Thursday, May 17, 2012

Alpha Centauri or...

The Longest One Day Ride South (not counting STP)

Today was another sunny May day. Not as warm as Tuesday's ride, but actually a little more pleasant.

Lorraine and I headed south from The Valley Athletic Club a little before 11:00 this morning. I had mapped a ride that would take us further south than I had been before on a one day ride. For me the distance would be about 88 miles roundtrip.

It was pretty much a straight shot on 99 to Tenino and then another straight shot to Centralia on 507. At Centralia we rode over to the Subway off Mellen St. near I-5 for lunch.

At Schaffer Park, 4 miles from Centralia, we stopped to use the potty shack. I didn't see the Sani-Can, but did see the open door of the restroom. Both Lorraine and I went in to use the facilities. As we were coming out a somewhat fired-up gentleman comes to the door of the restroom and tells us the restroom is closed. I said, "But, the door is open." What he was worried about was the fact that the water was not potable. No duh, there were big signs above the sinks saying, "Water NOT Potable At This Time"! He pointed out the Sani-Can. I told him I hadn't seen it because it had been moved. Since the door to the restroom was wide open, I figured the Sani-Can had been removed because the restroom building was now open. Oh well! Personally, I'll take my chances in a restroom (that had just been cleaned) without potable water than a Sani-Can any day!

So, after lunch, we got back on the STP route to go around the backside of the Chehalis Airport. Then we rode through downtown Chehalis on Market Street to Jackson Hwy. When we passed Rush Rd. on Jackson Hwy. I was now in new territory!

We followed Jackson Hwy to Logan Hill Rd. When I was mapping the route, I thought to myself, "Logan Hill Rd. I'm guessing there is a hill involved...". The road did not disappoint. It climbed steadily for about a mile or so. Then it leveled off with just some slight rollers.

We followed Logan Hill to Centralia Alpha Rd. in my head I kept thinking of it as Alpha Centauri Rd. At one point, there was a great view of the valley with the Centralia Steam Plant way off in the distance (see photo below). Finally we had a decent long downhill into the valley and over to Saltzer Valley Rd.

From there it was a short distance back to Centralia where we rode back to Olympia the same way we had come.

The wind had been pretty nasty out on "Alpha Centauri" Rd. and Saltzer Valley. Heading back up 507 it was more of a tailwind/crosswind. Made for a much faster ride.

Overall, a great ride today. It was fun to be on "new" roads (even a road that is a "star"!).

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