I’m posting a night blog, which I never do. Tomorrow (today for some of you) is the first day of school for our oldest — first full year of high school for us.
Last week we drove up to Henry Hagg Lake, the place of the most elevation gain in our 70 mile Livestrong Challenge ride. I’d been nervous because I’d been getting mixed information depending on where I turned to find out what exactly we were in for. Some reports said 3000 feet of elevation gain in about a 20 mile span, and others were between 1000-2000. Turns out that the 100 mile route has all the elevation gain, with the hardest part being the Bald Peak climb, which is in fact supposed to be one of the toughest climbs in Oregon. Fortunately for us, the 70 mile route skips all the Bald Peak fun.
Anyway, I still wanted to see for myself what we would be in for, so we hopped in the gas guzzling SUV and made a day of it. Along the way we stopped in Newberg for some breakfast, and to my surprise there are not really any quaint little cafe’s in the Foxy City, aside from a couple of coffee shops. We were hoping for some great dive diners, or some little country good eats kind of place, but sadly we ate at Shari’s…so yeah, nothing really to speak of there. After breakfast we hit one of the local feed stores to find some boots for the Missus, but they didn’t have anything that struck her fancy, so we got back on the highway and headed off to Hagg.
Hagg Lake is apparently a man-made lake, officially in Forest Grove, and you need a day pass if you’re going to stop. They didn’t charge us to just drive around, so I was thankful for that. Total distance around the lake is about 13.5 miles, and according to The Edge, there’s just under 1000 feet of climbing. Now, the crazy thing is, you have to take off from one place, and come back to that place again, as it is indeed a loop around the lake, however…it really felt like all I was doing was going up, up, and more up. I told myself that I must be letting my imagination run away, and that 1000 feet in 13 miles wouldn’t be a breeze, but would totally be doable.
On the way back home we stopped in Gaston — not to be confused with Gaston of Beauty and The Beast fame, of course. There was some sort of City Wide BBQ Fest going on, and we pulled over to get some drinks and snacks. Right on the main street were a gaggle of sweet older ladies pimping their baked goods, so we bought a plate of cookies from them to eat on the drive home. While the rest of the fam was in buying their snackins, I chatted it up with three cyclists who pulled in after us. I asked if they had just ridden down from the lake, and they said no, but in fact had been riding over Bald Peak…go figure. But one of them had ridden Hagg Lake in last years Livestrong and he said ‘oh man, that’s a pretty tough ride.’ When I asked him why he said that, especially since it was less of a climb than the BP trip they had just done he said it basically feels like you’re going uphill all the way around the lake! That’s what I thought!
I’m still fairly confident I’ll be able to make it, it just may be uncomfortable along the way. As of now I’ve still only done 30 miles at a time for my longest rides, and have been pulling 25 miles as my go to ride the past couple weeks. With just 27 days till the ride, I’m not sure if I’ll have any days to do a real ride…maybe one weekend, but we’ll see how it goes. Until then I think the max I may get is 25 miles at a shot, but at least I won’t have to tackle 3000 miles of elevation come September 30!
Ok, that’s it for me…it’s after midnight now and we gotta get up before 6 for school…yeehaw!