Monday, September 15, 2008

New-team ride

Monday, 15 September

After my Ring of Fire race, I figured I deserved some serious time off the bike and I wasn't planning to ride much this last weekend. But then I got an invitation to join a ride of a new team that's still coming together. Unlike other new-team rides (as reported on local blogs) that ventured all the way around the north end of Lake Washington or featured a whopping 4 kilometers of climbing, yesterday's outing was a nice 103-mile jaunt and featured 6,400 feet of elevation gain.

We started in Carson:

We rode out the Wind River road and climbed about 10 miles up and out of the drainage and over this pass:

A few miles past the summit, we turned left on Curly Creek Road (a screaming descent) and had great views of Mt. St. Helens. This view is from the top of the descent. The mountain gets closer and closer as you descend and fills up the gaps between the trees by the time you're near the bottom.

We turned right on FR 90, which winds along the Lewis River for a long way. We met up with a couple signs like this one; the longest dirt/gravel section was about half a mile.

We stopped at a campground along the Lewis River for water (which we had to pump out of the well). Instead of pit toilets, this campground had composting toilets, and I learned that my waste wouldn't go to waste:

At the next junction, instead of taking the road marked toward Trout Lake, we opted for the hillier route (even though Trout Lake was our next way point). About 15 miles of climbing brought repeated view of Mt. Adams--and utterly empty roads. There was absolutely no one to patrol the yellow line in the middle of the road. :)

After all that climbing, you come to the junction to Randle and Trout Lake. While Randle is closer to home, Trout Lake was where I needed to go. A few miles of flat and gentle rollers (and more views of Adams and no traffic), and then there's a 12-mile descent into Trout Lake. I hung on to the freight train paceline until one steep section where gravity didn't favor me. We stopped for calories (the first store we'd seen since Carson) and then rolled the last 25 miles down to White Salmon with views of Mt. Hood most of the way (but speeds too high for me to fish the camera out of my pocket!.

Glorious day, perfect ride, wonderful friends, and great food all weekend. I was so glad to be there!


Brian said...

Was that a slam?

Stoked said...

Not if you think circumnavigating the north end of Lake WA is the best kind of bike riding there is. I've never experienced one of my "this is SO much fun" moments on that route. Not even on a tandem. But maybe others do.

Brian said...

Hmm... I always thought of you as one of those "the ride is what you make of it" kind of folks.

Guess I was wrong.

I don't mind what route I take as long as the companionship is there and the outlook is fantastic.

Not everyone has the time to launch into a 105 mile trek. Sure they are fun but with fewer and fewer days for folks to spend time with their families in beautiful September, a short "get to know your new team" is exactly what we all needed.

This pot shot at TPR is uncharacteristic of you. I thought you would be a fan of creation and thinking out side of the box. I'm hoping it was done with a friendly nudge to the ribs and not out of malice as that would be very dissapointing.

Anonymous said...

Why so eager to take offense, brian?

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

Oh heck! No offense at all!

I love Martha to pieces! :-)

Her sometimes tongue in cheek humor got me through many a Cycle U TT.

Maybe she was just trying to make me jealous!

The MS Bike tour this last weekend was pretty epic... you should have been there. All was fantastic except the 2 beer limit (but they WERE free!)

mt said...

Brian -- deep breath -- woosaw, woosaw. :-)

Martha - Are going to be at the Intro to Racing this Sunday? I thought I read that you were going to be there. My wife is going and she wanted to meet you to talk about bike racing and hats. If you were showing up, that is.

BTW - I'm digging mine!

Stoked said...

mt: yes, I think I will be there this Sunday, but not next week. Would love to see C there. But what are you doing wearing a wool hat in 80 degrees???

mt said...

Great! I'll let her know.

As for the hat, I just wear it in front of the mirror and talk to myself. Is that weird?

Stoked said...

mt: you have to ask if that's weird? I guess I'm flattered, though....

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you did that ride the weekend after RoF. Whoa! It sounds awesome! You are amazing (ly wonderful.) Angela