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Have you ever wondered how far you could ride your bike in 12 hours? How about 24 hours? It turns out there is a race to help you answer these *important* questions.
The Lewis & Clark Ultra course consists of one 140mi "day loop". They advertise it as having "over 5700' of climbing". This is not technically a lie since the 10250' climbing my GPS recorded is "over< 5700". Along the day loop are time-stations where you check in and re-supply. In the morning, you give them drop-bags that they take to the time-stations. Pretty neat. After you finish the "day loop", you do repeated laps around the 9.6mi "night loop". The night loop has about 435' climbing, much of which is on two leg-bustingly short-but-steep climbs - cruel after so many miles in the saddle.
Windy, windy, with one big hill. I knew I was going to pop on the hill so I didn't care that I took a short pull even though people said to stay out of wind. I'm glad I took a turn...with only 12 racers, it builds good will. The stronger women definitely did the brunt of the work and I recovered (at least to my level of recovery) in time for the hill.
After the gravel, I was happy to see Leigh grab the Showers Pass girls wheel who got her to the front of the pack for the hill. I wanted to hop on, too, but was stuck. A while later we hit the hill. And POP. I kept Leigh in sight. Then, I flew down the hill to try and bridge the 75 - 100 ft to get to her wheel. However, once again, I had a little cross action. I was a too hot going into the last turn, chickened out, and didn't make it - oops. I managed to continue riding in the grass and stay upright [I was mostly concerned about breaking my front fork - should have been more concerned about breaking my neck], but lost gobs of time and knew catching Leigh was now out of the question so I put my head down and psyched up for a solo in the wind.
The big lesson I learned. If there is a possibility of being off the back - know the street names! There was no indicator or flagger for one of the turns and I missed it. The race was 26 miles...I raced 33.
I loved the course and will definitely do it next year. I wanted to do the TT the next day, since I desperately need practice, but was too pooped. Glad to hear Zan and others represented. I plan to head out to Sauvie Wed. night to practice with aero bars or a more TT position if anyone wants to join. It will be a 24 miler.
Not a race report - but Zan, Sage, Katy, Elaine and I (plus a friend of Sage's and Katy's pup Stella) all headed out to Syncline today for a day of mountain biking in the sunshine. Fantastic riding, scenery, and company... Props to Elaine and Sage who clearly brought their climbing legs for the long climb to the ridge (a phantom ridge that seemed to move higher every time we finished a switchback). And to Stella for successfully completing her first mtb trek...
The scenery was spectacular - phenomenal views of the gorge, Mt. Hood, and the Columbia River, meadows of wildflowers and a pretty little forest section. The trail was a mix of dirt, scree, and rocks, moderately technical but open singletrack, with a few ride-able stream crossings. There seemed to be quite a few loops to explore and lots of friendly bikers out there to show us the way (although I swear each one of them told us the next trail was just up the ridge!)
I'd definitely recommend checking this area out if you're looking for a drier/sunnier ride that will challenge your legs and lungs.
Thanks everyone for a great day!