South Salem Cycleworks: Salem, Oregon
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December 30, 2013: Ho Ho Ho

I bet you don't recognize this barn! I had to get this pic with Santa on the roof, and all the cows eagerly jostling one another to stare at me . . . I was riding the Ira Ryan and was breaking in my replacement studded tires (sold my 30mm's to Emily, a part-time employee, thinking I'd just order a new pair for myself. Oops! All out 'til next fall! Had to settle for 35mm's! A lot more work to pedal!), out Brush College, up Gibson, Eagle Crest (where I could frozen puddles!) and over Orchard Hts.

I'd unzipped my jacket, armpits, and lowered my balaclava by the time I reached the top of Orchard Hts., and zipped my jacket before the descent, raised my balaclava descending, but sure wished I'd closed the armpits before reaching Oak Grove!

I rode down Green and Independence Hwy. (roadkill collector!), crossed the bridge, thought about climbing Orville — dismissed as too difficult, planned on riding Riverdale and up Viewcrest, when I thought about climbing graveled Vitae Springs. Why not? I'm on the widest road tires I'll ever pass by here with!

Yikes! I was picturing gravel at worst, and more of a packed scenario at worst. It was just as steep as Orville, and filled with slimy, muddy goo! I had to stand using the 30/34 combination, hoping the tire wouldn't suddenly let go and find myself unable to release my shoe from the pedal in time to prevent a giant splat into the mud!

I was tempted to get off and walk, or even take a picture, but wasn't sure my Bebop cleats would engage later. And the steepness/slipperyness posed a threat to even getting rolling again if I did stop! I'd thought it would be shorter than Orville, but you'd go around a turn and it'd go up again. There was a false flat, where you thought you would soon see the pavement, but no, there's another uphill in the mud again!

Hope you don't find this road down there!