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Skykomish to Steven's Pass: 2,900 feet in 11.5 miles (w/ mediocre pics)

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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

Skykomish to Steven's Pass: 2,900 feet in 11.5 miles (w/ mediocre pics)

Old 10-17-11, 11:21 AM
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Seattle Forrest
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Skykomish to Steven's Pass: 2,900 feet in 11.5 miles (w/ mediocre pics)

I got a late start Saturday, pretty exhausted from Friday night. I thought Steven's Pass would be closer (less time driving) than Mt Rainier, which was a mistake, but that's where I went. I took the first legit-seeming parking spot on the side of the road, and had a short mountain ride. LBS had lent me a set of Zipp 303s for my mountain adventure.

At one point I stopped to take a photo of a river I was crossing. Someone going the other way pulled over, lowered the window, and asked me where I was going. When I said "up over the pass," the guy said it was awesome, wished me luck, and took off on his way. About five miles later, a lady coming down the mountain honked a few times and flashed her lights; I nodded, and she stopped beeping and waved at me. It was a weird reception, but I didn't see another bike on the road the whole time, so maybe these were fellow cyclists cheering me on.

A 60 mph limit and a narrow shoulder is no fun. It's not so much the close passes, as the turbulence the cars and trucks throw off. That was kind of unnerving at 35 mph. Also, toward the pass, there were signs that said "Pedestrians & hitchhikers prohibited." It didn't mention cyclists, and I've heard of people riding here before ... but, combined with the speed, curves, and narrow shoulders, it doesn't make you feel warm and fuzzy.

Sorry about the crappy image quality - these came from my cell phone.

My R3 at Deception Falls:

















I made it!



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Old 10-17-11, 11:22 AM
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Seattle Forrest
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I didn't take many pics of the descent.





http://connect.garmin.com/activity/122398993#
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Old 10-17-11, 11:29 AM
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DEK
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Nice pics. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-17-11, 11:39 AM
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What did you think of the wheels, comared to the Mad Fibers?
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Old 10-17-11, 12:02 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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I need to do more riding on the Madfibers to really say. But I was impressed with the Zipps. They feel faster ... people keep telling me the MFs aren't especially aero, and I think the Zipps are. Both are pretty comfortable, and both spin well. Other than when I was getting passed by lines of cars and trucks, I the 303s seemed to stabilize my line down the mountain. They accelerated very well, too.
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Old 10-17-11, 12:36 PM
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Nice scenery. Nice bike too.
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Old 10-17-11, 04:32 PM
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Juan Foote
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Man, if that is what you consider a narrow shoulder, you need to come ride the road I have to get on any time I leave for a ride....

Thanks for the pics and story. It is nice to experience such things vicariously.
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Old 10-17-11, 04:37 PM
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The shoulder got wider in some places, and narrower in others; anywhere from about 150 feet (truck pull-outs) to shoulder width. But, point still taken - low and often wide city roads can spoil a person in that regard.

I need a better camera than the one in my phone!
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Old 10-17-11, 04:59 PM
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Right purty, but still not enuf to make me want to move back to the Sound.

SP
Bend, OR
...formerly of Kenmore, WA.
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Old 10-17-11, 08:45 PM
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A number of rides and clubs go across this pass so it's perfectly fine to do so on a bike.

There are also a few backroads you can take to get you off some of the highway. Go to Bicycle Quarterly's website and the might have the link there.
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Old 10-17-11, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
The shoulder got wider in some places, and narrower in others; anywhere from about 150 feet (truck pull-outs) to shoulder width. But, point still taken - low and often wide city roads can spoil a person in that regard.

I need a better camera than the one in my phone!
At least you have some shoulder. Most roads here do not.

The pictures were just beautiful. Looking at them inline, I can't tell they were taken by an cell phone camera.
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Old 10-18-11, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
Right purty, but still not enuf to make me want to move back to the Sound.

SP
Bend, OR
...formerly of Kenmore, WA.
I can understand since you were from Kenmore. Matter of fact, I would not have mentioned I was from there.
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Old 10-18-11, 09:58 PM
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You gotta like the cadence spikes the Garmin likes to record.
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Old 10-18-11, 10:10 PM
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Driven that road many times in college back and forth between WAZZU and Oak Harbor. Very dangerous in the winter. Such a beautiful road. Like Butcher said, still not enough to make me want to move back north. I like to be warm.

EDIT - woops, I was thinking Snoqualmie Pass which is just a few miles south of that. Still a beautiful place.

Last edited by pgjackson; 10-18-11 at 10:13 PM.
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