Jun 28 2010

Crystal Mountain Ride Report

Still standing and smiling at the end of the ride

The ride on Saturday (6/26) brought out sixteen people; one tandem with our youngest rider among all those who made it to the top and back. 

Youngest stoker there -- in fact the only stoker there...

The ride started out cold as is typical in the mountains. We had a little mist as we worked our way over to Hwy 410 but the riders were joyful – I think I even heard some singing in the back of the group. [the kids were singing so loudly that they did not hear Jrod yelling out FLAT! FLAT! They just kept on going…  –Tailwind] The pace was about 13 – 15 or so – nice and steady. We worked our way up to Greenwater at around mile 20 for a nice break.  [Then there was another nice stop for a view of Mt. Rainier — Tailwind]

Mount Rainier

 The next break came at around mile 35, the base of the climb.

First ones at the base of the climb

Just can't wait

What did we get ourselves into?

Though I told people it was 4%, Tailwind’s Garmin came in at around 6%. One rider had second thoughts about doing the climb, but she took on the challenge and handled it quite well. Litespeed took the KoM, but anyone who makes it up can wear some polka-dots or like me, see them on the climb. I don’t know the exact order of the finish at the top, but I think there were some interesting results that can tell you a little bit about who you are riding with. Great views on the way up; we saw a bit of snow at the higher elevations.

Go Granny Go!

Ready for the Tour de France

Made it!

The reward was lunch at the Alpine Inn; along with some really great weather! Everyone re-fueled and enjoyed a brief break. The temperature was not too hot and not too cold, but the sun was a little intense.

Wake me up when the food's outLemonade would be nice right now...


What we've been waiting for

Now we have some mass to go downhill

As always, the ride down was a little treacherous. There was almost a head-on as one car tried to pass us going down just as another car was coming up. Trying to avoid small potholes and rough and uneven pavement is a great way to improve your bike handling skills, but it’s always a little bone jarring. Our mountain bike riders were the first ones down, deftly handling the rough road and fast descent. We regrouped at the base and started into the notorious headwind along Hwy 410.  We stopped again at Greenwater for a break from fighting the headwind. Advice to those interested in doing this ride: go with a few others so you don’t have to face the headwind alone…unless you like riding in a wind tunnel. We re-grouped at the road leading to Mud Mountain Dam and followed the John Henry’s down toward the King County Fairgrounds and back to our starting point.

There are a few pictures. Naturally I have no clue where my camera is, so I didn’t bring it on the ride. But a couple of other folks had theirs and I hope they’ll be willing to share the shots. [photos have been submitted and interspersed in blueneck’s post! (hope he doesn’t mind) –Tailwind] It was a great ride: fun company, nice pace, food, cooperative weather, and wonderful scenery!

Overall distance: about 84.5 miles; Time: about 6hrs ride time; Elapsed time: about 9hrs. Tailwind will have more accurate data. [here they are- the ride stats for the 2010 Crystal Mountain Ride. –Tailwind]

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  1. blueneck

    Awesome pictures! Thanks for the stats – I really like the elevation gain graph. A classic mountain profile.

  2. Tailwind

    Thanks blueneck for the ride report. It was a really enjoyable ride and it was great to have a few new friends join us too! (Thanks Doug for some of the pics.)

  3. Litespeed

    Great ride! Good company! Spectacular views. Doesn’t get much better than that. Thanks everyone.

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