Jun 27 2011

Crystal Mountain

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The weather started out gray, and cool with a little bit of drizzle. We made an early pit stop. I didn’t realize that Gail likes taking pictures. You can ask her about what pictures she took some time. Jon had a flat on the ride up to Greenwater, but otherwise it was pretty uneventful – the only question was how far up was Greenwater? I had about 21 and other people had 18 or 19. Richard slept in, but caught up to us at Greenwater. He averaged about 18 or so catching up – a nice warm up ride.

We decided to split up at Greenwater letting the faster riders go ahead. The ride to the base of the climb was only about 15miles beyond but it seemed longer. My stoker and I kept up with Eddie for a little while and then he dropped us – all I could see was him going on in the distance and soon he was just a speck on the horizon.

We regrouped at the base of the climb at about 11:30am. We started the climb at around 11:40am. We started off as a group, but after that it was every cyclist for him or herself.

Part way up I started to feel hungry and that was not a good sign. I should have stopped earlier but kept going until about a mile from the top when I told my stoker I had to get off the bike. I could not go any further unless I had something to eat.

Eddie caught up to us and worked out a cramp. He moved on and we finally got back on the bike. We couldn’t catch Eddie but at that point I just wanted to get to the top. It was a very bad bonk.

Lunch at the top was very good – the best part of the ride. We then got back on our bikes and rode down – chip seal, potholes, and all. We regrouped at the base and started the ride back to the high school.

Now I had done this ride a few times on my road bike and each time it was a lot of work getting back because you are normally in a headwind. But on a tandem, it was a lot different. I had not realized that there was an almost constant 1-2% grade going up to the base. But coming back it felt good. On a roadbike, you do have to work – but on a tandem it was a lot easier.

We stayed pretty much with Eddie and Heli. Heli got a flat going back, but we handily fixed it and regrouped at Greenwater. We then got into a group with Heather, Eddie, Janella, and Eric. Eddie pulled for a while, then Heather, and then Janella – she took on the headwind and pulled us up the last 1-2% (yes – there was a slight grade going up just before the Mud Mountain turnoff). A great pull from Janella!

The descent on Mud Mountain Dam road was as expected – William led the pack, though he later told me he was trying to “behave”. We lost Eddie, Daniel, and Doug on the flats; but they managed to get back to the main group. Eric and William had gone out to grab them and we managed to regroup at the high school. All in all, a good ride and a strong showing by all who went.

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  1. gail

    The six mile ride up the hill was exactly what Kary told me about and I always expect the worst. I added my pics to your blog Steve.

    1. blueneck

      See? It wasn’t so bad was it? And Kary always sprints up the “hill”….

  2. Buttersnotch

    I was experiencing serious knee pain after Greenwater, I think from dehydration. But on the climb up to Crystal, I got massive cramps in the legs. If I pedaled too hard, the muscles in my thighs and calves seized up. So I had to pedal really soft and slow instead, which made for a very long climb. A couple times I had to dismount and walk in order to get the cramps to loosen up. Next time, I pre-hydrate days in advance…which is what Heather tells me to do all the time…

    I can’t wait to do it again next year!

  3. blueneck

    As they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” But I agree. Next year I’ll be better prepared….wait, I’ve been saying that each year I’ve done this.

  4. Tailwind

    And once you got to the top the burgers were so good!

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