Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Post Of It's Own


we had perhaps the most epic ride I have ever been on today. We met at Late For the Train and headed out towards the mysterious Schultz pass. This dirt road that climbs forever, has been a nemesis of Mr Simon Whitfield's since last year here. Today we decided to climb as much of it as was possible. We figure we made it about 4-5 miles up, until the snow just got too deep for us to continue. Simon figures we were at about 8500 ft, so we climbed 1500 vertical feet.

Joel had been trailing us in the van, but he wasn't able to make it up Schultz's pass, as the road was closed to vehicles. We descended back down and met Joel at the bottom. A little food, then it was back on the road, and up Hwy 180 towards the Snow Bowl.

Once onto the road to snow bowl, we climbed, climbed, and climbed some more.

The climb to the base lodge at the top is basically a 10km climb at roughly a 5-6% grade. The base lodge we climbed to was situated at 9500ft (2500 ft vertical gain). What an epic ride. It started out with a dry road at the bottom. As we continued to climb, Jordan and Kyle disappeared in front of me. Soon, we started to ride into some snowflakes. Joel and Greg were ahead in the van offering support as we continued to climb. Soon enough, I saw the 5 mile sign, and knew that it was only about 1 mile to go. This is when it started to snow a bit more. Once the whole group got to the top, it was really coming down. The girls hopped in the van, while the guys put on any warm clothing they could from the back of the van, and got ready for the descent.

I had on a base layer, and a cycling jacket for the climb, then added a warm vest, and a rain jacket for the descent. Luckily I also had dry warm gloves that I changed into. By this point, the road at the top was completely snow covered. Once everyone was ready, we started descending.

On the descent, my hands were frozen, despite warm dry ski gloves. It got to a point that it was tough for me to squeeze the brakes. Add to that, the blowing snow as we started out, which turned into a freezing rain mix half-way down. I had ice particles frozen to my glasses, as well as my shifter cables freezing underneath my bike (from the kick-up off the road) so I couldn't shift gears (not that I needed to). I constantly kept alternating shaking my hands to try to get some feeling into my fingers. Luckily I didn't crash on the way down (it must have been quite the sight for Joel and those in the van watching us descending).

The 5 of us regrouped at the bottom, and trued to get some feeling back into our hands. After about 15 seconds of doing arm circles, I started to get some blood flowing into my fingers. Man did that sting!! It was back onto the bike, and get home as quickly as possible!!!

The ride turned out to be about 4 hrs in length, with a rough total of 4000 vertical feet climbed.

All that's left for the day is a 50' run on the treadmill later tonite. We can't get into the FAC between the hours of 4-7pm, so we're heading over at 7pm to run. There will definitely be a hot tub and a steam bath after the run. A fitting end to an Epic Day.

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