Thursday, September 6, 2007

That's crazy talk, aka the Mountain 100K pre-ride.

Mark Thomas and I pre-rode the season-opening 100k route, this past spring. Somewhere there, before we got slammed with 5" of snow, I mentioned to Mark that I didn't show up at last years Mountain 100, because I was not sure I would be able to finish it. This, after completing last years 3 pass 1000k. Mark's response, and he is pretty quotable, was, "That's crazy talk!".

I took that vote of confidence with me as I pre-rode the 100K route with Kent Peterson, Shan Perera and Matt Newlin, all of whom have spent some time shelling me out in the past. We left at 9.40a from Tibbets Field Parking lot. My front tyre was low, and I stopped to pump it up, as my riding buddies went ahead, but waited for me at the Zoo hill climb.

That climb was long, but not Washington-pass-going-west long, but I was the last to get to the top. The descent was something though, and quite worth the lung-busting climb. It comes early in the ride, and so, you don't feel like you are done. There was a lot of up and down, but the notable ones (to me), were the Tiger Mountain climb, the climb to the Issaquah highlands, Tolt Hill, Duthie Hill and the last murderous climb, that completes the ride. The last climb (Squawk Mountain?) completely took me out, and made me cry for stronger legs or a lower gear, and I got neither. We finished on the dot: 6h 45m.

This really is a fantastic ride; people who have ridden with me know that I get shelled out the back at the first appearance of a climb, and this was no exception, except that my riding buddies waited for me at every turn, and offered encouragement. The stop at Sandy's was fabulous, with all of us getting something cold to drink, and nourishing ourselves for the 3 hills (Tolt, Duthie, Squawk) ahead. I think eating at Sandy's is a good idea, as the last 22km kick serious butt.

There is a surprising amount of flat on this ride, so much so that Kent at one point leaned to me and asked, perfectly innocently, "Do you think there is enough climbing on this ride?", this just before we did Tolt Hill. I was about to tell the man to have some mercy. However, doing this ride a few times, will certainly help my climbing. An enjoyable ride, and I shall definitely do it again. I also plan to do this ride to train for the hills.

Kent's Pictures and mini-report

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