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Old 07-18-10, 07:50 PM   #1
BengeBoy 
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53 year old rides 53 miles in 53 degree weather -- in July (ride report w/pics)

OK, I cheated a little bit. It was actually 51 degrees when I set out on my ride this morning, and the total mileage was 54, but I liked the 53 theme.

I've got some good mileage this year, but no long climbs in the mountains. With RAMROD coming up, I decided I needed some vertical miles so I headed out to Mt. Rainier National Park, parked just outside the park entrance and headed up to the Sunrise Visitor Center.

It was chilly when I set out -- I wore knee warmers, a base layer under my jersey, and arm warmers.

From where I parked my car, it's just over 20 miles to the top...about 19.5 of that is straight up.



Plenty of snow by the road near the top.



Bike enjoying the view.



Obligatory shot of bike on Sunrise sign, w/Mt. Rainier looking on. Elevation is 6,400 at this point.



Plenty of others out on the road today -- probably saw 15 or 20 other cyclists either ascending or descending the road to Sunrise (it's about 2 hours from the city to get to any of the places where cyclists start from).

I chatted w/these two at the top; they were out to do 100 miles today.





National Park Service visitor center at the top.


View of Mt. Rainier on the way down. This is a pretty nice descent -- they've been repairing rough patches in the road this summer, so it feels relatively safe. I kept it below 40 miles an hour...zoomed along at 25 to 35 mph most of the way down.

I had taken my arm warmers and knee warmers off during my climb up, but put the arm warmers back on for the descent.




After I got to the bottom, I did another climb up to Crystal Mountain Ski Resort -- about six miles straight up from where I parked my car. Very nice ski resort, undergoing renovation and expansion.



Descent from Crystal Mountain. Windy as heck; a gust caught me at one point and almost blew me over.



Great day; great scenery; nice roads; polite drivers. It was 71 degrees when I got back to my car.
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Old 07-18-10, 08:00 PM   #2
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Beautiful. I need to get out that way for a ride.
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Old 07-18-10, 08:00 PM   #3
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Great scenery and ride.

I have never ridden in the mountains. On the decent, to keep it below 40mph do you have to ride your breaks most of the time?
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Old 07-18-10, 08:00 PM   #4
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Congrats & thanks for the pix! Never been there, beautiful county!
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Old 07-18-10, 08:04 PM   #5
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I have never ridden in the mountains. On the decent, to keep it below 40mph do you have to ride your breaks most of the time?
Sometimes, but not on this particular road. It's a gradual climb, with a couple of steep spots, but generally just a steady pull. Going down, whenever I thought I needed to slow down I would just sit up and become "less aero."

Some of the foothills around Seattle with suburban roads on them are actually a fair amount steeper than these big mountain climbs -- it's not uncommon to top 45 mph in the suburbs around here unless you're on the brakes.
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Old 07-18-10, 08:10 PM   #6
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Hey BB send some of that weather down here. Looks like beautiful riding scenery.
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Old 07-18-10, 08:15 PM   #7
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I should have been riding today but the carport project isn't gonna get done if I don't start it so that was my weekend. Buying the needed lumber to repair what I had to tear out. Some rotted lumber and we had to take the roof of the carport last summer to do the bedroom. Dumpster in the carport and the bedroom debris out the windows in to the dumpster. Gonna ride next Sunday I don't care if its raining or not.
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Old 07-18-10, 08:41 PM   #8
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WOW-great pics and details. The overnight low in Vegas was 92, the pavement was killer by 8am.
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Old 07-18-10, 08:49 PM   #9
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Your photos are beautiful! When I rode today temp. was 95 degrees but humidity was 53%! 51 degrees sounds refreshing right about now!
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Old 07-19-10, 10:38 AM   #10
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Great ride and great pics
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Old 07-19-10, 04:02 PM   #11
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Thanks for posting. Love the pics. Due to the heat, most of our snow is gone - even at 14,000 feet.
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Old 07-20-10, 08:26 PM   #12
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Wow, what a great ride! Thanks for the pics.
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Old 07-21-10, 12:04 AM   #13
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Birthday ride?
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Old 07-21-10, 07:39 AM   #14
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Birthday ride?
Not yet. Just getting ready for RAMROD. The thread title came to me when I was thinking that in addition to "riding our age" each year we should also try to "ride our age in temperature" each summer.

My birthday is next month -- I'm trying to think about where I could get to that would still be 54 degrees in late August; I think maybe first thing in the morning on top of one of our local mountain passes might do.

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