Saturday, June 07, 2003

Saturday morning ride to the Summit - 36 miles

It was one of those strange weather days on the mountain today. Cool but pleasant at the bottom, heavy fog in the middle, sunny and very warm at the top.

On Saturday mornings JB and I like to ride part way up and turn around before Rick and Nicole get there. I was a little late today and JB had already left. As I was spinning along I caught up to an older guy on a custom touring bike with panniers. He told me he had just returned from a cycle tour of New Zealand and the people there were wonderful, inviting him in to their homes for meals and sleeping arrangements. He had some good stories but then I saw JB coming down so I turned around too.

We rode down to where Nicole and Rick park and while they were getting ready about a half dozen riders went by on their way up the mountain. So JB, Rick, Nicole, and I all started off again leaving the gate at about 8:10. We were making a very easy pace until we got to the dips when I picked it up a bit. Surprisingly no one matched my speed and I had a big gap opened up. I passed the riders that started up earlier and pushed it kind of hard up the bump but I always expected Rick and JB to catch me before too long. From the upper wash out on up I just tried to keep a good pace and I finished ahead of everyone with a 40’40” at the Junction; another top ten ride!

The fog was very thick at the Junction and talk soon turned to riding “up to the sun” so I took a hit of Clif Shot (skipped brekkie this morning) and prepared myself mentally for the trip to the summit. Nicole hadn’t arrived yet but the other three of us meandered up Summit Road at a comfortable pace. Rick and JB started getting ahead of me once we got past Juniper and I resolved to save myself for the wall so I rode easily and alone for the last couple of miles and didn’t have any trouble with the final stretch. I usually just put my head down and count pedal strokes because I know that in my 39/27 gear it takes 180 strokes (90 full crank revolutions) to get from the barrier gate to the upper parking lot (273 meters by my math) and if I look at how steep it is I think I’ll never make it. Ride time to the Summit was 1h21m.

I saw the cycle tourist again up by the Summit and some of the other riders we’d passed earlier. There was also a cross-country foot race/run going on and there were dozens of runners all over the upper half of the mountain. JB talked to one guy who said the full route was two laps from Mitchell Canyon to the Summit and back to make it a 50km “fun run”.

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