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Rr: Ramrod

Old 07-29-11, 04:04 PM
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Rr: Ramrod

Yesterday I took the day off work and rode RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day). Great supported ride put on by a local bicycle club, limited (by the National Park Service) to 800 riders. I think that BengeBoy has done this ride. Here are a few photos and some commentary:

We started at 5:20am and the first 30 miles were along a highway with a lot of trucks going by. Luckily there was a good shoulder:



Presently we turned off the highway, rode a bit and then entered Mt. Rainier National Park where they had a special entry lane for RAMROD riders. All we had to do was show our BIB number:



Now the ride started to get good. We rode along rivers laden with glacial silt:


Through old-growth forests:


Along the way we were treated to many views of Mt. Rainier such as this one:


We had three climbs, two big and one small.


But three climbs means three descents which were screaming fast and fun! :thumbsup:

Actually that last climb to Cayuse Pass was a bit of a ball-buster...it started at about mile 99, and was on a south-facing slope so there was little shade. Here is the top of the climb, looking back down the road - glad to be done with that climb:



Headed down from Cayuse Pass and had about 35 miles to ride back towards the starting point. Downhill, yes, but into a 10-15 MPH headwind...

Here is a photo about four miles from the finish. This is the opposite side of Mt. Rainier from where the photo above was taken:



Ride stats:
Distance: 150 miles
Cumulative Elevation: 9,589 feet
Total time: 10:33

I have a friend who was a National Forest Backcountry Ranger in his younger days. He used to load up a horse and pack mule and head into the backcountry for weeks at a time. He talked about days when it all came together, the load on the animals was perfect, the day was perfect, the trail was perfect - he called them "glory rides". Well this was a glory ride for me - the weather was fantastic, the ride was awesome, I felt great and my bike worked to perfection. Hoping to do this one again in the future!
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Old 07-29-11, 05:46 PM
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Hey woodway,

Great post and pictures. Can you do a newbie like me a favor? Can you please provide a few more details about your bike, how it was set up, what kind of snacks you ate and the beverages you drank? This will give me the benefit of your experience and help me learn how to prepare for endurance rides. Thank you.
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Old 07-30-11, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Banded Krait
Hey woodway,

Great post and pictures. Can you do a newbie like me a favor? Can you please provide a few more details about your bike, how it was set up, what kind of snacks you ate and the beverages you drank? This will give me the benefit of your experience and help me learn how to prepare for endurance rides. Thank you.
And more important --What Pie?

Great ride but only one day off? Think I would need a couple just to get over the first hill and still two more to go.
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Old 07-30-11, 03:55 AM
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Fantastic!

I met a couple from Seattle on a cycling trip to the Costa Blanca, Spain in Spring 2007. The man, Greg, had the word RAMROD written on his bike so I asked him about it and he told me all about the event. It is just the kind of thing that I like to do when I have the fitness. I know there is a lottery to get into the event but maybe I'll try and do it if I ever get round to my cycling holiday of a lifetime in the USA.
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Old 07-30-11, 11:05 AM
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Sounds like a fantastic ride and the photos are awesome. Living in Central Florida, all I can post is woods, surf and strawberry fields. I am so ready to retire again so I can hit the different parts of this country and do some riding with the wife.
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Old 07-30-11, 12:05 PM
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Banded Krait: Nothing fancy about my setup and approach to a ride like this. My bike is a Soma DoubleCross DC, a steel cyclocross bike. It's actually my daily commuter, I just pulled the rack and fenders off it for this ride. Disc Brakes, 700x25c Continental Gatorskin tires, 50/34 compact double crank on the front and a wide-range 11-30 cassette on the back helped with the hill climbing. As far as drinking/eating goes, you need to start getting in some longer rides and figure out what works for you. This was a supported ride with food stops about every 30 miles so I ate some of what the club was offering: bagels, oatmeal cookies and fruit, plus I brought along some of my own personal favorites - PayDay bars and Peanut M&M's. I just drink water when I ride, maybe a coke now and again as I have found that the "sports drinks" don't agree with me on long rides. But everyone is different on what their stomach can handle. One thing I have found is that I like to nibble constantly on long rides. I load up the pockets in my jersey and eat as I go (I accidently left a oatmeal cookie in my jersey pocket and it went through the wash...my wife was not amused). If I stop at a rest point and pound down too much food my stomach cannot process it and I'll start to feel sick later in the ride. The most important thing to enjoy endurance rides is saddle time leading up to the ride!

stapfam: Unfortunately no pie on this ride, but my wife is making blueberry pie for tomorrow. Yum, my favorite and worth the wait! Also, only one day off. I strapped the rack and fenders back onto my bike and rode it to work the next day.

ColinJ and John_V: This ride is a good one. You have to get through the lottery to get in, but it's worth it!

Last edited by woodway; 07-30-11 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 07-30-11, 12:43 PM
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Great pictures. Sounds like a fabulous ride.
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Old 07-30-11, 01:05 PM
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WOW what a great ride. I was out there last year, but I didn't have my bike. Anyhow nice going.
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Old 07-31-11, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by woodway
Yesterday I took the day off work and rode RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day). Great supported ride put on by a local bicycle club, limited (by the National Park Service) to 800 riders. I think that BengeBoy has done this ride.

Woodway -- thanks for posting the pics! I did, indeed, do Ramrod this year and I was going to go out and volunteer on the course this year but had to be out of town.

Looks like you had a great day for the ride; what a fantastic route. You're right - the climb up Cayuse is a ball-buster; it's the sun, the fact that' you've already got 100 miles in your legs, etc. When I watch the Tour de France and see them ending 100+ mile legs with 2 or 3 big climbs in a row I always remember what it was like to climb Cayuse after 100 miles.
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Old 07-31-11, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy
When I watch the Tour de France and see them ending 100+ mile legs with 2 or 3 big climbs in a row I always remember what it was like to climb Cayuse after 100 miles.
My riding partner and I were talking about how the RAMROD route was probably about equal to a difficult stage in the TdF, and how the pros would have finished the route in half the time that we did...and gotten up the next day and done it again. Amazing! I'm going to enter the lottery and try to get in again next year.
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