Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ride to the top!

My brother (Brian) and I have been training a lot on our bikes. (Thanks to Tammy for all her support!) We have been doing a lot of big rides looking for every hill we can find to ride up! Our longest ride has been 65 miles and we did that in just under 4 hours.

We signed up to ride the "Tour the Blast". It's an 82 mile ride up to the Johnston observatory overlooking Mt St Helens. You ride 41 miles one way and then back. On the ride up you have a 9 mile climb to do! That's why we were riding every hill we could find. We were in great shape and had no problem riding up the Mountain but this is the first time I ever got cold riding up a hill, especially 9 miles of it. The last mile I started to shiver! We got 30 miles in and tried to warm up but every layer I had was soaked. (Brian took his shoes off at one point and poured water out of them!) They had two warming tents with fires going and we couldn't warm up. Then we heard from support vehicals that it was down to 42 degrees 10 miles ahead at the top. So we started down. 30 miiles an hour on a bike, in the pouring rain, no visibility and unable to stop shaking from shivering so much was enough. We stopped about 4 miles down the 5 mile descent and went into the museum to warm up. We then got a ride down as the state patrol came and said no more bikes past the stop that we had just left because it was snowing above us. We ended up getting a ride down with all the other riders who got stuck in the bad conditions. A few wrecked other got hypothermia and a ride in the ambualnce.
For the first time Brian and I were smart and quit while we were ahead! At least our conditioning was great and the 9 mile climb was no problem.

By the way as we were walking to the starting line a group of guys were walking by with some very nice bikes stopped to look at my bike and said, "Wow, that is one mean looking bike!" Yes I puffed my chest out! So thanks to my awesome wife and brother for getting me such a great bike!

Here are a few photos of the ride the day before, Brian and I drove the route to see what we were in for and then a picture of me on the ride. That picture was only me about 5 miles in and you can see how wet it is already!

Here I am in the rain! Look close you can see al the rooster tail off of my back tire!

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