I must say, after 5 weeks of intense hill climbing, I feel much better prepared for Race Across Oregon. Way more prepared then I ever was last year at this time! How?
Well, after getting my long LONG miles under my belt in April and May, I began my June rides to focus more on climbing...as much vertical I could in the shorter distances. Here's what I did on rides in June:
May 30: Climb up Baker Hwy - with 3500 feet 22 miles (total of 44 miles w/ descent)
May 31: Tacoma to Lacey (via Rainier) - 95 miles (w/ smaller hills)
June 6: Maupin to Fossil out and back - 12,000 ft climbing in 136 miles! "Out was 7,000 ft in first 63 miles at Fossil Pass. "Back" was 5,000 ft in first 43 miles to Shaniko.
This ride is got to be the tougest ride that's out in Eastern Oregon!! Where else can you get that much climbing in the dryer part of the state! It's going to be tough when I hit the Clarno climb out of the John Day Canyon after 400+ miles into RAO...but I am NOT worried!!
June 7: Hood River to Forest Road 44 and Cooper Spur - 7,000 ft climb in 72 miles. Most elevation gain was in first 30 miles!! This was a relaxed ride after such a tough ride the day before. Easy long descent up Hwy 35 and then steeper climb on FS 44 road. Was a cold descent coming down FS44. Climbed up to the potential finish of RAO at Cooper Spur, and event went to the end of pavement on Cloudcap Rd but not sure if this is the finish or just at the Cooper Spur lodge. Who knows. The website is still vague on a lot of the course, but oh well, we'll know soon enough and it will be that much more of a surprise!!
June 13: Centralia- Winlock Vader area loop - about 2,100 ft climbing in 68 miles
Had to bail on riding up in the high country, due to thunderstorms. So I chose riding as many steep hills in Centralia area to get what I could in. Rode this with English Steve so he could get familiar with the hills for Twin County double metric. I rode a few of the side hills off the direct route course and found myself climbing some hills that were 20% or greater--Johnson Rd, just north of Vader to be specific. After the ride, Jim picked me up in Centralia and we drove down to Maupin later that eve.
June 14: Maupin to Condon, Oregon - about 7,000 ft of climbing in 91 miles- with climb up Deschute River and John Day canyons! This ride had a nice easy tune up along the Deschutes River. After passing the Sherar's Falls, you climb up the Sherar's Bridge Hwy and there's like 2,000 ft in only 4 miles!! Then there are all these turns on the RAO course to learn from Grass Valley to Moro and Monkland, that was good to identify. Jim accidentally missed Lone Rock Rd (which is EASY to miss) and he ended up driving to where the road turned to gravel and then ended because of the John Day Canyon wall! But he got my attention on the cell phone (yes very sparse cell phone coverage here in bforegon) early and I took the turn where I needed to and he caught back up to me. Moro to Monkland and 207 was also really neat with all the wind farms that you rode right by. Then the climb up out of the John Day canyon to the top of Devils Butte was one long climb 2500 ft in 10 miles - but on race day will be great to finally see the views of the entire Cascade Range. No view on this day. Felt good overall and ate lots of caleries without a problem. This was good to get this stretch figured out. Condon to Long Creek will have to wait to see on race day but this will be early enough in the race and a lot at night. Hopefully the late afternnon heat won't completely destroy me in the exposed dry section east of Heppner!!
June 20: Hurrican Ridge +Black Diamond +Olympic Hotsprings x 2 - total 9,700 ft of climbing in 72 miles. Hurricane Ridge was 5200 ft in 1st 17 miles!!
What a blast of a ride- where else in the state can you climb a vertical mile in just 17 miles!! Was a cold descent and had to where my winter gear. The climb up the Olympic Hot Springs road is also plagued with +20% switchbacks, and the descent on this road is rough with gravel and potholes to deal with. But overall a great ride and highly recommend for getting a whole lot of vertical in relatively short distance!
So long story short, a lot of good climbing training in the past several weekends. Now just working on heat training, spinning on my trainer in my living room with all my winter gear on:)
Fun Fun stuff!
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Thanks for everone's support!