My aspirations for last weekend were high, but not unreasonable. I needed to complete a century before the STP and I needed to do a good ride the following day. A shakedown, a confidence builder, a showdown at noon, and/or a victory on a bloody battlefield.
But first, there is a problem I have to take care of, and yet the simple fact of its non-taken-care-of-ness is thrown in my face like a rooster tail in the rain. I didn’t take any of the following pictures…still don’t have a way to carry my camera, and my cell phone takes nothing but ass…ass as in shitty pictures and not hind quarters. I have a rack, but not the complete mounting hardware necessary. Not that it’s a big deal, a 10 minute bike ride will get me set up straight. Argh..must get off ass to reap massive rewards when not on said ass…lessons to live by. Anyway, enough about the pictures that weren’t taken, let’s take about these lovely specimens in this blog. They were taken by my riding mates Tom and Kevin on the Cascade to Crown ride on Sunday.
…and back to my test of tests… I did not meet my goals. I was only able to do 1 of the 2 loops that made the century ride. There’s no way to avoid the disappointment or the increased self-doubt that comes with not completing a ride. Most of all I can’t get those miles back, and with under two weeks to go, it’s too late for a century ride. Now my longest ride will go from the current 79 miles to the 204 miles at the finish line in Portland. Fuck.
With all this gloom and doom a major victory wins out. That first loop was 54 miles long and had 3800′ of elevation…my previous best was 65 miles at 2500′. There were 2 hills. Seriously, just the two. Want a battle field? The first climb was 14 miles long. And over the course of those 14 miles, we climbed ~2000′ of elevation, a small part of which was at 20% grade. It took me 1:15 to get to the top. But where’s the victory, you ask? No stops during the climb.
The final decent was 10 miles of ~1600′ down winding forest maintained roads. A slalom of fallen trees, rock slides, and sink holes…and wet, they plowed off the snow and opened the road last week. I am so glad! It was 30+ minutes of 20+ mph…I topped out at 41…in other words….IT…WAS…AWESOME!!!!! Can’t wait until next year…holy shite.
Sunday’s ride just as beautiful as the day before. Fortunately there were non chronic ass sitting folk along on the ride harnessing the power of technology and wielding the mystic properties of photography. As much fun as I had on Saturday, Sunday was just as good…plus I had fine company! However, there was one piece of bullshit…stairs…wet moss-covered stairs.
One other wrinkle…there was but one climb on this aptly named ‘challenge’ route. It was to be a beast, no doubt, and we were well prepared. But I’d like you to take a close look the picture above. Do you see that little observatory looking building? Yeah…we thought that was the top of the hill. See how small it is? And how the point of view of the camera is directed in a downish sorta way. We came around the cliff under the observatory knowing it was the end, and then we rounded the corner, and the next…and then…a little fucking orange arrow…further down another. Fuck.