As I was heading out on my annual "take your thunderstick for a walk" journey, I thought that I would take a different route than normal and so I took the back route of Hwy 99 through Whistler to Lillooet otherwise known as the Duffy Lake Road. Seventy kilometers into a "Check your fuel,no services for 94 kilometers"section, I saw a fully loaded tourist plodding their way up the road in the drizzle so gave them a couple of toots and a wave. As I passed the rider I noticed a shock of silver hair poking out from under his helment. I was impressed with the thought that he had at long days journey ahead before he had a chance to relax in the comfort of his nights rest stop.A kilometer or so farther I saw a sign that brings great joy to a rider "downhill thirteen percent grade for six kilometers", my impression of the tourist went up a great amount on sighting that sign as it meant he just rode up it. At the six kilo mark there was another sign"downhill eleven percent for two kilometers". Ohkay impression notched upward at bit more then the road leveled out a little bit only a ten percent downhill for one kilo section. By now the road was travelling by a river and lake and was nice and level with only a few bumps and dips. All the time I'm thinking of some of the folks on this page who talk about the trouble they have(self included) climbing a slope of six or seven percent for a couple hundred meters or so. Now the elevation of Lillooet is listed as 240 meters and let's give the rider a bonus of 10 meters to get to the bottom of the hill. By my calculations he had just finished climbing 1100 meters over nine kilometers (3600ft/5.4 miles)when I passed him. The summit of the pass he was headed for is listed as 1275 so he still had some levelish riding with just a few ups and downs to do before he gets to enjoy the downhill to Mt.Currie area at about 200 meters elevation. Oh, and by the way that downhill is about the same grades as the uphill section but longer that he just finished.
Guys like him are amazing. I met a man in Austria who looked about 70 and was doing a 1000 km trip over 10 days, including many Alpine passes. My 75 km that day along the valley was paltry in comparison.
Road bike, road bike, road bike (folder). See a trend here?
Nah on the doper.
Over the summer I failed to meet a guy who came up to Newfoundland specially to complete his efforts to ride a century in every state/province. He drove in just the night before that day of an organized tour and left the same day to drive back to the U.S. East Coast. From memory he was 70 something, and Newfoundland was his last state/province to complete.
Yeah, you see riders out there like that. I was out on the road that goes through Escalante from Torrey to Capital Reef. It has lots of climbing and it is in the middle of the "enchanted staircase" of Utah. I saw a lone fully loaded female ride doing that road. You just shake your head. It is amazing what people can do with perserverence, determination and some training.