SIR's Olympic - St. Helens Summer 1000
by Ken Bonner
10 riders started, one dnf. Nice, relatively flat 1st 100k with a bit of tail wind and a fair amount of fog. Mixed winds heading north on Hwy 101, lots of hills, (including some ‘gratuitous’ climbing for the 300-400k portion of the ride, just before a sleepover in Port Angeles at the 400k point. About 3 hours of drizzly rain, then strong headwinds to the 600k point in Tumwater where we started, and the 600k riders finished. Excellent support and organization by John Pearch and Vincent Mouneke. Both of whom put so much into the organizing of these events that they almost ran out of time to register for PBP!
Great tailwind from Centralia to the viewpoint to see Mt St. Helens (completely clouded in) The last 3k to the summit-control-vista point on a 5% grade was at 28 kph --- with just a little assist from the tailwind; which meant the downward trip was at about the same speed pushing into the wind. Drizzle rain & patches of fog during the night.
Highlights: 8 miles (12k) up Skate Rd through Mt. Ranier National Park from 1000 feet to 2700 feet --- gentle 3-4% grade on smooth pavement, little traffic, scenic forested area with a cascading mountain river along the road. Also, a secret control just before Eatonville – apparently SIR volunteers looking very much like a herd of wild bison! As I rode up to have my control card stamped, the huge bull leader stampeded the group and left me with my card unsigned! I tried to get a photo but the ground was shaking too much from the thundering hooves. SIR organizer denies having a secret control at this point, but I know a SIR rider when I see one!
Not recommended for Lower Mainland BC Randonneurs who have difficulty getting out of bed for a 7:00 a.m. start – the start was originally at 6:00 a.m., then was moved to 5:00 a.m. Those Americans are a shrewd bunch, trying to make the most of the available daylight! A nice touch was to have a pre-registration the evening before the start. A 600 k was offered following the route of the 1000 with the same start time; and, a 400k was offered starting 24 hours after the 600 & 1000 starts following the last 400k of the 1000.
Would I do this ride again? You betcha!
Go to: (link to SIR) Results
June 26, 2011