Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Temperatures at RAO are brutal. Above the century mark is not uncommon. Not much in the way of trees or shade (or you ride through most of the trees at night). Heat stress and heat exhaustion are the main causes of DNFs at this race. So imagine Mick's excitement just a few days ago when the forecast for north central Oregon topped out at about 80 degrees for this weekend. Sadly, the trend since then has not been favorable. National Weather Service estimates for The Dalles are now 93, Dufur 89, Long Creek 86 (but he should get there in the middle of the night), Spray 94 (early morning), and Heppner, Condon, and Fossil all at 92. These high temperatures inch upward by a degree or two with every new forecast, so it seems likely they will be in their usual brutal range by Saturday afternoon.

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