2017 – RAMROD

On July 27, 2017, Odette and Jerry rode around Mt. Rainier in one day.

Here’s the RAMROD site from the Redmond Cycling Club

Here’s the RAMROD Training Series site – we did all but #14.

We signed up for the lottery and it said that results would be announced in early April.  On April 1 we got emails saying, sorry, you weren’t selected.  Two days later we got this email saying “oops, everybody in the lottery got that notice.”  Eventually we got notified that we were in.  (We’d signed up as a team to improve our chances, here’s the email saying that after the drawing teams don’t matter.)

I paid the registration fee and told Odette that she could always withdraw, but we had other stuff going on and it wasn’t until we got back from France that the impending ride dawned on her.  We started riding two RTS rides every weekend, but that didn’t last too long.  We substituted an out-and back from Colonial Creek Campground to Mazama (over Washington Pass on the North Cascades Highway) for one of their events.  I ramped up my daily rides to something closer to 50 miles a day.

After returning from France (and after recovering the half of the tandem that got lost by Iceland Air) we had trouble with the way the tandem shifted.  I blamed it on the broken rear shifter cable I’d replaced in Besancon, but no matter how much I fiddled with it I couldn’t get it to quit skipping when we loaded it.  I finally took it in to R+E and they lubed the cable and twisted the barrel adjuster and it seemed to solve the problem.   On the Sunday before the event we rode out to Redmond and picked up our packets.

We got up at 3:00 the morning of the ride and drove down to Enumclaw.  We ate way too much pastry in the car.  We expected to have to look for parking in the dark but we missed the turn and ended up at the elementary school where the ride started and there was plenty of (carpool) parking available.  We used the bathrooms in the school but didn’t avail ourselves of the breakfast we’d paid for back in April.  We queued up at the start line and were in the first dozen riders through the gate.  It was cool and misty all the way to Ashford.

The sun came out for the climb to Paradise, but we were mainly in the shade.  The climb wasn’t bad.  We swooped down the Stevens Canyon Rd. and then climbed up to backbone ridge – hotter and harder than the first climb.  (On the way down I amused myself by pointing out to everyone we passed that “she’s not pedaling back there.”)

The climb up Cayuse Pass started out strong but by the time we got to the water stop (with five miles to go) I was hot and starting to feel dizzy.  I blamed it on the pastry I’d eaten too much of, but in reality it was probably related to the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything but melon slices since the start of the ride.  We got as far as the tunnel and I bonked – too dizzy to ride I sat in the shade and poured a water bottle on my head.  Luckily Odette had squirreled away a chocolate croissant which I ate and with that I recovered enough to ride up the last three miles to the pass.

We rode down from the pass fast, passing several cars, and had a proper lunch at the Crystal Mountain turnoff.  The remainder of the ride was less exciting – hot, ups and downs, but nothing very strenuous.  the route to the elementary school took the bypass to SR169 on the East side of Enumclaw – which I hadn’t appreciated from the map.

Our elapsed time was pretty much exactly 13 hours – an hour less than when I rode with Mako and Mika, but an hour longer than when I did it in 2009 with Alex.  Still, pretty good for old people on a tandem.

Here’s the map

Here are the photos.