|Newsletter - 2005 Archive|
The Mount Baker
400: A Very Tough Ride
All those that completed the Mount Baker 400, stand up and take a bow. This was one of the toughest 400's that ever devised, and that it included a ride up Mount Baker should come as no surprise since the route was devised by those responsible for giving us the Triple Mountain Challenge: John Bates and Danelle Laidlaw.
Just how tough was the Mount Baker 400? Although I don't know exactly what the total climbing distance or grade was, I do know that from Glacier at the foot of Mount Baker to the summit was roughly 40 km and, given the speed and pedal resistance I experienced, would say it varied from 6% to 10%. These are just guesses and are mere numbers, but it's very easy to convey a more accurate picture of the challenge of this route by looking at the finishing times of the five riders who rode both the Spring 400 and the Mount Baker 400:
For these five riders, the average time for the Mount Baker 400 was almost 2 hours longer than for the Spring 400. Consider also that the weather last spring was cloudy with rain and heavy winds, while the Mount Baker expedition enjoyed a day that was sunny, warm, and relatively calm. Moreover, one would expect that having been through several rides in the previous few months that these five riders would now be in better shape than they were in the spring. So, with better weather conditions, longer daylight hours, and stronger riders, the empirical evidence suggests that this was a very tough ride indeed.
The view, by the way, was spectacular.
August 9, 2005