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It's all ball bearings
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Today was the 2006 Tour de Blast in SW Washington State...83 miles from the town of Toutle, WA up the Spirit Lake Highway to the Johnston Ridge Observatory overlooking Mt. St. Helens...and back to Toutle. Total climbing for the day, 6240' vertical, with 2 major climbs to Johnston and one major climb back. Something on the order of 1200 riders showed up, including everything from hardcore racer boys to ma and pop type recreational riders. Lots of tricked out race kit, as well as all kinds of weird non-road bikes.

This was my first non-race organized ride, and I had a ball (I had to resist using the word "blast" instead of "ball" here :) ). I wasn't in any particular hurry on the ride, but I was only passed by 8 people all day (not trying to throw flowers at myself or anything, I'm FAR from being the quickest rider around). I rode 80% of the ride solo, but I did hook on to one fast paceline for a bit towards the end...and we COOKED on the last downhill...but I had to drop off the back of it for an urgent potty break about 10 miles from the finish.

Max speed, 47.2 mph, average speed 17.0 mph, clock time something around 5:15. Really only stopped for 3 water breaks (lines for water refills were LONG, they even ran out of water at one stop), two pee breaks, and a quick photo op at the observatory.

Here are my photos, some may be blurry as I took them whilst riding. If you were at the ride today and would like to share some photos or words, please feel free to add on.

The general scene...it's not the longest or toughest organized ride ever (compared to Cali Death Ride, RAMROD, etc.) but it was still pretty burly for your average recreational rider.


Riding out of Toutle at the ride start.


Didn't take long for the scenery to start getting photogenic:


I didn't do the ride with any buddies or anything, so I had to go the self-portrait route:


Just stunning, this route was. And road conditions were primo.


Heading up the first major climb of the day.


Climbin, climbin. St Helens first comes into view. Incidentally, temps were somewhere between 85 and 90 in the sun, I'd guess. And I got me a VERY stylish sunburn:




A quick over-the-shoulder shot of some folks behind.


Did I say the road was gorgeous? Easily the most picturesque ride I have ever done.


This was the big, grueling climb up from Coldwater Creek to Johnston Ridge. I was hurtin at the end of this. Went WAY anerobic for far too long which hurt me later in the ride:


Yep, this is pretty much how I felt about this bit.


Pretty flowers, pretty volcano.


On the way back down the hill, homeward bound


One last tranquil little stream.


That's the ride! Hope you enjoyed.
 

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I did the ride also was a short kid riding with a red wsu jersey. I think i saw you going the other way on my way down the hill. For some reason the kona jersey just stuck out to me. anyways it was a wonderful ride highly recommended.

Wes
 

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All I wanted was a Pepsi!
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Nice burn. You can tell you're from the PACNORWEST, though. I'm in Memphis and have had the farmer tan going since mid-April. Rather be where you are, though!

Thanks for the shots, too - it really makes me homesick.
 

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It's all ball bearings
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5,285 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
jplatzner said:
Hey, I'm glad the pics are up. Very nice. I'm just cleaning up my stuff from the ride. My helmet was caked with salt. Guess that 'splains the cramping.
Yeah, I was pretty salty too. I got out of my truck at a gas station and a dog came up to greet me and started licking my calf, heh. Gross.
 

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BenWA said:
yeah, you hang the front of your bike by the brake levers. Kind of an odd idea, but it works.
Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh
why are you doing that to your leavers?!?!?!

those are nothing new but for brifter's sake hang it by the nose of your saddle!

Oh, and Cateye maks a nice little stem mount for their computers. I've got it on my TT bike but will even get one for my road bike. I like having the hand position avaliable adjacent to the stem...
 

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It's all ball bearings
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
dfleck said:
Oh, and Cateye maks a nice little stem mount for their computers. I've got it on my TT bike but will even get one for my road bike. I like having the hand position avaliable adjacent to the stem...
I figured somebody would pick up on my sideways computer! :D

I'll have to look into that stem mount idea, but then I'll have to retrain my brain to read the screen right-side-up again.
 

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Wow! great ride and photos! I've only been in the NW for a year now and had my eye on climbing up to the observatory. I didn't know there was an organized ride there.

What is the average grade on the major climbs? What's the max grade?

I'd like to try the ride one free weekend, or at least park somewhere on the way up and make my way to the observatory.

thanks for the great shots!
 

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It's all ball bearings
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tshirt: LMAO,:lol: there were actually quite a good number of hotties there.

Argentius: Bring lots of water if you go. Water stops are slim pickin's in the ~42 miles between Toutle and Johnston.

jeebus: there's a parallel thread in the PNW forum here: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=64330 where some guys posted profiles and such. They might be able to shed light on the grades. Nothing terribly steep, although I wished during the ride that I had a triple to keep my cadence up on some parts. I was surprised to see that the ride was actually 8400' of vert, compared to the 6250' that they had on their website.
 

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I heart team Zissou!
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T-shirt said:
Ok, I'm confused about something. Can you expound on this. I don't really, I mean, wha...what were you trying to say here? I don't understand; what do you mean?
err, all I'm going to say is that I would have looked the other way ... as in near the racks...

and, no...I don't mean the guy in the god-awful Saunier Duva-Prodir kit!
 
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