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High Pass Challenge, How hard is it?

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High Pass Challenge, How hard is it?

Old 07-20-12, 11:06 PM
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High Pass Challenge, How hard is it?

I've been debating doing the High Pass Challenge this year. https://shop.cascade.org/content/even...pass-challenge
Cascade makes it seem like a very gruelling route "If you cruised the one-day STP with energy to spare, upgrade your challenge to the HPC, which dishes out more than 7,500 feet in elevation gain over 114 miles."
The route does look challenging, but not incredibly difficult.
Has anyone done it? can you compare it to other rides?

My background. Picked up riding again 2 years ago. Did a few centuries last year and 2 day STP. This year did the one day STP and attempted the tour de blast, but was turned back by weather. I still made it to the Elk Rock view point 3750' elevation after starting at 500' and my legs still felt good. So do you think I could make it?


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Old 07-21-12, 12:33 AM
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My ex-boss did this and he's an animal. I won't be out there. Knock yourself out.
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Old 07-21-12, 01:34 PM
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As a friend of mine says, "there's no whipping like a pass whipping". What sort of riding are you doing to prepare? The more you do to prepare the more enjoyable the ride. For me, at minimum, I would want to be comfortably riding 70% of this distance and elevation gain beforehand.
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Old 07-22-12, 02:10 AM
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If you did the 1 day STP then the 114 miles is no sweat, just train up for the power needed for elevation gain. OR, make sure you've got the gears to spin up the grades.
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Old 07-22-12, 06:14 AM
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Hi - I did this ride a few years ago and it was challenging but not the hardest thing ever. Harder than a century; not as hard as RAMROD. The good news is comes at the end of the summer when you have plenty of time to get into shape.

I think one reason for the warning is that the road surfaces are not good (at least not when I rode it). There are a lot of cracks in the pavement, and during the descent down from the pass you get going pretty quickly. In places there are patches of shade and sun and you really need to keep an eye on the road surface. Also, in the last 20 to 25 miles or so, there is a fair amount of chipseal, so that gets tiring at the end of the ride.

Study the elevation profile -- my memory is a pretty flat stretch at the beginning...then a l-o-n-g climb up to the blast area. Then you have a descent, a climb, then you turn around and have to climb out of the blast zone again. Then it's mostly downhill, with a couple of short but steep climbs toward the end. So the hardest climbs are in the first 40 to 50% of the ride (my memory...).

Another thing about this ride is Cascade does a pretty good job scaring off casual riders so the bozo factor is pretty low - lots of skilled riders, no numbskulls.

Give it a shot.
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Old 07-22-12, 02:36 PM
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Thanks for the input, I think I'll give it a go. That is if I can get my wife to buy off on it, I'll start that process today.
I think I should be fine, unless there are long sections (over a mile) over 10% grade, then my 39 x 25 might be taxed. Under 10% I can chug along.
I'll just keep doing my hill repeat route.
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