Saturday, May 25, 2013

2013_05_25 Impromptu Ride (Orting --> Wilkeson --> Carbonado --> Fairfax Bridge --> Carbonado --> Buckley --> Mud Mountain Dam --> Buckley --> Orting)

Author:  Mike Hassur

Since we cancelled the Cyclopath Snow Ride (potentially bad weather) and replaced it on the spur of the moment with a ride out of Orting, we weren’t sure how many people would show up.  In the end, we had a pretty good turnout:  Les, Leon, Scott, John, Brent, Kurt, Nick, Erik, Mark, Conor, David, Duane, and I as well as Chris & Chet (two friends of Conor and David who joined us) – hope I didn’t forget anyone.  Chet drove all the way from Edmonds to join us!  Even Rob Critchfield and Chris Allen stopped by the start to say hello - though they were heading out toward Ashford and Packwood and didn’t ride with us.  We were on our bikes heading out of Orting by 7:45 AM. 

We cruised along the trail toward South Prairie visiting all the way.  As usual, it was a nice “warm up”.

At South Prairie, Leon peeled off from the group as he did not want to go up the Tubbs Road Climb (which is still a bit steep for him at this point in his rehabilitation).  He continued through South Prairie on the main highway (in the end, Leon road all the way to Carbonado and back which was a pretty nice ride considering he had done over 100 miles the day before – I think the rehabilitation is going well). 

The group went up the Tubbs Road Hill at different speeds with Chris, Chet, and Conor leading the way. 

We re-grouped (and hit the bathroom) in Wilkeson.  Back on our bikes and heading out of Wilkeson, the hill going up to Carbonado once again split our group.  We rode in various groups out to the Fairfax Bridge where we re-grouped and headed back toward Carbonado.    Since it is a gentle downhill, the ride back to Carbonado was quick. 

Past Carbonado, we blew down the hill toward Wilkeson.  I’m not sure what the top speeds were for the rest of our group, but my Garmin recorded a little over 40 mph on that stretch. 

Most of the group stayed together in a pace line from Wilkeson through Burnett and on over to Buckley, so that stretch was fun and quick.  

After Buckley, we took the back roads to the Mud Mountain Dam climb.  We were all separated on the climb, but we re-grouped at the top.  The descent down highway 410 separated us again with Conor, Chris, Chet, and Scott going fast at the front.  They continued that pace back through Buckley, South Prairie, and all the way back to Orting.  I’ll bet it was fun.  The rest of us formed groups and rode the same route back at a decent clip (visiting most all of the way).   Once Scott and Conor got to Orting, they turned around and came back out to meet us.  John and Kurt had gotten separated from us between Enumclaw and Buckley and were “time trialing” behind us trying to catch us (John had called my cell phone to find out where we were).  We all came together by the farm that has the bison, long-horned steers, etc.; and enjoyed the ride into Orting together. 
Unfortunately, I did not get a pic of all 15 guys on today's ride
This turned out to be an enjoyable ride.  Lots of good guys, and the weather was great (overcast and in the 50’s with no rain – perfect).

It’s too bad that we couldn’t do the Cyclopath Snow Ride today.  Next week is the logical time to try to do it; but, unfortunately, I’m on call and can’t go.  If anyone would like to get a group going up there next weekend, let me know.  I’ll be happy to send out an email to see who is interested if you want me to.

Looking forward to the Skate Creek Loop Ride on June 8th.

Link to todays photos (not many pics taken today):

Sunday, May 19, 2013

2013_05_19 Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race

Author:  Conor Collins

Mutual of Enumclaw stage race was great. I had a great TT finish of 2nd place. My Crit was good as well… finished at the rear of the lead pack, getting the same time. phew, job done… Maintaining my GC placing of 2nd.
          The most interesting was the Road Race.  I started at 9:45, 15 Minutes after the CAT 4's, and about 7 minutes after the Masters 35+. It wasn't raining, and fairly warm outside, so with a quick warm up, and signing in, it was time to ride. While lining up at the start line I was looking out for the rider with the faster GC time than me…. turns out he was a Triathlete, with very little road experience…. just somewhat fast at TT's. Once the race began, the 5's were taking their time. I'm guessing they were trying to save energy for the climb…? ha! yeah right. I took the lead right away in the Climb, and stayed like that all the way to the top, once past the turn at the top came a 1.5 - 2 mile false flat. I didn't bother to look back until that point, and I noticed it was only me, and 3 other riders that worked their butts off to catch up. Turns out it was the guy with 1st overall in the GC, the guy behind me (3rd in the GC) and another strongish climber. 
          We managed to hold our own through the decent, and through lap 2. I think at one point we had over a 4 minute lead over the rest of the "Pack." Since we knew we gained a gap significant enough to hold for the rest of the race, the pressure began to build… who was going to win?? Well… thankfully, we had the climb to come. Before then I didn't really have a tactic in mind, but one came to me right before the climb. I decided to get to the front, and push the pace… all the way up the climb. My legs were feeling great, so I kept increasing the tensions. At one point, the one sprinter of the group told me to "Hold up" or "Slow down" haha!! This is a road race pal, not a group ride. 
          At the top of the climb, I could tell my plan was working, their legs were cooked. And so were their mindsets. They kept asking me how my legs felt after pushing up the entire length of the climb… little did they know. We managed to catch the entire Master 35+ pack, and maybe even
some of the CAT 4's that were far off the back. After a rapid decent on 410, we had a fast turn and with only about 2 KM to go, everyone began looking at each other. I knew they were tired, especially when i began my own attack with 1 KM to go. They didn't even bother to respond. after the final turn, the sprinter attempted to catch me, but I managed to cross the line 1st for the Cat 5's. Overall in the GC 2nd place, and very pleased with the result. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Puyallup Cyclopaths: Alder Lake Loop Ride

Author:  Mike Hassur

Woke up at 4:00 AM and checked the outside temperature – 50 degrees – looking good for today’s ride. 

I picked up Leon at 6:15, and we drove to Orting.  This was Leon’s first Cyclopath Ride since “The Accident”, and it was exciting that he was joining us. 

We arrived at the meeting place (Orting, in front of the bike shop) at about 6:35 AM, started unloading our bikes, and waiting to see who showed up for the ride.  It didn’t take long.  First, Jim Wilcher (from the Seattle branch of The Puyallup Cyclopaths), arrived.  Then, people just started pouring in.  We ended up with thirteen guys (Leon and I thought maybe we would have 6 or 7):  Leon Matz, Les Becker, Nick Iverson, Jim Wilcher, Mark Delrosario, Dan Haller, John Winter, Martin Katzberg, Kurt Maute, Scott Larson, Duane (Les’ friend), Rex (Rob Critchfield’s friend), and me (Mike Hassur).  Apologies to Duane and Rex, I’ll learn those last names as we go.

As we headed out of Orting it was overcast and about 50 degrees.  It felt a little chilly at first (at least to me), but that only lasted about 10 minutes.  We headed south on Orville Road past the soccer fields and the old sawmill.  Everyone was talking as we rode – welcoming Leon back to the group, meeting the new guys, and just enjoying being out on a nice morning.  Before we knew it, we were past Lake Kapowsin and were heading to Lake Ohop (where we made the traditional bathroom stop at the boat launch).  While the group stopped; Leon, Jim Wilcher, and I headed on up the road. 
With Leon riding more slowly than usual as he recovers, we knew the group would catch up with us.  As we started up the long climb into Eatonville, we turned right about 200 yards up the climb onto Ohop Valley Road.  This beautiful road took us through the Ohop Valley (obviously!!) and over to the Mountain Highway west of Eatonville.  As we headed up the Mountain Highway toward Alder Lake, Leon left our group and took one of the cutoff roads back to Eatonville and then back home – NOT BAD FOR A GUY WHO SUSTAINED A BROKEN FEMUR AND HIP A FEW MONTHS AGO!! 

The Mountain Hwy climb up to Alder Lake is one of my favorite parts of this ride.  The road winds its way up to the lake – constantly climbing but never very steep.  It is scenic and a fun climb to push hard on (though on this ride we mostly “talked hard” rather than pushing hard going up). 
We took the obligatory group photo at the overlook with the Alder Lake Dam in the background; and then it was off to the Alder Lake Cutoff Road which took us back to Eatonville.  From there, we retraced our steps past Lakes Ohop and Kapowsin. 

We stopped at the turnoff to The Climb and separated.  Rex, Mark, Kurt, and Dan had to get home; so they headed back to Orting.  The rest of our group (John, Scott, Martin, Les, Nick, Duane, Jim, and me) took Camp One Road as we wanted to introduce Jim Wilcher to The Climb.  By this time; the sun was out, the sky was blue, and we visited all the way to the top of The Climb.  After The Climb, it was a fun paceline back to Orting. 

This year’s edition of The Alder Lake Loop Ride turned out to be just what it was intended to be:  relaxed, fun, and a chance to get some miles in our legs.  Things will begin to change with our next couple of rides:  The Chinook Pass Snow Ride and The Skate Creek Loop Ride (for more info see our 2013 ride schedule on our web page: ).  These will be mountain rides.  They are not extremely long rides (~40-50 miles and ~80 miles respectively), but there is lots of climbing.  If you find yourself lagging way behind on either of these rides, then you may not be ready for our more demanding rides (e.g. Triple-By-Pass, Reverse RAMROD, Quadruple-By-Pass, etc.).