South Salem Cycleworks, 4071 Liberty Road South
Salem, OR 97302-5752
(503) 399-9848
Hours: Monday - Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM; Closed Sunday

Silver Creek Falls Ride September 2013 by Michael Wolfe

I invited Paul & Lynea Massee to ride what used to be an annual Halloween ride for the shop. About 75 miles with a little over 4,000' elevation gain. Waldo Hills, Doefler, Victor Point, Fox, Drift Creek, before hitting the highway to the park. Labor Day at Silver Falls was busy, and the backroads were appreciated when we did get on the main drag with Car-avans of motorists impatiently waiting for a clear opportunity to pass us on the climb to the park. Paul certainly showed me the rabbit could be caught, passing me on a breakaway with an effortless "Whee!" to add insult to injury! We stopped at the lodge and ate a few morsels and wondered if the "20%" chance of rain was going to catch up. The mugginess at times made the thought of a light drizzle welcome.

I was looking forward to the descent into Silverton, and while the illusion of speed was wonderful, the headwind made the pedaling a little more taxing than the remembered tucking and going for it of memories past.

Had lunch at O'Briens, out on the deck overlooking Silver Creek. Ventured into eating a grilled turkey sandwich, instead of pancakes, which didn't lug me down either on the return trip into Salem. We didn't get to park our bikes on the deck, but the staff let us use a small space just inside of the entrance. As we were finishing out meal, a young lady asked about the usual, how far, where we started, headed, etc. and informed us that she had been riding with her dad for 25 mile trips. I jokingly invited her to finish the trip with us, and she replied that she couldn't ride that fast. Only 20 mph with her dad on her mom's road bike! We laughed, and told her she'd leave us behind, as we were probably only averaging 15mph, and we were on the tail end of having done 50 miles already!

We climbed up Cascade Hwy, and I should say crawled up, as the headwind was intense on the never-ending ascent to where Sunnyview intersected. I had the chain drop off to the inner ring accidentally without notice a couple of times, the difference feeling like there was no connection between the pedals and the chain! That will be looked into before heading down to Crater Lake later this month!

I waited for Paul & Lynea at the weathered Waldo Hills Community Center and was struck by the nearness of the numerous clouds, looking like a flock of milk-white pancakes against a sea of blue. A farmer up the road was plowing his field with great billowing clouds of dust, transforming from roiling barrels to an elongated plume pursuing him across the hillside. Why this was more intense than the beauty of Silver Falls, I cannot say, but it was certainly more surreal!

We rolled down Sunnyview, still pedaling against the wind, and I remembered how only two weeks before, how easily I'd tucked and glided forever down this road. As we came to the corner where I'd surprised a vulture, and thought I might have caught him on film, I tucked and dislodged my frame pump, the stickiness of the sunscreen on my legs pulling it forward and releasing it. It didn't just fall, it lingered long enough for me to have visions of it careening into my spokes . . . But it didn't, and Paul, who witnessed it all, informed me they'd wait for me at the next intersection. I hurriedly made my U-turn, down shifting at the same time, hoping to retrieve it before some vehicle made it for recyclable purposes only! I pulled off the road when a pickup came up behind me, so that it wouldn't veer over the centerline where my pump lay. That played out well, and I could only hope that the sound of the car coming the other direction wouldn't over shoot the corner and lay waste to my retrieval efforts! They didn't and I hastened to re-attach my pump and begin chasing Paul & Lynea, who were long out of sight.

They were waiting at the Howell Prarrie intersection, and we began a paceline to avoid the headwind, well, perhaps I should say, Lynea and I chose to ride in Paul's vacuum! We made the turn onto Cordon and elected to turn off on State Street to avoid the grind over the I-5 overpass. I could feel my toes coming on fire, and informed them to go on ahead, that I would pull over when I saw an opportunity to comfortably massage my feet. I rode with them until we reached the Post Office on 25th Street, and gave them some fuzzy directions on how to avoid 12th Street or Madronna hill — hope they made it the easier way!

I stopped at the Post Office, massaged my feet and that really made the rest of the ride bearable. Yeah, I could sure feel it going up any incline, but still didn't feel like I was in the outer limits of my endurance. I think the hardest was riding home up 100' of elevation gain on the Stump! Felt like I was crawling like a wounded bug and was sure motorists were feeling pity for me!

I'd accidentally left my keys locked in the shop when we left! I found not only my stepfather Paul at home, and got the keys, but also my bewildered niece, Julian's mother, who found be to me emaciated, and I found her to be at the other end of the spectrum, uh, plump. She's always been athletic and kept her shape, but now looks like an obese Buddhist monk with a blonde shortened Mohawk!

Below, photos from the ride:

Silver creek ride

 

Silver Creek Ride

Silver Creek Ride

Silver Creek Ride

Silver Creek Ride

Silver Creek Ride

Silver Creek Ride

Silver Creek Ride

Naked Ladies flowers

And look what I found, only two blocks from the shop on Mize! Naked Ladies! I really thought they were predominately in old neighborhoods of town!