|Newsletter - 2012 Archive|
The Hills Are Alive In The Interior Too
Doug may have set up the route, but it was my idea to use it for our spring 300, so if you have any strength left to lynch anyone it should be me. When we rode the route last September to check it out it seemed perfectly reasonable.....
We started on a slightly chilly morning on what promised to be the first really warm day of the year. I had a few long rides done this year, but hadn't really pushed myself too hard, so I wanted to see what I was capable of, especially with the Cascade 1200 coming up in six weeks or so. Ian was immediately gone off the front, so I decided to try to stick with Shawn and Wendy for as long as I could. It was immediately obvious that it was going to be a struggle on the flats (luckily? there was not much of that), but I found myself pulling ahead on the climb to Twin Lakes. Soaked with sweat at the top, we got pretty chilly on the descent.
The crossing into Washington at Nighthawk was a bit unsettling for me. Maybe I reminded the guard of an axe murderer, terrorist or ex husband she had known, but the nicest word to describe her attitude was hostile. Wendy and Shawn had no trouble. We continued to the control at Loomis, where I was once again surprised at the lower cost of snacks and liquids in the U.S. Mostly favourable winds got us into Tonasket( +-120 km) with a 29.6 kmh average. Tonasket wasn't a control but it was recommended to stock up there because there was little else for the next 80 km. We still had lots of water so we decided not to stop.
I knew I had been pushing a bit too hard and on the long climb out of Tonasket it caught up with me. I decided to ease up to a sustainable pace and told them not to wait for me. I didn't expect to see them again, but they had stopped for a bit, and I passed them, knowing they would soon catch up and pass me, which they did.. It was becoming obvious that I had based my water use estimate on flatter ground, so I was glad to see them stopped at the Wauconda Store where we got our bottles filled. The Toroda Creek Road was slightly uphill after Wauconda, but with a strong tailwind, and then a long descent to Chesaw Road. Most of Chesaw Road is a real pleasure- scenic, shady, no traffic, but I don't know how I managed to block the last climb before the Chesaw control from my memory. Down to the granny gear for the first but not last time of the day. We laid waste to the snack foods at the store. Wendy was having some shoulder pain, and was rolling a tennis ball between her back and a post for a do-it-yourself massage. A tennis ball is not something I have ever thought of packing on a ride.
There was only one more big climb left, but it went on forever. I am always amazed how rapidly legs can go from merely tired to useless jelly. At about 216 km, almost at the top of the last big climb, they quit completely. I had to stop and regroup for a few minutes, knowing I would be unlikely to catch up unless they had a lengthy stop. I didn't have the steam on climbs or flats, and I am a notoriously slow descender. Despite this, I actually enjoyed the 16 km or so descent into Oroville. Then back onto Hwy 97 North to the border with a strong tailwind. I passed quickly through the border, but wasn't long out of Osoyoos when my legs went jelly again. Even with the tailwind I could barely maintain 22 kmh. A stop at a convenience store got me a bottle of NOS grapefruit energy drink. This stuff is amazing. It tastes great and gives a blast of 300 calories and caffeine. Soon I was averaging 30 + kmh, which I maintained to the finish, surprisingly only 15 minutes behind Wendy and Shawn.
I had a great ride. The scenery was beautiful, traffic was very low with courteous drivers, and lots of tailwinds. I'm sure in time I will forget about the hills again. One thing is for sure. The next time someone tells me I ride like a girl, I'm going to say "Thank You".
May 14, 2012