This was one of the few days, way back when, while looking at the itinerary, that I felt apprehension about. Relatively long-116 miles, and lots of climbing-5,000feet.
But, it went great.Let me try to tell you what it feels like to climb and descend on a bike. The second climb today was a steady 4% to 6% grade for about 4.5 miles-an assent of about 2,000 feet, which means that you are climbing for about 45 minutes. For me, this defines the term sustainable, as all you can do is find that cadence that works for your legs, heart, lungs, and head, and stay with it. When I find that place, it seems like I can go forever, all the time listening intently to your body, I feel like the bike and I are “connected”. I love climbing! At the summit, I stopped to have a drink, and I realized it was one of the quietest spots I had ever been, only the wind, and the birds, almost spiritual! And since what went up-ME, had to come down, off I went. The descent was amazing, a 12 mile descent! It is the closest thing to flying on a bike that I have ever experienced, the only thing I needed to do was use my brakes to maintain a speed where I felt comfortable-about 35mph. Quite a RIDE!
After the descent we dropped into cattle grazing territory with lots of streams and rivers. More riding in valleys with the mountains looming-no longer the high Cascades. Simply Beautiful