Sunday, June 14, 2009
Squaw Pass Hill Climb
Today I wanted to redeem and punish myself for what I thought was an unimpressive first mountain bike race. Jeremy (I think I punished him more!) and I went to Evergreen to try Squaw pass. The road starts at 7,800 ft. and summits at 11,200 ft. I thought it would be about 8-10 miles. I was wrong, it was 15. It is a really nice and steady climb. The two of us started out about the same time as some other random dude. We latched onto his wheel and followed him for a mile or so not knowing what to expect. It was time for my pull, and I was starting to warm up. Every time I looked back I noticed they were a few bike lengths behind. I tried to keep a good rhythm and not redline but the tempo was a bit much for the others. The sun was out and it was a really nice day, not to mention we saw snow capped mountains all around us, so I sat up a bit and enjoyed the view as much as the company and effort. At a decent effort, it took me 1.5 hours to reach the summit. We rested for a moment, ate cliff bars, and put on arm warmers for the descent down the winding road. There were quite a few switch backs and blind corners. It was a really fun descent, and we were able to haul down, except for the times when a few cars slowed us down. We had to pass them to keep from riding the brakes. The reward for the tough climb was a 30 minute downhill with speeds ranging from mid twenties up to forty miles per hour.