Saturday, February 23, 2008

95 Miles Of Up And Down - Hills of the Eastside Solo Tour

I slept through the alarm this morning, and once I did wake up my big plan of taking the bus to Everett and then cycling up to Conway didn't sound so appealing anymore. I went back to sleep - it was 5:45 A.M. after all! (The SiR ride was in Conway at 9 A.M. today, it looked like a great route, but I just couldn't make it.)

Instead I did a solo ride with three main goals: climbing Tiger Mountain (~700 ft), Cougar Mountain (1400 ft), and Tolt Hill (500 ft) - since it was sunny and dry outside, I took the Ciocc out for a fast spin. The route was Seattle to Renton to Issaquah to Tiger Mtn to Issaquah to Cougar Mountain to (almost) Fall City to Carnation to Redmond to Bellevue and back to Seattle.


In the end it wasn't necessarily a 'fast' ride, but the light Ciocc (with nice light wheels on it too) is a race bike, and it rides like one! A max gear of 53x11 lets me scream down hills, I think my max speed for the day was about 71 km/h, going down Inglewood Drive out in Sammamish. But the smallest gear I've got on the Ciocc is 39x23, which is probably the most I could push up Cougar, but somehow I made it without stopping.

The views of the Cascade Mountains (and Mt. Baker too) were incredible from Cougar Mtn! And the closer-up view of the Cascades from the road to Carnation were sweet too. I didn't have a camera, but just imagine snow-capped peaks and 4,000 ft cliffs.

I hadn't done Tolt Hill in a few months, and had forgotten how tough that climb really is! Same with Cougar Mountain. But in the end, I counqured them all and got some more miles under my belt.

My computer read 154.6 km at the end of the ride, with 6 hrs and 30 minutes of rolling time recorded. The average speed was only 23 km/h, but with all the climbing it was the best I could muster. Check out the elevation graph, you can really see how mighty Cougar Mountain puts all of the other climbs in perspective. (Click to enlarge)

Start time: 10:15 A.M.
End Time: 6:00 P.M.
Total Distance: 155 km (95 miles)
Average Speed: 23.5 km/h

1 comment:

Robert Higdon said...

You were missed yesterday. It was a beautiful ride, but it sounds like yours was at least as epic. That looks like a lot of fun. You should consider retracing the Conway route though, it is amazing.