

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  8. Awesome looking bike, especially with you on it. Sounds like a winner.

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    1. Ahh Sonja, you flatter me so. Hope you are having fun on the East coast. Miss you two!

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  9. Nothing beats having just the right equipment for the activity. Congrats on the new ride, Trobairitz.

    And you’re so right: If it were a men’s bike, it wouldn’t be called Fairy Dust Sparkle Silver, but maybe something equally--differently--ridiculous, like Flintlock Silver or Rugged Independence Metal Flake Gray. Color names, like many car names, can be pretty lame.

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    1. Thanks Ry. The bike seems great so far.

      Ha, hubby laughed out loud at your fairy dust sparkle silver comment. He deems that is now what the color will be called.

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  10. looks pretty that bike
    hope its the right fit for you

    hope you just jumped that log on the track and not lifted it over

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    1. Thank you. Seems like the right fit so far. And no, sorry, didn't jump the log, especially on an uphill slope. I hefted it over, I'm crazy that way.

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