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.

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