Monday, July 13, 2009
I'm Not Dead Yet
So, I need to write up a report and post some pictures from the Portland to Glacier ride. That really was a big deal experience for me, so perhaps I'm hesitating on the write-up.
In the meantime, I'm happy to report I have survived The Death Ride.
At the beginning of the year, I made this my goal. I tried, honest I did, to lose some weight, and I trained as much as I could. I did not think I would ride a series this year; instead I was going to spend a little less time on the bike, and try to get faster. Well, that's not how things turned out, for I did the series, and then it just wasn't possible to avoid Glacier.
Anyway, it turns out that I was ready for The Death Ride. My Pegoretti is a whole lot lighter then a fully loaded brevet bike, so it really did feel a bit like "race day." You mean I don't need to carry everything? You are going to have food and water all over the place? Sunscreen? Porta-potties without lines? With toilet paper? Honest? Sweet!
I rolled out early with lights and extra clothes. I loved the morning riding. The first couple of passes could lull you into a sense of complacency and lead you to think that this would be, as one rider remembered, "frighteningly easy." Even though I was pumping in various electrolytes at an alarming rate, I started the first mild cramping on the third pass. Cramps dogged me on and off the rest of the day. I suppose I'm just not used to 5% humidity. So, it wasn't easy, but it sure was fun.
The most fun, by far, was the descent back off Ebbett's Pass. It was technical with off-camber turns and bumps; there were a couple of places where you could be launched into the void if you were not careful. It just went on forever. On most passes, I'm always floored how fast you get down for all the effort going up; it was not the same on Ebbett's. The descent went on and on. Then, it went on some more. Then you ate lunch and went down some more after that.
I think I saw Mr. Boothby going to other way, but I'm not sure. Let me know if you heard some random guy yell, "go Boothby" as you flew down Monitor.
The compact with a 34 29 low gear was perfect.
I should have brought the pop up and camped at the start.
The driving was a bit much, but I got to eat lunch at Crater lake and nap in a beautiful park next to a river near Mt. Shasta. No, it was not the worst experience ever.
I was at the top of Carson Pass on a bike once before. It was 1983, and I was on a blue Raleigh Pro with full camping gear and a 42 28 low gear heading east.
Nobody gave me ice cream, a sticker, or a pin at the top in 1983.