Saturday, July 7, 2018
Extended Training Ride
Took the hound and the Expedition back up to the training area, determined this time to gain some more altitude. I was encouraged. We hit the road early and were riding by about 6:30AM, 30+ pounds in the panniers, a couple of tents lashed to the BOB. I climbed steadily and pulled through one extended patch of soft sand, but only for a hundred yards or so, then it was back in the saddle and cranking. This is a generally rough track and so provides a steady challenge. I knew from my previous outing that the climbing was steep, but that gentle graph above doesn't do the riding justice. Except for a few early patches, most of the riding is 9% or better, the last mile about 10% or better. Ugh! Ugh! However, with the ultra-low gearing of the Schlumpf Mtn. Drive, I was able to keep cranking and make steady progress. I made it to the turn-around point in an hour and fifteen minutes with what amounted to a touring load--or at least pretty close to it. I could see having another ten pounds or so, especially when hauling extra water. If I can gain over 1,000 ft. in just over an hour, the Continental Divide is in trouble, that's all I'm saying.
Only about 400 ft. or so of gain beyond my turnaround point is a very nice camping spot next to a creek, and the road along that stretch is good, unlike the initial climb. On the menu then is an overnight, although I may wait until it cools off so I can start later in the day. I could make it pretty easily now, but that would mean arriving in camp at about 8AM, so an afternoon start, camp, and morning run back down makes more sense. Lovely country up there.
Patchy, of course, was a maniac, covering more than twice my distance and twice my speed. What a hound.