Today I was lucky enough to ride with the man that taught me everything I know about riding.
He's known all over the US, not only because he has set National Records in TT's or won multiple masters national titles over the years, but because he is an all around great guy and friend to all. If you know him, you understand what I'm saying and if you don't, it's your loss. It was great to ride with Bob once again.
Vinny and I met up with Bob and Eric Zentner at Shaver Lake (5300') and rode up to Kaiser Pass (9200'). For some reason Bob and Eric wanted to head down into Million Dollar Mile first and check out a waterfall. It's beautiful and all but to get to the darn thing you have to descend at least 1800' to get to it. And right now I'm 188lbs and have been a crit monster this year. So to start a ride with a descent to 3500' and have a summit of 9200' is a little silly to me.
The climb out of Million Dollar Mile is 4 miles long and gets as steep as 16-18% for about half of it. Vinny must have been feeling pretty good because I never saw him on that climb. Worked my way up in a 39x23 and chatted with Bob. On this ride it seems that you go downhill only to go back up and make the next climb a little longer or steeper or both! So, up MDM and down to Big Creek (4920').
The Big Creek climb is another 4 mile climb up to Huntington Lake (7000'). It starts off steep and gets steeper (+18%), but does get a little easier at the top. Never saw Vinny on this one either. I left it in the 21 and got to the top in 35min. Around the lake with some more little up and down rollers to Lakeshore, the town at Huntington Lake. We took a little break for a soda and refill on water. Then off to the next climb.
Kaiser Pass (9200') is a 7 mile ascent to the top. The first mile is always hard for me, but the next 4 are a lot easier. I started to push the pace after about 2 miles, only to have Vinny turn it up a notch on a little kicker and gap me. With 1.75 miles to go it gets steep again and it really starts to hurt the legs and lungs. The last 500m is brutal! You can see the top straight ahead of you but it takes 3mins to get there, at least 16%. I got to the top in 40min.
The view from the top
Once again down so we can go up. Down Kaiser and on to Tamarack Ridge (7500'). Tamarck is a series of 4 climbs. The second and last are the ones that hurt the most. I was all in on the last one and threw in the towel.
Now, all we had to do is descend back to the truck. At this point I just wanted to get home! My body was ready to shut down. Even the descent was killing me. I didn't turn the pedals over once. Barely made it to the truck.
The ride came out to 70 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing.
I get to pick the next ride!