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.