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High Pass Challenge - CycleCentury


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Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington
United States
Cascade Bicycle Club
88F / 31C
Sunny
Total Time = 7h 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4:45 to eat and have coffee, and to give us time to drive the 22 miles through the woods to the starting line. Saw a big elk and heard a bunch of other elk bugling just before hitting Packwood (race start). It was really cool, as the sun was coming up. Surreal. Breakfast was banana and oatmeal, 2 c coffee, 1 coconut water.
Event warmup:

Something of this duration needs no warmup! Got my gear on, loaded the bike with what I'd need for the day, and lined up for the start. Most rides let you start whenever, but this one started right at 7AM. It was great! There were probably 450 riders.
Bike
  • 7h 00m
  • 114 miles
  • 16.29 mile/hr
Comments:

The beginning of the ride was great....got into a pace line and stayed with it, we were cruising at 25/26 MPH for about 20 miles. It was so much fun, I didn't feel like I put forth any effort, saving my legs for the big climb ahead.

At the first rest stop, hit the port-o-potty, ate a banana, some pretzels, some gel and refilled my water bottle. Got back on the road as soon as I could. From that point, it was pretty much uphill for the next 2-3 hours!
I had to pee after a while, and so I pulled off onto a little road and took care of that, felt much better! Of course in about three miles, came upon a rest stop, so just kept on going without stopping, as I had plenty of water still and was not hungry.

Lots of people were passing me on the climb, but I didn't really care, as I knew the downhill on the way back was where I would make up time. :) I do like the downhill! There was a point after climbing for 15-20 miles straight (no kidding!) where we came around the corner and suddenly, there was Mt. St. Helens and trees were blown down as far as the eye could see. It took my breath away with the scope and breadth! From that point on, there was a lot of up and down as we went along the ridge toward the top. I hit a rest area with 6 miles to go, ate a half bagel-thing with pb and a banana, refilled water, took some pix, and got back on the road.

About 4 miles up from there was Spirit Lake, again, truly spectacular. I stopped and took some photos there. Then at the top was Windy Ridge, spectacular view of the volcano. Took a video, some pix, and had a guy try to figure out why my on-board video camera was not working. I am not sure if I actually got any footage or not, have not tried to see that yet. Let's hope I got some....but am doubtful. I really should have tried out the camera before the big ride, but ran out of time!

After the top, it was quite a lot of miles of down and up as we went along the ridge again. I didn't recall going down as much as the climbing back out indicated.....but I just persevered. I saw my group of friends going up as I was going down. Smiles all around.

Finally, we hit the big downhill, not sure how many miles it was, but it was sooooo fun! The road was sketchy in some places, so had to be a bit cautious, however, I do love downhill! One guy on the way up, as he was passing me uphill after I had passed him downhill, asked how I go so fast. I said it was weight, fearlessness and good wheels. :)

After we got back to the point where the first rest stop was on the way up, we were directed to go onto the forest service road....it was about ten miles of really crappy roads....slightly uphill, chip seal, a gravel section, bad condition....really beautiful out there, and very isolated. I didn't see many riders for a long time! Finally we came out of that onto a larger road, and then it was a very long uphill, felt like a million, but maybe 8 or 9 until a fun downhill at last. My feet were killing me, and would continue to hurt until the end. I stopped at the last water stop and got some water, but wasn't hungry. I didn't eat much besides gels and bananas for the whole day, but I drank a ton of nuun and was definitely well-hydrated.

Eventually I found someone to ride with, as the last 20 miles was on the highway, slightly uphill, no shade. A guy and I took turns pulling, and it was grueling no matter what, I was ready to be done! At the last couple of miles, a big group came by and said to hop on the pace line, everyone was doing one minute pulls, so I did, and that really helped the end of the ride go faster!

Went through the finish line, about 25 minutes too late to get the Gold medal, but was happy to have a silver medal, and to be done!
What would you do differently?:

Climb faster, weigh less. That's what I always say. Someday maybe it will actually happen!
Post race
Warm down:

Went to my car, took off shoes and helmet and socks and gloves and blasted the AC for a while to cool down. Drank a coconut water and just chilled out. Eventually changed my clothes and packed up the bike. Went and had some cold drinks, talked to some of the other bikers, and ate the sausage that was provided to us. About an hour after I finished, my friends all came through the finish, so I hung with them for a little while and then got back on the road to go collect the kids and drive home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:



Event comments:

I will do this one again, no question. It was such fun, so lovely out there. I rode most of it all by myself, and really enjoyed just having the time to think, to push my pace, and to enjoy the scenery. It was hot, for sure, but only the last 20 miles felt HOT. The rest had plenty of shade from the trees, and it was early in the morning so hadn't gotten brutal by the time the climbs were done.




Last updated: 2011-09-09 12:00 AM
Biking
07:00:00 | 114 miles | 16.29 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Hour 1: 20.69 mph (440 feet elevation gain, 324 feet elevation loss) Hour 2: 12.0 mph (1564 feet elevation gain, 150 feet elevation loss) Hour 3: 11.7 mph (2099 feet elevation gain, 1017 feet elevation loss) Hour 4: 12.1 mph (1306 feet elevation gain, 995 feet elevation loss) Hour 5: 20.1 mph (644 feet elevation gain, 3305 feet elevation loss) Hour 6: 16.9 mph (1155 feet elevation gain, 1557 feet elevation loss) Hour 7: 19.1 mph (208 feet elevation gain, 73 feet elevation loss) Max speed for the day happened during hour 5, 47.4 mph. :)
Wind: Little
Course: Packwood to Randle, up to Windy Ridge on Mt. St. Helens, and back, with a detour through forest service roads at the bottom of the mountain.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2011-09-12 12:30 PM

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Master
2235
200010010025
Pacific Northwest
Subject: High Pass Challenge


2011-09-12 12:59 PM
in reply to: #3682498

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Master
2235
200010010025
Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: High Pass Challenge


Elevation!
2011-09-12 2:11 PM
in reply to: #3682498

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Extreme Veteran
494
100100100100252525
Olympia, WA
Subject: RE: High Pass Challenge
Nice!  Looks like hour 5 was particularly fun.  Glad to hear it went well and you had decent weather. Thanks for the report.  Sounds like a fun event to do.
2011-09-12 6:10 PM
in reply to: #3682498

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Master
2235
200010010025
Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: High Pass Challenge
And some photos, of course!

Before the ride.



With the girls....before the big ride!







Spirit Lake, still filled with trees.....31 years later...







2011-09-12 9:50 PM
in reply to: #3682498

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Champion
7387
50002000100100100252525
Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: High Pass Challenge
I've got the weight and wheels, where would I find fearlessness? 
2011-09-13 4:49 AM
in reply to: #3682605

Subject: ...
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2011-09-13 4:57 AM
in reply to: #3682498

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2011-09-13 9:45 AM
in reply to: #3683565

Master
2235
200010010025
Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: High Pass Challenge
McFuzz - 2011-09-12 7:50 PM I've got the weight and wheels, where would I find fearlessness? 


I guess you either have it, or you don't.  Not sure you can just go find it!  Although I know you have it, don't be silly.  I downhill ski raced for many years, which I think is part of why I enjoy the speed so much!
2011-09-13 9:46 AM
in reply to: #3683695

Master
2235
200010010025
Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: High Pass Challenge
chr15 - 2011-09-13 2:49 AM

Medusa_Ann - 2011-09-12 6:59 PM

Elevation!

 

MIles 62 to 79 look like my favourites


Yes, I would say those were definitely my favourites as well!  People always ask why I ride up mountains all the time.  The answer is, "to ride down!"....
2011-09-14 10:40 PM
in reply to: #3682498

New user
1

Subject: RE: High Pass Challenge

Great Pics Leslie, Can  I borrow a few?  We started 40 min late, and was in such a rush I forgot my camera.  

I saw all you ladies out there, very impressive.  Next to RAMROD that's probably one of the more challenging rides I've done. I think I liked it better, spectacular views.   

 

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