Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pedalpalooza Four

Decided to rewrite the day four post, inspired by a friend's e-mail describing his ride up Larch Mountain the same day.  So, here goes.

Headed out from Tiny's at 8:30.  I wanted to do one lap of Tabor on the way out in preparation for Wednesday's race but we didn't.  We rode east until Hurlburt and then traced the Portland Century route, which is pretty hilly.  To Shipley and Marmot and the magic fountain stop, where we didn't stop.  Over the bridge, up the hill.  Barlow Trail by the river which felt hard the last couple of times but easy Sunday.  Lunch at Zig Zag.  Probably too much lunch because I had a stomach ache for the next few miles.  Nick said it'd be 10 or 15 or 20 or 25 miles up, he didn't know.  It turned out to be about 10 miles up to the top of Lolo Pass.  A jerk got out of his car near a viewpoint to mock our panting and laugh at us.
Hood kept getting bigger and bigger and then there was snow in the ditch.  Lots of great nature.  Big cone-shaped flowers that looked like Queen Anne's Lace.  Rhodies galore.  Birds of course.  A deer.  We turned onto a paved fireroad for the descent, which was long and steep and beautiful.  Then we shortcutted to the highway to hightail it back to town in time for beer well before sunset.
The part that was supposed to be easy felt hard.  Something gnawed at my stomach and inside my chammy, making the miles hurt a little more than usual.  A stop at Shorty's gas station yielded circus peanuts, cherry sours, cow tails and things started looking up.
 Then to town, into a place with a sign "patio beer fun".  Popcorn, fresh and crisp, beer and cinnamon whiskey.  Home on the path, dodging errant bikes.  100 miles and a million feet of elevation gain.

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