MFR RGR Training #3 – The North Cascades
What a stellar day we had in the North Cascades yesterday. From Marblemount to Mazama and back again added up to about 150 miles and 11,000 feet of climbing.
Dennis, Amy, Greg and Chris got an early start on the day and rolled out of Marblemount at about 8:30am for the first leg. Hwy 20 going east has more feet of climbing than west but it is more gradual with most of the elevation being spread over 40 miles and sustained climbing up Easy, Rainy and Washington Pass over about 22 miles. After about four and a half hours in the saddle, and a great descent, we rolled into Mazama for a well deserved lunch break. After loading up on food and fluids we were back on our machines for the return.
Once we headed out of Mazama we had the wind at our backs which was a blessing from an effort standpoint but made for some very hot work at the beginning of the climb with temps close to 95 in the valley. A quick stop to soak in a stream brought everyone back to life and then it was up, up, up to the summit of Washington Pass. From there life got a bit easier with a fairly steady descent to Newhalem after which tunnel vision and the pace line started to bring us back to our starting point and dinner.
Many thanks to Dennis for organizing the ride and for picking which of the five Starbuck’s in Quilcene, WA to meet at. This was a perfect prep for the upcoming Gentlemen’s Race as distance and elevation were probably slightly greater. More importantly however this ride was a reminder of how fantastic it is to be able to spend a day on your bike with friends especially on one of the most scenic stretches of road in the US. Truly a memorable day.