Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sunrise Ride

Author: Les Becker

At 3:30am I was sound asleep. At the same time, Leon had wakened and couldn't go back to sleep, so was getting ready for an even earlier drive to the mountain. I arrived at the base of Sunrise road at 6:40 and Nick Moffit also just pulled up. The closed gate was a sign of choosing the perfect day. The road was open this weekend to bicycles and walkers but not yet to cars. Nick and I got 700 feet of climbing up the road when Leon and Scott Wager came zipping down, Leon with a tire that was going flat. We did an about face to join them. I wasn't sure how many trips they had made as Scott had a tendency at that moment to exaggerate (ha ha), but I assume that was their first.

Nick Moffit just below Sunrise

After swapping for new rear wheel (why patch the flat when you have a spare wheel in your car?) the four of us proceeded up the road again. This was one of many trips and parts of trips up the hill as small groups split and coalesced depending on how fast or how far we wanted to go. Leon stayed on the main hill up to the hairpin turn and viewpoint with 360 deg view to be efficient in getting total feet climbed since he planned to "Rainier". The rest of us rode to the upper parking lot on the next trip. There was a few feet of snow there. We met a rider who was carrying skis on his bike up to the snow. With no cars on the road I took liberty to sit in the middle of the road trying to get good pictures of John and Nick when surprised by a park van approaching - had to skidaddle out of the way.

John Winter, never breaks a sweat.

One trip up we ran into Mark on the upper slopes. He was having a good time in the sunshine. His busy schedule had prevented much training before this ride so I was impressed that he took this on as an "early season" training ride. Another trip, we were surprised to see Mike Smith and Tammy catch up to us. They had ridden Cayuse and Chinook prior. Mike pushed the pace and I never felt the same after that. Thanks Mike!

Me, feeling there is no other place in the world I would rather be.
Toward the end of my riding I had only one speed left: "just keep the bike rolling" but really enjoyed a chance to ride on such a beautiful and peaceful road talking to Leon. After my 9,000 ft I left Leon to finish his impressive 14,500, the first Rainiering, I presume, in the Cyclopath club this year.

Following "perpetual motion" Leon.
Thanks to Leon or Mike, whoever planned this ride to coincide with the bikes only weekend. It was like having our own private playground. Will do it again next year.

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