Wet! - "An Impressively Meandering Route" - CycleBlaze

June 17, 2022


Albany to Philomath

Crossing the Irish Bend Bridge
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We woke up to the sound of rain. Looking out the window, it clearly had been raining for several hours. I checked my weather app and the rain was forecast to continue until later this afternoon. 

Today the plan was to ride about 25 miles to Philomath where we have an AirBNB reserved, but to do an out and back to see a bridge which would add another 15 or so miles. However we considered cutting off the out and back to shorten up the ride if the rain continued into the afternoon and catch the bridge tomorrow-this would add 5 miles and a tiny bit of elevation to tomorrow’s ride. (The risk being that tomorrow’ weather is just as wet as today’s.)

The hotel provided another good breakfast-eggs, pork products, bread products, cereals, fruit, etc. We all agreed to meet out in front of the hotel at 10 am and we all showed up in full rain gear.

We spent a few minutes comparing gear. Jim and I have Showers Pass everything that we have picked up piecemeal on sale over a few years. For me, the weak link is the booties. The smallest Showers Pass booties are a bit too large for my feet and so the cleat opening moves around and either obstructs my cleats so I can’t clip in (bad) or jams the cleat and I can’t unclip (worse.) Rich and Amber had a mix of Showers Pass and Amazon special or REI brand rainwear, some of which work better than others. Cheryl had borrowed  Showers Pass rain pants and Pearl Izumi jacket and booties. She found the pants and booties worked great but the jacket was not waterproof in the least. Also, she had no waterproof gloves and her hands were wet almost immediately. 

Steady moderate rain was falling as we left Albany. Our route followed a bike path along the Willamette river to Corvallis. I took note of some interesting restaurants, bakeries and coffee places as we rode through-we will be back here tomorrow night. 

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I was having a lot of trouble clipping in with my left shoe because of the stupid booties so when I saw a bench somewhere in the university, I stopped and peeled them off. I decided wet feet were preferable and safer than constantly slipping off of the pedal. 

A short time later we crossed what turned out being our only bridge of the day-the Irish Bend Bridge. It was constructed in 1954 using a design dating back to the 1920’s. Originally it crossed the Willamette Slough on Irish Bend Rd, about 15 miles south of Corvallis. It was dismantled in 1988 after the road was realigned and reconstructed on university property. 

Irish Bend Bridge
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It continued to rain steadily as we headed to Philomath. Generally the road was flat with minimal undulation and we rode pretty slow to avoid overheating while wearing the rain gear. 

As we pulled into Philomath we saw a Subway off to the left of the first intersection. We had pre-planned to stop there to pick up sandwiches for dinner, since our accommodations are a few miles out of town. It was raining moderately as we parked the bikes in front and walked in, dripping all over the floor. 

The Subway guys were great; happy for business. They didn’t have coffee and we commiserated with them over this. However there was a drive-up coffee kiosk next door called “The Human Bean.” 

We sat in Subway warming up and drying off for awhile and, in the end, decided to skip the out and back for today, and go straight to our AirBNB. 

When we arrived we were pleased that it was a very large and nicely appointed ground level apartment. The owner lives upstairs and she checked in with us a short time later. It has a full kitchen, laundry, 2 large bedrooms, a game room with a pool table and several couches that can be made up into beds. We will be very comfy tonight and are hoping for better weather tomorrow. 

Today's ride: 24 miles (39 km)
Total: 202 miles (325 km)

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Mike Ayling+1 for Showers Pass. I have had one of the orange jackets for a few years now and it still does a great job keeping the rain out.
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1 year ago
Kelly IniguezI managed to get a second pair of the REI over mitts for Jacinto on sale recently. I wore mine for the first time in real weather on the downhill ride from Aspen to Carbondale. I sure wish I had had them on our Canada ride where I bought the $65. gloves that were worthless!
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1 year ago
Wayne EstesIf it's any consolation, tomorrow should be the last rain of your tour. I hope you can find a mostly dry time window to dash up to the two covered bridges.
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1 year ago