Thursday, August 9, 2007

What gives you 1,360 meters of elevation gain and is 115 km long?

The two lakes loop route I did yesterday, that's what! The 115 km/71 mi route goes through Seattle, Renton, Issaquah, Redmond, Bothell, Shoreline, then back to Seattle! I call it the 'two lakes loop' since you go all the way around Lake Washington & Lake Sammamish - quite the distance covered.

I had a strong ride, easily holding 35-40 km/h on the flat sections like Rainier Ave, although there were some fairly strong head/crosswinds. Coming out of the woods on Highway 900 towards Issaquah, there's a nice downhill that lasts a mile or two, and I was holding 60 km/h (37 mph) no problem, drafting behind a minivan - damn that was fun!

That spike in the middle of the profile is Cougar Mountain, the 1,100-ft climb that probably averages 8-10% grade:

I was averaging a cool 30 km/h by the time I got to the Zoo climb at Cgr Mountain - but the avg speed dropped after that! Going up the Cougar Mtn climb I'm lucky if I can keep 10 km/h on the steeper sections..

I noticed a shell of a old wrecked car down in one of the ravines - it probably went over the railing decades ago. If only I could climb down there and take some pictures! I bet there's quite the story behind that wreck...

Anyway I ended up with a 27 km/h (16.7 mph) average, not bad considering the climbs involved. 4 hours and 15 minutes in total, 30 minutes off the bike. (I brought three water bottles and plenty of snacks, so I didn't even have to stop for refills this time - I need to keep that up, saves time and dough.)


Anonymous said...

You must be really fit to have done 4000ft of climb in 115 kms and with that impressive average.

Anonymous said...

Hills must be in the air these days. I cannot stop myself. I've got to get down to Issaquah to ride that Zoo hill soon. Ride on.