On Jun 27, 2012, at 9:36 PM, Mike wrote:
> Wow, what a ride. This was my first 1200k and quite an experience.
> The volunteers were great. The riders were great.
The staffed controls were super as always. And hot showers in Naches
this year. Yay!
I enjoyed riding a fair bit with Matthew and Eric (I'd like to get in
touch with you guys, email me please).
The one flub I encountered was no one warned me the kitchen in Quincy
would be closing at my wake up time. I would have slept less. The
volunteers handling the sleeping accommodations should have been
informed so they could warn riders requesting late wake up times. In
the morning the kitchen folks should have been told there were still
riders sleeping. I was lucky the uneaten food had not been thrown out
yet. The volunteers were great, waiting on me hand and foot and
finding stuff I wanted that had already been packed up. Once Hugh (I
think it was) learned there were still several riders asleep he kept
some food aside for them.
> The weather... not so great although I guess it could have been even
The weather here is never like that. ;-)
Holy smokes it was horrible.
The week prior the weather suddenly changed to summer and I realized I
did not have enough good lycra for the ride. That turned out not to be
a problem! Wool was the order of the day, every day.
Riders who stayed through Wednesday or Thursday got to see what the
weather should have been like.
> The headwinds at the end of day 2 and beginning of day 3 were pretty
On my recumbent headwinds impede progress but are not as demoralizing
as on an upright. Crosswinds when climbing at low speed make for
difficult bike handling. I almost got blown off the road several times
the second night climbing (I think) Beverly Burke Rd.
I was so hammered on day 3 after climbing from Dry Falls that I turned
off on a farm road and took a nap. I set my alarm for 15 minutes but
was awakened by a farmer who, "Didn't want to run you over with mah
combine." I had slept through my alarm so I thanked him for waking me
up. According to my gps track I was only stopped for 25 minutes. If
the farmer hadn't come along I might have slept a couple of hours.
> The rain and cold on the descent down Washington Pass were a big
> bummer as I wasn't really able to enjoy the descent due to being so
That is a fun descent, 37 miles from Rainy Pass to Newhalem, but cold
even in good weather.
Conditions were brutal. I had dnf'd early that morning so I was in a
car. When the Mazama control was packed up no one had the foresight to
send thermoses with hot drinks in the cars. All we could offer the
riders was pretzels, cookies, and cold Coke. Coke and cookies were the
favorites. I half caught one rider who could not stand when she
stopped. I think Steve Davis made the right decision to abandon on the
descent. I think some other riders ought to have abandoned for safety.
The striking thing was there were also a number of riders in fine
shape, showing no signs of discomfort, let alone distress. I think we
are lucky no one had a serious accident on that descent.
The third night I was nodding off descending Loup Loup Pass, and lost
count of how many times I almost ran off the road. There was a sag
vehicle at the bottom so I quit there. Could I have ridden 20 more
miles to Mazama? Sure. Might I have ended up in a ditch? It seemed too
likely. I have no regrets.
The main thing I learned is I need to eat even more. I estimate I went
through 7000 calories a day. I learned I really like string cheese on
a ride (thanks Jennifer and Kole!).
Horrors aside, there were some beautiful moments. Skate Creek Rd was
as pretty as ever, and repaved no less! The moon setting over Rimrock
Lake with clouds lit by the sun from below the horizon. Stopping at
the top of Beverly Burke Rd at night and looking back, seeing the
field of red lights marking a wind turbine farm, and the red lights
atop the ridgetop turbines all blinking in unison. Riding through
miles and miles of nuthin' but wheat fields under wide-open skies near
And apologies to all who had to endure my squeaking rear wheel.