Well, I guess I’m ready for Ride the Rockies. Today was a brutal day—83 miles, close to 7000 feet of climbing on a classic ride in the Shenandoah Valley. SkyMass. Starts in Front Royal, VA and goes up Skyline Drive to Rt 211 (about 31 miles)—then a long downhill into Luray. From Luray, up Massanutten mountain (brutally hard hill…) then rollers back to Front Royal. Temperature in the high 80’s and very humid. It was a brutal day. I rode the folder—the dahon Speed P8 that I plan to take to Colorado in 2 weeks. I changed the tires from the big apple’s to marathons, and shaved a pound or so off the total weight, but the bike is still heavy, and although I was fine on the rollers, flats and downhills—I was slow going up the long steep hills. Skyline Drive was OK—I didn’t get dropped too badly. Massanutten was another story—that is a tough hill with ramps approaching 16%... the last 20 were tough as my back and triceps started to hurt—riding with a fast group is very different from riding alone. Total time, including stops, was 6 hours flat. I feel really good about that.