Looking at my August schedule, it became apparent than keeping the (R12)x2 going would be problematic. The only open weekend was the last one. This left no fudge room in case of bad weather/health/mechanical trouble/etc. An added issue was that the SIR/OR brevets fell on dates that were taken up by other commitments. So, it became an opportunity to experiment. Among the permanents available was a Newberg to Newport 200K. I asked Geri if she could drive me to the start, then meet me at the end and make a long weekend at the coast. It didn't take much to twist her arm. Luckily we were able to get lodging at the Sylvia Beach Hotel for the Labor Day weekend. The hotel has a literary theme to it-lots of books, no TV's, internet access or radios. Geri had wanted to stay there for quite some time; and became quite enthusiastic about the trip. I was kinda bummed about riding by myself, but figured that I needed the experience and the mileage- permanent on Saturday, easy day on Sunday, ride back to Salem on Monday-as I had Jan Heine's September 600K on the books.
Whoever is in charge of these things gave me good weather on my riding days. There were just a few sprinkles on Saturday. I had 6 bonus miles from missing a turn and a flat. That, however, serendipitously put me in the most scenic part of the ride illuminated by just wonderful late afternoon lighting. As a bonus I arrived about 20 minutes before sunset at the Yaquina Head lighthouse.
Unfortunately, the weather on Sunday was less than cooperative, so a long ride for Geri and I was cut quite short . It was fun to do non-bike stuff and we ran into some family at the Rogue Ale Brewery.
I thought I would try the most direct route back to Salem. Geri had warned me about Hwy 20. Once again she got a chance to say, "I told you so." The first part- old US 20 was quite scenic and restful. The following segment was a winding, narrow 2 lane hwy with not much of a shoulder and full of RV's and other large toy-towing large vehicles in a hurry to get back home from a 3-day weekend. It would have been a pretty drive, otherwise, and I'll give it a try on a less hectic weekend.
As I'm writing this I'm contemplating the upcoming 600K. I was describing it to a colleague at work, who summed it as- "it's a challenge and I think you're nuts".