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RAMROD - CycleOther


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Enumclaw, Washington
United States
Redmond Cycling Club
75F / 24C
Sunny
Total Time = 7h 37m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Bike
  • 7h 37m
  • 115.5 miles
  • 15.16 mile/hr
Comments:

I was terribly wishy-washy this year about doing RAMROD. (Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day, 154 miles, 10000 feet elevation). Last year it was my A-race and I trained soooo hard for it. This year, it wasn't the case...it was still my A-event but I didn't manage to do nearly the volume of training, most notably, the long, over 100-milers, and the long hill climbs. After Jeme's death, my bike accident and just life, I sort of went into a depression, a fog, and couldn't get my head clear. Every day I had a different decision about RAMROD. For quite a while, it was NO WAY then suddenly I found my love of my bike and wanted to do it.....then I got scared and didn't want to.



A few things swayed my decision: I put on the compact front gears on my bike to allow easier climbing. I decided to start in Eatonville, cutting off 30 "flat" miles at the beginning and enabling me to overcome lack of long rides. I participated in a soul-cleansing memorial for Jeme'. After that, the fog began to clear. I also decided that if the weather was bad, I would not ride. And if the roads were awful, as they were rumoured to be, I would turn back and go back to Eatonville. So....the big day arrived.



Instead of a 4 AM wakeup call, I got up at a leisurely 7, mom prepared me a smoothie and coffee, and I got to meander to the Eatonville food stop just after 8. I had air put into my tires, as my pump malfunctioned the night before, and then Kris arrived. We headed out, in literal fog....which cleared after about 6 miles.



The first portion was amazing, I felt great, strong, fast, and drafted a bunch. Eventually a big pack of riders enveloped us, and I thought it would be easy to just coast/draft along with them, then they all slowed down, but we were basically stuck in the middle for the rest of the segment. But before long we were turning into Wildwood, my mom's childhood home, where my wheel had broken last year. Saw a few friends, ate, peed, refilled bottles and we left on the long climb up toward Paradise.



If you have biked with me, you will know that while I am not a speed demon UP the hills, I can climb forever at a slow and steady pace. This day, we started passing people right away, and continued to pass people all day long. That was weird for me. On downhills and flats, yes, I pass a lot, but uphill it was a new thing! I liked it, though! We enjoyed the many and varied views of Mt. Rainier and before too long (haha, 19 uphill miles!) we hit the turnoff to Inspiration Point. Took a few photos, and started the descent into the next food stop....on what was to be a terrible road condition.



Turns out that most of the first descent was paved and what was gravel was super well marked, and there were plenty of opportunities to go balls-out downhill. Of course I relished passing people! That's what I do! At the bottom, we hit the Box Canyon food stop, and I hit the porta potty. An acquaintance, Amy from the velodrome, was coming out as I was going in. When I came out, she had a huge grin on her face and told me that all the guys in line were saying stuff about me, "that girl PASSED ME!" "She PASSED ME too!" "She's fast!" And Amy looked at them all and said, "She races, track, she is super fast!" Very nice.



Headed to the next shorter climb (I didn't even remember it from last year, but my legs were asking me "what"??? as we climbed it. Then another descent, with worse road conditions. Of course, I still found some ways to go fast there. One guy rode up next to me and said "I hear you race track" and I laughed and said yes, it's balls to the wall! He then rode on ahead of me, until I eventually passed him. :) We had to stop at the bottom of the hill for construction and he just shook his head and laughed when Kris caught up and said it was the only way she could catch me, red lights at the bottom. It was here we noticed an ambulance with it's lights on going uphill, slowly, though, no siren.



We exited the national park and came to Cayuse Pass, the worst climb on the day. 9 miles, not a moment of relief from climbing, exposed to the sun (and in Eastern WA!). Soon there were three park or forest service vehicles speeding downhill with lights and sirens on, full speed. We were weirded out that something bad may have happened up on the mountain. We continued to climb, stopping for water halfway up. That last 4.5 miles is mentally and physically awful, but knowing it was almost all downhill after that helped, and after a while, we rounded the bend to see the intersection where the long, steep descent to Crystal Mountain was! One of the best sights of the day!



I flew down the hill, chicking guys constantly, got to the food stop pretty darn fast. There, I enjoyed the BEST COKE EVER and a sandwich, then found a couple of friends (new and old) to form a paceline to the end.



We hammered most of the way back to Enumclaw, with a headwind. It is a lot of gradual downhill, which is my FAVORITE so I didn't mind pulling a lot! Eventually we turned off the highway toward Mud Mountain Dam and I again flew down the hill, knowing that it was only a few miles to the end. Some of the others were getting weary (remember, I didn't do that first 30, so I had the freshest legs, ha). Finally we cruised into Enumclaw and heard our names announced. We were handed our finisher patches, took some photos and got our free popsicles and coke (again, yum, remember I have been on a paleo diet for a couple of months!!! Sugar, oh yes!).



Overall, I felt magnificent for the day....If I do it again, which I likely will, being a glutton for punishment with a bye into the lottery every year.....I will again start in Eatonville. Taking off that first 30 miles made it a wonderful, fun, and super challenging day, never did I feel thrashed or close to tears like I did last year!! Still it was 115 miles in 7:30. Gorgeous sunshine all day. Now, time to train for Hood-To-Coast!


Post race



Last updated: 2012-05-02 12:00 AM
Biking
07:37:00 | 115.5 miles | 15.16 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance:
Wind:
Course:
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2012-07-28 7:20 PM

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Master
2206
2000100100
Pacific Northwest
Subject: RAMROD


2012-07-28 7:25 PM
in reply to: #4335673

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Master
2206
2000100100
Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: RAMROD

With the kids before the ride.

With Kris, at Inspiration Point, top of climb 1.

The usual self-take.

With Kris at the finish line.

Official photo.....yes, Kris is tiny and I am not.

2012-07-30 6:04 PM
in reply to: #4335673

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Master
2206
2000100100
Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: RAMROD
Wow, did we ever get lucky with the weather, it has been grey and cloudy ever since Thursday!!!
2012-07-30 7:19 PM
in reply to: #4338138

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Master
2501
2000500
Subject: RE: RAMROD

Medusa_Ann - 2012-07-30 4:04 PM Wow, did we ever get lucky with the weather, it has been grey and cloudy ever since Thursday!!!

Ha! Actually... it was sunny and beautiful there yesterday!! In fact, I've never had RAMROD on my to-do list... but yesterday I made my first trip to Rainier and Paradise and all I could think about was doing RAMROD. So, on the to-do list it goes!! Not sure when, but when/if I do it, I certainly wanna do it with friends!!

But I digress... GREAT JOB!!! I know how much you have been waffling about doing the ride and you hammered out an awesome day. Awesome for you! Hope you're feeling great and super-proud of yourself because you are, truly, Wonder Woman!!!

NICE WORK!!!!!

2012-08-01 12:17 PM
in reply to: #4338244

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Master
2206
2000100100
Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: RAMROD

Kyla, it is definitely something you should do!

 

kkcbelle - 2012-07-30 5:19 PM

Medusa_Ann - 2012-07-30 4:04 PM Wow, did we ever get lucky with the weather, it has been grey and cloudy ever since Thursday!!!

Ha! Actually... it was sunny and beautiful there yesterday!! In fact, I've never had RAMROD on my to-do list... but yesterday I made my first trip to Rainier and Paradise and all I could think about was doing RAMROD. So, on the to-do list it goes!! Not sure when, but when/if I do it, I certainly wanna do it with friends!!

But I digress... GREAT JOB!!! I know how much you have been waffling about doing the ride and you hammered out an awesome day. Awesome for you! Hope you're feeling great and super-proud of yourself because you are, truly, Wonder Woman!!!

NICE WORK!!!!!

2012-08-02 8:43 AM
in reply to: #4335673

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: RAMROD

Hey enough with the 'chicking' guys will you, you make us look bad.

Sounds like a super event Leslie and your riding sounds so much stronger than last year.

"She races, track, she is super fast" - Damn Straight!

 

xo



2012-08-02 6:44 PM
in reply to: #4335673

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Expert
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5001001001001002525
Berkeley, Calif.
Bronze member
Subject: RE: RAMROD
I'm soooooooooooooooooo glad you did this, Leslie! It sounds like it was good for your soul -- plus, you're such a rock star and I want all the boys to know it. *g*

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