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'Bents really can't climb. A ride report.

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

'Bents really can't climb. A ride report.

Old 08-22-11, 01:33 PM
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banerjek
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'Bents really can't climb. A ride report.

I've been off the bike a lot due to work and vacation travel lately, but I thought it would be fun to take a recumbent to the Crater Lake Century. Since I was already clowning myself, I'd figured I may as well go all the way so I wore a jersey with polka dots that I got at the EC a few years ago.

It was about 75 degrees and sunny for most of the ride. It doesn't get better than that. Literally. And the scenery is fantastic. I always tell people that if someone only goes to one place in Oregon, it should be Crater Lake as that place never disappoints.

The first 30 miles or so are junk miles in scenic agricultural land. That's a nice way to open a ride, particularly if you encounter a bald eagle at close range, which I did.

What makes a 'bent suck on extended climbs is you can't rotate different muscle sets very well. That means that you must ease up on the effort to avoid risking cramping even if your engine is good. If your engine sucks like mine, then you're doubly screwed. It seemed like the only people I passed were ladies with gray hair.

The climb to the rim was worth it as it always is. The sights are great, and you get some rollers. We'd been given all these warnings about the roads being particularly crappy/dangerous, due to the late snow melt, but they were just fine.

I kept getting stuck behind vehicles or cyclists who looked a bit squirrely on the descents, so I never got a chance to go full bore even if I got into the mid 40's a few times.

The good news is that due to riding easy on the climbs, I felt way better than I normally do. I was actually able to eat and enjoy everything, and keeping keeping hydrated was also easy. The BBQ at the end of the ride tasted great, and my legs felt pretty good too. Ride video with some highlights below.

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Old 08-22-11, 01:57 PM
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Beautiful ride banerjek.

I did a group ride where the ride leader was on a bent (a Buchetta, or something like that) a few weeks ago. While we have a ton of hills in Austin, this route was more on the south side and more flat, so it was a pretty good workout trying to keep up with him. Every time we hit a hill, the rest of us on roadbikes would go flying past him and then he'd catch us on the next flat section.
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Old 08-22-11, 02:46 PM
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Very cool. Thanks for posting this video.
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Old 08-22-11, 02:48 PM
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I've only been to Crater Lake once, in 2002 or 2003. We were planning to camp near the rim, but it was buried under several feet of snow in early July.
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Old 08-22-11, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I've only been to Crater Lake once, in 2002 or 2003. We were planning to camp near the rim, but it was buried under several feet of snow in early July.
That's not unusual for that time of year. But camping in the snow is fun anyway.
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Old 08-22-11, 03:07 PM
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good video, and yes they do scream down hill, no question.
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Old 08-22-11, 04:47 PM
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Very, very nice. I would love to visit Crater Lake. It is now on my "To Do List" - something you mere mortals call a "Bucket List."

That descent was rebel yell worthy, BTW.
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Old 08-22-11, 04:47 PM
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But don't you get tired of looking at yer shoes?
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Old 08-22-11, 05:01 PM
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Sweet mother of Fred.
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Old 08-22-11, 06:24 PM
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Short and to the point! Thanks for posting!
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Old 08-22-11, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
But don't you get tired of looking at yer shoes?
Eye level is higher than the camera mount, so my view is better.

In any case, it beats the hell out of having nothing to look at except for some guy's butt. I suspect that's the real incentive to get a century done in under 5 hrs.
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Old 08-22-11, 07:22 PM
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Nice.
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Old 08-22-11, 08:04 PM
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Holy mother of Pcad, how fast were you going on that downhill?
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Old 08-22-11, 08:53 PM
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I really must try one of those bents out .... and visit Crater Lake

Great video!
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Old 08-22-11, 09:09 PM
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nice ride video
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Old 08-22-11, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ale_z View Post
Holy mother of Pcad, how fast were you going on that downhill?
When I'm riding at speed on surfaces that contain holes and loose rocks, I have to pay attention to the road so I usually don't see what's on the computer. I wasn't looking at that particular spot, but I hit 45 at least 3 times that day.

Originally Posted by radshark View Post
I really must try one of those bents out .... and visit Crater Lake
The best climb is up the south side, but the best descent is off the north rim. If you start out at Diamond Lake, climb up the north rim, drop down to Mazama village, climb back up on the south side, and do your final descent down the north rim you get all the goodness. I haven't added it up, but that should give you over 10K feet of elevation gain.

The descent off the North rim is one of my favorite anywhere. It's smooth with wide sweeping turns that feel steady at 50mph so long as the winds aren't gusting. You can keep up with highway traffic and it totally freaks them out. Plus the cars actually drive fast on that section. On the rest of the rim, the vehicular traffic will slow you down.
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Old 08-22-11, 10:25 PM
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Awesome, and as has been said already... nice and short. 45 is plenty fast in my book. love the view from the top... the view of the shoes was only so so.
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Old 08-23-11, 12:45 AM
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Thanks for the share! Awesome.
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Old 08-23-11, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
In any case, it beats the hell out of having nothing to look at except for some guy's butt. I suspect that's the real incentive to get a century done in under 5 hrs.
You have a strong point there.
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Old 08-23-11, 08:00 AM
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Wow. Reading this is the closest I've ever been to a recumbent rider.
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Old 08-23-11, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Wow. Reading this is the closest I've ever been to a recumbent rider.
And how does that make you feel?
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Old 08-23-11, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Freds really can't climb.
fixed.
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Old 08-23-11, 08:07 AM
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man...this just got put on my list of places to go/ride!
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Old 08-23-11, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
And how does that make you feel?
Surprised. I thought they all had beards and wore flannel shirts and jeans
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Old 08-23-11, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Surprised. I thought they all had beards and wore flannel shirts and jeans
You are not entirely incorrect -- here's a picture from me taken in 1993 (I'm the guy in the middle).

However, I never even considered riding anything other than road bikes until more than 10 years after losing the beard.

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