Friday, December 23, 2011

Dorena Lake Road Ride

Dorena Lake Bike Trail

Riding in the woods

My friend Dave & I went out to Dorena Lake about a month ago for a long road ride, and I'm just now getting to the write-up. Life's been very busy, but here's one of my latest adventures:

A view of the countryside
Dorena Lake is a reservoir just about five miles east of Cottage Grove, Oregon. Cottage Grove is a semi-rural town that makes a great starting point for riding out to the lake. The lake itself is about six miles in length all together, with a very nice, wide bike path running along it's north shore. The path is a converted railroad line that ran from town to the Bohemia mines in the foothills of the Cascades. Today, this path is heavily used by walkers and cyclists looking for peaceful solitude and exercise.
Dave taking in the view

We started our ride from a parking lot in town, under very wet looking clouds that misted us as we began. The air dried out slightly within the first few minutes and we were fortunate enough to find the puddles along the path had mostly disappeared. The time of year provided lots of leaves covering the path from trees above, making some sections very difficult to navigate on our skinny tires. I was convinced I was going to hit a rock or unknown object and be thrown from my saddle, but I was fortunate enough to avoid any mishaps.

We rode at a moderate clip, averaging about 17 mph for the time we were out. We had decided to ride the length of the path, from the west to the east, and then return along the same path. Being a railroad grade, the elevation gain was easy to adjust to and steady. I could definitely feel the burn in my quads as we pushed uphill.

The east terminus of the path provided a nice spot for a break, and we enjoyed being off the seats for about 20 minutes while we refueled with snacks and water. After that, we jetted back down the path toward our car and headed home. The ride was wet, cold, and challenging- I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!

Blurry, but how I felt while riding in the wet conditions

5k Challenge Update: Mission Accomplished!

I'm very happy to report today that I've completed my 5k Challenge! I wrapped up my 100th run of the year under beautiful blue skies in Klamath Falls. It was a cold day and hard to catch my breath at first, but after a sprint-start I was breathing normally after a few minutes. The air was cold, just below freezing, and the running gear I was wearing was just enough to keep me warm.

You can check out my final run of the year here.

Thanks for following me along on this journey. I'm happy to say that 2011 was a definite success for my personal fitness, and hope I can say the same next year as well.