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.)


c said...

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

riddenwords 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.