Just trying to digest the ride coming up in a week: 600km (375 miles), four mountain passes, under 40 hours. [link] Or over 40 hours, but no "official" credit for the ride - which wouldn't be altogether a failure, either way this ride will make for a great story.
Below is a map of the route - that's Seattle in the upper-left corner, and Yakima in the lower-right! And also you can see Mt. Rainier in the lower-left there. Wow. The scale of this ride is hard to comprehend, but the other brevets leading up to this have prepared me well. [full map]
The elevation profile of this 600k, from the RUSA64 blog - max height is 4,868 feet or 1,483 meters:
Everyone preparing for this ride is probably thinking, "how long will this take?" That's different for all of us of course, but here's a few guesses as to how I'll do based on previous ride stats:
- (ride to the ride, leave home at 3 AM - only 22.5 km (~14 miles) to get there)
- start in Issaquah 5 AM 6/7
- 200k 2 PM (9 hours, roughly in Leavenworth or just past it)
- 278k 6-7 PM Ellensburg, a little less than half way
- 400k 11PM-12 AM (9-10 hours, this is roughly the Rimrock Lake area, a possible sleep-spot)
- 600k 11AM 6/8 11 hours, back in Issaquah
- (ride home from Issaquah, probably at 10 km/h - 4 hours or 3-5 PM Sunday 6/8)
Random tidbits about 600k's - here and elsewhere:
- Mark Thomas has recently pre-ridden this year's route and written a moving preview
- Average time on last year's 600k: 31 hours 32 minutes (not a mountain brevet I believe)
- This rider's account of a davis, ca-area 600k - an interesting read
- Kent Peterson's story of the 2002 SiR 600k four pass brevet - the same one as this year but in reverse. And if you see a pile of rocks keeping chocolate milk cool in the shade on the side of a road, it just might be placed there by the ride support! Who would have guessed?
Today (Sunday) I went out for a 77km spin: Seattle to Renton via Lake Wa Blvd, then Renton to Issaquah via Highway 900/Sunset Road, then Cougar Mtn summit, then back to Seattle. Not a huge ride, but I figure I needed to pack in all the climbing I can before the Big Day. The legs felt pretty good, and I even "sprinted," or tried to, going up Cougar. I hit 30 km/h (~18 mph) ona false-flat part, and it took about 25 minutes to make it all the way up. It's hard to compare this to a mountain pass, but I think I'm ready!
Update: you can read how the ride went here.