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Thread: Big Rides

  1. #1
    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Default Big Rides

    Except for LOTOJA, which deserves its own thread, use this thread to report centuries, the Death Ride perhaps, and other notable long jaunts in 2012.

    We're currently driving back from Bakersfield, having completed the 104-mile Woody Y Century in wind, rain and cold in about 7 hours (including rest stops). The ride through the foothills east of Bakersfield was surprisingly beautiful, despite the lousy weather. Mrs. PAC continues to be awesome (I may have mentioned this before). All the support people were very nice, but due to a screw-up there were NO toilet facilities for the first 80 miles, which had the effect of making us faster, if very uncomfortable.

    We're tired but feel great, and are hurrying back, hoping to be in time for our ward's annual chili cook off and auction which is extraordinary,

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    Except for LOTOJA, which deserves its own thread, use this thread to report centuries, the Death Ride perhaps, and other notable long jaunts in 2012.

    We're currently driving back from Bakersfield, having completed the 104-mile Woody Y Century in wind, rain and cold in about 7 hours (including rest stops). The ride through the foothills east of Bakersfield was surprisingly beautiful, despite the lousy weather. Mrs. PAC continues to be awesome (I may have mentioned this before). All the support people were very nice, but due to a screw-up there were NO toilet facilities for the first 80 miles, which had the effect of making us faster, if very uncomfortable.

    We're tired but feel great, and are hurrying back, hoping to be in time for our ward's annual chili cook off and auction which is extraordinary,
    Way to go!

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    Junior Member Eleven34's Avatar
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    After rocking the Death Ride for the past 3 years I've decided to move on for a change of scenery...Threw my name into the hat for LOTOJA and registered for Levi's Granfondo.

    Has anyone here ever attempted the Everest Challenge? I'm seriously looking at giving it a shot next year. http://www.everestchallenge.com/

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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eleven34 View Post
    Has anyone here ever attempted the Everest Challenge? I'm seriously looking at giving it a shot next year. http://www.everestchallenge.com/
    No but I worked an aid station last year and day 2 starts in my town. I will be riding all parts of day 2, not all at once, in preparation for the Death Ride. I have done 2 of the climbs already this year. Let me know if you do decide to do it.

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    I'm out of Lotoja. The guys I was going to ride with wanted one more year to think about it so we are doing the upper loop of Yellowstone this summer and I'm looking for others to do. It's actually a little bit of a relief not to have Lotoja hanging over my head this summer.

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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    In a few minutes (when registration opens), I'm signing up the missus and me for this year's Lighthouse Century. We did it two years ago and it was one of our most enjoyable organized rides, with very good support, much better than average eats, and some spectacular scenery. It's great to zip down the coast with a nice tailwind for the last 30+ miles, observing things like Hearst Castle, zebras(!), sea lions and other great vistas. There are a variety of distances and climbs (or nearly no climbs at all). Inspired by bluegoose and BigPiney tackling the Death Ride, we'll opt for the 6000 ft. ascent with a nasty 15% grade, knowing the view at the top will be superb.

    The night before we'll stay in a beachside motel in Cayucos, watch the Hawaii game on ESPN and dine well. If any Cuffers want a great fall ride, check it out. It sells out fairly quick.

  7. #7

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    That lighthouse looks like a great ride. It is the same day as levis gran fondo up in Santa rosa which a couple of my buddies are doing. It is also a week before the st George marathon which my wife is doing. I'll talk to a couple of guys up here and see if they are interested in a roadie that weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    In a few minutes (when registration opens), I'm signing up the missus and me for this year's Lighthouse Century. We did it two years ago and it was one of our most enjoyable organized rides, with very good support, much better than average eats, and some spectacular scenery. It's great to zip down the coast with a nice tailwind for the last 30+ miles, observing things like Hearst Castle, zebras(!), sea lions and other great vistas. There are a variety of distances and climbs (or nearly no climbs at all). Inspired by bluegoose and BigPiney tackling the Death Ride, we'll opt for the 6000 ft. ascent with a nasty 15% grade, knowing the view at the top will be superb.

    The night before we'll stay in a beachside motel in Cayucos, watch the Hawaii game on ESPN and dine well. If any Cuffers want a great fall ride, check it out. It sells out fairly quick.
    How many of those 'great vistas' are on that flat metric century? I'm running st George the next week, so the metric would be all I would dare to do (and even then, might be dumb), but I'm tempted--that looks really fun.
    At least the Big Ten went after a big-time addition in Nebraska; the Pac-10 wanted a game so badly, it added Utah
    -Berry Trammel, 12/3/10

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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERCougar View Post
    How many of those 'great vistas' are on that flat metric century? I'm running st George the next week, so the metric would be all I would dare to do (and even then, might be dumb), but I'm tempted--that looks really fun.
    Mrs. PAC just said that the metric portion has the best vistas of the entire route. Unless it's foggy (a possibility, but we had great weather the last time we did it), the whole ride is really pretty nice since you're essentially riding up and down the coast. We saw a beach filled with sea lions, Hearst Castle up the hill with its various zoo animals in the fields along the highway. The scenery's good pretty much the whole time. There are some climbs, even with the metric, but none of them are long or steep.

    We learned a couple from our ward is going us (we're probably going to do the Old Creek Route but it would be great to meet up the evening before, at one of the excellent rest stops up near the lighthouse (where the route turns back home) or at the end).

    UPDATE: I noticed that registration has already closed. It sold old out yesterday afternoon, apparently, within a few hours. Bummer...
    Last edited by PaloAltoCougar; 06-04-2012 at 07:32 AM.

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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Mrs. PAC and I, riding separately--she with her buddies and I the lone wolf--did our final rides this morning before leaving tomorrow for the Seattle-to-Portland. We're ready and excited. It's funny to see non-riders' reaction to the news we'll be riding 200+ miles this weekend, as it really isn't all that daunting once one has been riding for awhile. Several here have ridden that far in a day; we'll do it in two.

    The real respect goes to bluegoose and BigPiney who will be taking on this weekend's Death Ride, a one-day 129-mile monster with 15,000 feet of steep climbing (we'll do a leisurely 4,000 feet in two days). I'll look forward to their reports.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    Mrs. PAC and I, riding separately--she with her buddies and I the lone wolf--did our final rides this morning before leaving tomorrow for the Seattle-to-Portland. We're ready and excited. It's funny to see non-riders' reaction to the news we'll be riding 200+ miles this weekend, as it really isn't all that daunting once one has been riding for awhile. Several here have ridden that far in a day; we'll do it in two.

    The real respect goes to bluegoose and BigPiney who will be taking on this weekend's Death Ride, a one-day 129-mile monster with 15,000 feet of steep climbing (we'll do a leisurely 4,000 feet in two days). I'll look forward to their reports.
    Good luck everyone! I'm looking forward to your reports too!
    At least the Big Ten went after a big-time addition in Nebraska; the Pac-10 wanted a game so badly, it added Utah
    -Berry Trammel, 12/3/10

  12. #12

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    Good luck to PAC and Mrs. PAC this weekend. If it weren't for the Death Ride I would have loved to be joining you this weekend.

    As for my preparation, I feel somewhat ready for this weekend. My legs feel good and my weight is decent this year for hauling myself up those hills. My only concern, and its not a huge concern, is that my longest ride this year has been 84 miles with about 6,000 feet of climbing.

    That by itself was a very good ride, as long as one doesn't think about the idea that I would have had to ride an additional 50 miles and an additional 10,000 of climbing!

    In the past, I have always done the Tour of the Unknown Coast in May as preparation, which has over 9,000 feet of climbing. But a Stake YM activity interfered and derailed my plans. In addition, a poorly timed house move in April took some prime riding time. What were we thinking, closing on tax day during a Death Ride year! Sheesh.

    I plan to ride the first two passes fairly conservatively. They are tough climbs, and can cause some serious difficulty later in the day if you ride them too hard.

    The third climb is a monster, and there is no way around suffering immensely for those 13 miles.

    4th climb is somewhat steep, but fairly short at about 5 miles.

    After that we get to fly down the front side of the 3rd climb, which is the same 13 miler we just went up, but coming down can be fairly treacherous due to all of the hairpin turns. It is also the descent that prompted the (un)official name change to The Tour of the California Alps, as a rider died on that descent several years ago.

    Then its a long, grueling 15 mile ride through the canyon at the valley floor to get to the final climb. This is brutal because it is always really hot through here and there is almost always a head wind.

    The last climb is long and unforgiving. Its something like 17 or 18 miles. and the last 2 miles are really steep. The worst part of the last stretch is that you can see the summit of the climb from miles away, constantly reminding you of just how far you have to go. The first time I did the death ride I remember at one point standing next to the road with less than a mile to the summit thinking that there was no way I was going to make it to the top.

    The descent down from the final climb is amazing, as the scenery is beautiful and gravity alone has launched me to 55 mph all three years i've been there. Its also very satisfying to fly done the road as those other poor suckers are still miles from the top.

    It should be fun. The weather is looking really iffy, as just the past two days the forecast is showing 30% chance of scattered thunderstorms. The last time I was there in 2008 we were stuck at the top of the last climb for 45 minutes waiting for a crazy storm to pass through, which was complete with nickel-sized hail.

    I shall return and report.

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    Good luck to all of you. The profile for the death ride doesn't look like fun at all!

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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluegoose View Post
    Good luck to PAC and Mrs. PAC this weekend. If it weren't for the Death Ride I would have loved to be joining you this weekend.

    As for my preparation, I feel somewhat ready for this weekend. My legs feel good and my weight is decent this year for hauling myself up those hills. My only concern, and its not a huge concern, is that my longest ride this year has been 84 miles with about 6,000 feet of climbing.

    That by itself was a very good ride, as long as one doesn't think about the idea that I would have had to ride an additional 50 miles and an additional 10,000 of climbing!

    In the past, I have always done the Tour of the Unknown Coast in May as preparation, which has over 9,000 feet of climbing. But a Stake YM activity interfered and derailed my plans. In addition, a poorly timed house move in April took some prime riding time. What were we thinking, closing on tax day during a Death Ride year! Sheesh.

    I plan to ride the first two passes fairly conservatively. They are tough climbs, and can cause some serious difficulty later in the day if you ride them too hard.

    The third climb is a monster, and there is no way around suffering immensely for those 13 miles.

    4th climb is somewhat steep, but fairly short at about 5 miles.

    After that we get to fly down the front side of the 3rd climb, which is the same 13 miler we just went up, but coming down can be fairly treacherous due to all of the hairpin turns. It is also the descent that prompted the (un)official name change to The Tour of the California Alps, as a rider died on that descent several years ago.

    Then its a long, grueling 15 mile ride through the canyon at the valley floor to get to the final climb. This is brutal because it is always really hot through here and there is almost always a head wind.

    The last climb is long and unforgiving. Its something like 17 or 18 miles. and the last 2 miles are really steep. The worst part of the last stretch is that you can see the summit of the climb from miles away, constantly reminding you of just how far you have to go. The first time I did the death ride I remember at one point standing next to the road with less than a mile to the summit thinking that there was no way I was going to make it to the top.

    The descent down from the final climb is amazing, as the scenery is beautiful and gravity alone has launched me to 55 mph all three years i've been there. Its also very satisfying to fly done the road as those other poor suckers are still miles from the top.

    It should be fun. The weather is looking really iffy, as just the past two days the forecast is showing 30% chance of scattered thunderstorms. The last time I was there in 2008 we were stuck at the top of the last climb for 45 minutes waiting for a crazy storm to pass through, which was complete with nickel-sized hail.

    I shall return and report.
    Like I said, find a guy to pull you along. This is my guy.

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    it's all a blur mtnbiker's Avatar
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    Good luck with the rides. I can't say that I wish I was there; that just sounds like way too much for me right now. I'll be bracketing your rides with 10-hour rides of my own, but they'll be in the car, going to see a grandson get ordained.

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    Known Heterosexual RC Vikings's Avatar
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    Good luck with the rides PAC, Mrs. PAC, goose and piney. From the training rides posted it looks like goose and piney are ready and PAC always has the option of drafting off of Mrs. Have fun

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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Halfway through Day 1 (52 miles) and we're loving the STP thus far. Slow through Seattle with lots of stops but cruising in the countryside at 19 mph or so. Overcast so it's cool; great for riding. With thousands of riders it's a huge party atmosphere. Excellent day thus far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    Halfway through Day 1 (52 miles) and we're loving the STP thus far. Slow through Seattle with lots of stops but cruising in the countryside at 19 mph or so. Overcast so it's cool; great for riding. With thousands of riders it's a huge party atmosphere. Excellent day thus far.
    Ah, which bike mount did you opt for -- laptop or iPad -- to journal your journey?






    I trust you also got the mount to carry snacks, cookies and drinks?

    I have nothing else to say at this time.

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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parrot Head View Post
    Ah, which bike mount did you opt for -- laptop or iPad -- to journal your journey?
    Well, that's information that would have been useful 24 hours ago. As it is, we had to make due with an iPhone and several well-stocked food stops.

    The second 50 went even better than the first. With fewer signals and stops, we averaged 18 and feel better than we have after any other century. The scenery was great, and with less than 2000 ft of gain over 100 miles, it was a fun and relatively easy ride. But then, we have to get up tomorrow and ride 100 somewhat tougher miles tomorrow. I'm certain we're feeling a lot better than bluegoose and BigPiney.

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    I just got home a few minutes ago from The Death Ride. I'll type up a more detailed summary in the morning, as right now I am dead tired.

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    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Don't have time for a report. Here is the garmin: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/199498525 Watch died on the way back to the car and did not get our 51 mph that we got on the last descent. Missed out on the last 20-25 minutes of the day. Very fun ride. Would do it again next weekend if I could, though it is very very tough.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    Don't have time for a report. Here is the garmin: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/199498525 Watch died on the way back to the car and did not get our 51 mph that we got on the last descent. Missed out on the last 20-25 minutes of the day. Very fun ride. Would do it again next weekend if I could, though it is very very tough.

    14000+???
    Maybe thats what killed the watch?
    Congrats! thats amazing.
    At least the Big Ten went after a big-time addition in Nebraska; the Pac-10 wanted a game so badly, it added Utah
    -Berry Trammel, 12/3/10

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    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    We had an outstanding ride experience. Day 2 was as strong and enjoyable as Day 1, even with more hills. I’m not in the same class as several riders here, but I was feeling very proud of myself late in the ride when I was pulling a group that latched on to me and Mrs. PAC as we were averaging 18-19 over a 20-mile stretch as we approached Portland. One of the riders, a much younger guy (and really, at this point, who isn’t?) called from behind that he loved the pace but there was no way he could do it on his own with the wind and all. We “only” averaged 17 start-to-finish, but that’s great for us, especially considering the first and last 5-10 mile stretches had at least three dozen traffic lights that kill an average.

    No flats or mechanicals, and the weather was perfect for cycling (overcast in the 60s—some head-and crosswinds, but nothing too tough). I feel like I became a cyclist with this ride, managing my hydration and fueling well (a Gu every 15-20 miles provided a real boost), and I can finally draft and pull with confidence.

    The finish was especially cool. Hundreds (thousands?) of Portlanders line the final couple of blocks, and then several deep alongside a chute that leads into the park finish line. Everyone was cheering, ringing cowbells, calling out “Mr. Spam!” (I used that jersey today) and reaching out for high fives as we rolled across the line. I’m embarrassed to admit I actually got a little emotional. We’re staying tonight at the hotel across the street from the finish line (a city park), and there’s a huge party going on (live music, lots of eats and beverages). It reminds me of the Disney Half.

    A couple of other observations: over the past couple of years, I’ve worked a lot on strengthening my core, with lots of back extensions, torso twists, leg lifts, situps, etc. The difference with long distance riding is remarkable, as I don’t feel nearly as tired as I used to (my back and abdominals didn’t tire at all). I never worked on my core much until recently, but it makes a huge difference.

    And finally, I was really impressed by how many “large” riders (male and female) there were, and by large I mean as big or bigger than anyone on this board. No one should let their current physical condition from getting on the fitness train (subject to physician oversight, of course).

    This wasn’t the physical achievement of bluegoose and BigPiney, but I couldn’t be happier at the moment, and I’m looking forward to consuming some of the 12,000 calories we burned this weekend.

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/199691098

  24. #24
    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    Holy cow Mr. PAC, that's awesome! You are truly inspiring!
    "Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessing of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, “spectator discipleship” is a preferred if not primary way of worshipping." -Pres. Uchtdorf

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    Congrats PAC, Mrs. Pac, goose and piney. 14,000+ is a ton of vert. My legs started cramping up just thinking about it. I can just see PAC being to the STP what Popuvych is to Team Radioshack, a tireless worker with a stream of riders behind him.

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    Awesome job, pac. That is a really cool achievement and sounds like a great experience.
    Ill be thrilled if I can average 17 this weekend.
    At least the Big Ten went after a big-time addition in Nebraska; the Pac-10 wanted a game so badly, it added Utah
    -Berry Trammel, 12/3/10

  27. #27

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    Here’s the blow by blow account of our death ride weekend.

    After tracking bigpiney down at the starting area (“Hey! Has anyone seen a Bigpiney around here?”), we (Bigpiney, myself and one of my riding buddies) headed back to South Lake Tahoe to check in at our humble evening abode. On the way we checked Yelp and found a highly rated pasta joint along the main road in town. As we followed the GPS directions to the place, we saw that the restaurant shared a sign with a liquor store. By itself this is no big deal and hardly worth mentioning, until we pulled into the parking lot, finding no outside restaurant entrance. Yes, this 5 star rated pasta restaurant was inside a really classy looking back alley booze shop. But not even Captain Jack Daniels was going to stand in our way of carbo loading before our big event. So in we went.

    The other downside to having a restaurant in a liquor store is the lack of seating. We took our food back to the hotel, pulled the room’s table and chairs out into the parking lot, and had ourselves a romantic little meal in the parking lot of a roach motel which was just across the street from Lake Tahoe. I wish that we had the foresight to photodocument this meal. Talk about classy. The food was amazing, by the way, earning every bit of the place’s 5-star Yelp rating. Best garlic bread I think I have ever had.

    Our day started earlier than expected on Saturday morning, as the mass start, which usually departs at 5:30am with the official sunrise, was moved up to 5:00. So, in order to make it to the start in time, our alarm clocks went off at 3:30am. No matter really, as I don’t think I slept more than about 90 minutes all night anyway.

    We made it to the mass start area on time, only to realize that there was no real mass start this year. Nearly all of the riders rode to the starting area and just rolled on through down the road. Part of that may have been due to the fact that it was freezing and nobody wanted to stand still for too long. But the highway patrol was not to be found, whereas in year's passed they were handing out tickets to earlier departers that didn't have lights.

    The first several miles out of the park are downhill, so as we took off we absolutely froze our butts off for about 15 minutes. All 3 of us were getting speed wobbles, not from high speeds or cross winds, but from shivering in the cold.

    The first climb up Monitor is no picnic, but we ascended it without much problem. We had decided beforehand to take the first two passes fairly easy, knowing that we had a monster of a climb coming shortly thereafter. It was very cool to be snaking our way up the side of this mountain with thousands of riders three and four wide for miles both above us and below us.

    I took a couple of jerseys to consider wearing on the ride. My BYU jersey wasn't fitting well (curse you Chipotle and In-n-Out!!!), so I opted for my back-up - a Nebraska Cornhuskers jersey. Bigpiney dutifully represented and wore his BYU kit. While I got plenty of "Go Huskers!" and "Go Big Red!" shout-outs, piney got the lion's share of the jersey compliments. My faith in humanity was restored.

    As PAC mentioned in his report, we also had all sorts of body types and ages on our ride. I’m not sure how many passes many of them did, but we had several riders that were pushing 250 or 300 pounds working their way up these climbs. Many started early, as a couple of friends from my hometown are clydesdales and they were on the road by 3:30am.

    There were also a number of riders in their 70s and 80s, and we saw at least two kids that were not older than 12 years old. We saw several recumbents, and yes, all but one of the bent riders had facial hair. There were a ton of tandems and even one unicycle that completed at least 3 passes. But the craziest person we saw all day was a runner that had already completed 3 passes and was on his way to a 4th. Insane in the membrane.

    The first big descent was awesome, flying down the road toward the Nevada state line pushing 40-45 mph the whole way. We hit the bottom and immediately turned around to head back up on the second climb. This is a tougher climb than the first, even though they look similar on the profile. It is a real grinder for the first 6 miles or so.

    The Rite of Passage boys were out in full force again this year, manning the water stop halfway up the climb. They run down the road asking who needs a refill, grab your bottles to fill up, and then run up the road to hand it back to you, all while we did not miss even a pedal stroke. Very cool of them.

    The other big volunteer group this year was a local BSA troop. They were awesome, totally owning 2 of the rest stops. Very enthusiastic and tireless kids.

    Ebbett’s Pass is the 3rd pass and is the real killer climb of the day. It totals about 13 miles, but the real fun begins about 7 or 8 miles from the top. It is an unrelenting grade, averaging probably 8-10%, with some sections on the hairpins spiking up to 20+%.

    Piney and I climbed this one together for most of the time until he dropped me a couple of miles from the top. My other buddy really struggled here, stopping several times for rest along the way. It is a real psychological battle climbing this thing, as it is not only long and steep, but there are a series of false summits the last mile that completely dash your hopes that you are finally finished with the climb.

    The back side of Ebbetts is the only bad stretch of road on the whole route, as there are some bone crunching potholes strategically placed the whole way down. I think piney even caught air once coming off a raised section of road due to some tree roots, while going about 40 mph with riders ascending the road about 2 feet to his left. He is a demon on the downhills.

    Coming back up the west side of Ebbetts is the easiest of the 5 passes, but this is the one where I almost cracked. I had underestimated it in my mind, not remembering that even though it is much shorter than its counterpart on the east side of the mountain, it is still really steep for about 4.5 or 5 miles of the 6 miles. This was the only time I put my foot down on a climb all day. I limped to the top to find the other guys chomping at the bit to head out for the descent, as the lunch stop awaited us 14 miles and 3,000 feet down the road.

    We hit the lunch stop to find about 100 or more people waiting in line for some grub. The line wasn’t moving at all, so after watching it for about 5 minutes we decided to skip it altogether and just grab some food at our car, which we would roll past about 15 miles later. Disappointing, for sure, as we were really hungry and they were serving some good looking pita sandwichs. After eating 20 or so servings of Gu and Shotblocks, something more substantial would have been really good here.

    By this time, the temp was getting really hot and the winds were shifting, so we were then looking at 10 flat miles plus a 5 mile, 500 foot climb in 90 degree temps with a headwind. No problem, right? Ice water and Gatorade awaiting us at the car was our carrot to keep us moving along as quickly as possible. My buddy drove the train really hard through this section, as he is really strong on the flat stuff.

    After a brief stop at the car to re-fill our bottles and dump all the extra crap out of our jersey pockets, we headed out for the final climb of the day up Carson Pass. It is a two-part climb with a rest stop in the middle. The first 5 miles were not too steep, but it was still really hot and this was the first time that we encountered any traffic, as the roads were all closed up to this point. Piney and I drove the train up the first section, passing dozens of riders along the way. It was a gorgeous stretch of road through a steep canyon with the Carson river running alongside of us most of the time.

    After the final rest stop, we took off up the road for the final push to the summit. It started out fairly gradually, so we formed a paceline with a couple of others and pushed the pace up to about 20 mph for quite some time. When the grade picked up a couple miles later, I got my second wind and pulled the group for about 4 miles up the mountain. By this time we were over 100 miles and 14,000+ feet of climbing on the day, so for me to get my legs back was huge considering my biggest ride on the year was 84 miles with 6,000 feet of climbing.

    I wished we had kept track of our kill stats like they do on those relay races, because I bet piney and I passed 100 people here and were only passed by one person, whom piney tracked down and eventually passed right before the summit. It was totally coincidental that the person who passed us was a cute girl and it took piney 2 miles to finally pass her after grabbing her back wheel as she went by.

    The last 4 miles and 1,000 feet of climbing are pretty brutal. The last two, especially, as you are staring at the summit off in the distance that doesn’t seem to be getting closer no matter hard you mash on the pedals.

    We made it to the top and hung out for 15 or 20 minutes before heading back down. Major disappointment awaited us on the first 2 miles of the descent. This is where I have hit 55 mph each of the three previous times I’ve done the ride. As bad luck would have it, we got stuck behind a trailer and a row of cars, having to feather our brakes the whole time and topping out at 40mph or so. If Bellavella felt a disturbance in the force, this was why. We were totally robbed of our reward for a hard day’s work. As piney mentioned in his brief post, we almost made up for it on the lower slopes of the mountain, but even that was only 51 mph.

    It was a good ride. A really, really tough ride, but it turned out very well. We didn’t have any mechanical issues and we all rode well and felt great considering the nature of the beast. I still can’t feel my toes and the butt feels like I slid across a cheese grater, but other than that, I’m feeling pretty good.

  28. #28
    It is NOT a monkey! creekster's Avatar
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    Wow. Great reports and impressive rides!
    PLesa excuse the tpyos.

  29. #29
    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    That was a great report, bg. Congrats on the major achievement. I've had trouble sleeping the night before a big ride or run, but this time I took an Ambien the night before each of the two days, and it worked great. I get a prescription for Ambien (a dozen pills) every 18 months or so, and use it mainly to adjust to major time changes, but I'm sold on the pre-ride usage now. I know Ambien affects some people adversely, but I suffer no side effects and I felt well-rested both days (well, at least at the start of the rides).

    On the modest climbs we faced, we thought of both of you and felt grateful our uphill struggles lasted only a few minutes at a time.

  30. #30
    1 Coach McGuirk's Avatar
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    Nice job to all. Great reports. I really, really wish I was doing more cycling instead of running this year.

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