For your reading pleasure, this will be Dave and Rick’s first ever “joint” post, as we combine Dave’s prose, and Rick’s photos and insightful comments! It is Day 3 of the Olympics, and to show our solidarity and commitment, today we undertook what even George didn’t… the ride to Lakeview and back… 42 miles round trip.
To set the stage, this past week, Rick, Connor and Dave drove up to the Chilco trailhead for the Chilco hike, and Dave and Rick thought, “hmmm, this could be a cool bike ride too… a nice uphill, quiet road…” all good, right up until Dave lost his cell phone, with all 300 numbers on the hike… yes, the bonehead shouldn’t have had it on, but, anyhoo…
Well, the day after that, Dave and Lisa rode up to the trailhead so Dave could leave a reward note for his phone. 9.3 miles from FART Headquarters to the trailhead, with 4.3 miles straight up in Granny gear. Lisa hadn’t been on her bike as much as she would have liked, and so the uphill, which resembles a Tahoeish climb and is good training, was an awakening. While we were at the trailhead, which is located at a “major” forest road junction, indicated that Lakeview was “only” and additional 12 miles from there… “hmm,” we thought. Dave had a couple of extra hours on Friday, and decided to do the ride again, at full speed (in 90 degree heat) with a 5 mile run after, and the ride was good, but he almost died on the run :)), and the stage was set.
We did a 12 mile “sprint” on the bikes on Saturday (2 loops), in between Olympic sessions, and with the optimism of the unaware, on Sunday, the three of us decided to undertake the little trek to Lakeview. We purchased and installed our new towing systems on Dave and Rick’s bikes (which, by the way, worked almost flawlessly), packed up some lunch and some (almost not enough) fluids, and hit the road. (To be perfectly honest, it must also be added that one of the main motivations was so that Rick could rub it in to George that we made it, and he didn’t.)
Let me explain the ride: from FARTquarters, you make the easy 1.65 mile ride to Bunco corner, turn right, and head for the hills. At 3.56 miles (thank you Garmin!), the pavement ends, and the REAL hill begins. Lisa goes on “the leash” for the first time, and after figuring out the correct distance, followed all the way up the hill without stopping. Again, this is a good size hill, with just over 2000 feet of climb in 4.3 miles. This is 4.3 UPHILL miles, without even 10 feet of level ground, let alone down. Thank goodness we actually had a cool day today, with temps in the mid 60s, which was perfect.
We paused briefly at the trailhead congratulating ourselves, still blissfully ignorant of what lay ahead, and then headed into uncharted territory for the 12 additional “easy” miles to Lakeview. The 12 miles were beautiful, rough, rolling, but almost all down, and not really easy… 12 miles and 3180 pure feet down, which with the rolling ups, was closer to 3500 feet, all the way to water level on the beautiful southeast shore of lake Pend Oreille. 21.01 miles, 2:11 total time.
We stop briefly for a quick snack and some photos, and then… dum da dum dum… we started back up for home. So, basically, from the lake, it’s 13.7 miles, virtaully all up, to the top of the pass, and then it’s a pretty exciting, fun, downhill run back home. 13.7 doesn’t seem like too much, right?
Well, let me tell ya… the way here was as tough as you could want, but in retrospect, it was merely a warm-up. Leaving the lake, the first mile has two hills that are REALLY steep, and take a serious toll on already tired legs. Lisa had to walk a bit on both, and even walking, she was going almost as fast as Dave and Rick could ride. After that, it rolls up and down for a couple of miles, and then, ta da, it starts going up. And up. And up, for 6.7 more miles, non stop, and over 3200 feet, without a pause. To top it off, Lisa starts to cramp up basically before we start the big hill (drink your fluids, everybody! I’m not joking!!!)
So, we hooked up not one, but two towing systems, and Rick and Dave lead the way, acting as Lisa’s “sled dogs” for the next hour and thirty minutes.
This was difficult. (BTW, Dave is probably going to get the biggest, softest saddle seat he can find, as the worst thing for him is his butt gets REALLY sore, especially going up, which he did a lot today.) For interest’s sake, I doubt I would have made it towing her on my own on the way back.
The best part, again, was the finishing 7.8 mile run home, which includes a pretty scary/exhilarating gravel descent, and then the sprint to the finish.
In all, 42 miles and 4:49 of hard riding, with well over 5600 feet of climbing. Dave has actually done slightly more than 11,000 feet of bike climbing in 90 miles since Thursday, certainly his most “up and down” week ever, especially adding in the 42 other miles ridden between last Saturday and Tuesday.
Rick is almost completely healed from his Malaria/Dengue fever/plague, and is really biking well, and the running uphill is getting better (what’s with all the “flatlander” FARTS who don’t do hills?? 🙂 ) Rick is also a GREAT descender on both foot and bike, actually rivalling Andy, the Human Bobsled. All I can say is it’s a good thing Dave can go UPhill! Lisa is promising to spend more time on the bike, especially going up, and LOVES the towing system! (She said that without it, she’d STILL be up there, and we’d be driving back to collect her carcass!) It will for sure help with our “No Jeni/Kelley/Lisa/Sheena/Dave left behind” strategy for the races. Scmorg, I hope you’re ready to tow my tired ass up the last few hills in Tahoe!
We finished with a nice dinner of sauteed cod, rice, spinach salad and wine (keep the food thoughts, Jeni!)and are currently watching the Olympics, contemplating tomorrow’s workout, sore butts, quads and all!
Things we learned:
~ Hills are hard, especially LONG steep ones. 🙂
~ The towing system works, making it substantially harder on the “sled dog,” but WAY easier on the “pullee.” (BTW, the first 4.3 mile hill as a single sled dog was one of the hardest rides I’ve ever done… I was close to wiped!)
~ Being towed by 2 people is easier on both ends.
~ George, the Lakeview ride is WAY harder than it looks “on paper” (or GPS, as it were), and the way back is half again as hard as the way there. (Of course, having said that, Rick and I both know that you will be heading out there within hours of your next arrival in CDA! We WILL expect photos, though.)
~ We need more fluids than you think on long stages; Dave went through 3 full liters, Rick close to 5 (yeah Rick!) but Lisa less than 2, and she felt the effects. You have to get the fluids in earlier, and this was a COOL day. If it had been 85 or 90, we would have been in some real difficulty. You HAVE to practice drinking “on the run,” so to speak, and keep ahead of your dehydration.
~ We all need to get out on the hills (yes, doing the UP part, Rick, Sheena and Kelley!) WAY more.
~ Shmorg, you really are going to need to consider a geared bike for Tahoe. It would have been an almost impossible ride on a one speed today.
~ Overall, a great workout. In total, more difficult than either Ocean Blue or the Tahoe ride; Ocean Blue had some parts that were more difficult, but overall, it was much easier, and Tahoe, though long, was slower, and more technical, and not as purely demanding. We can’t wait to “share” this little joy with all of you when you get out here!
Good training, all, and we can’t wait to see you! Go FARTS!
more photos – flickr