Everest Challenge Ride Report Sept. 24-25, 2011

Brutal…sign me up for next year!!!  

Softened us up with a nice registration dinner Friday night attended by 500 people with tremendous volunteer support by the groups who are supported by the proceeds and were wonderful for the whole weekend. People were talking about Drew already in the registration line, “guy in Cat 5, wins every year by an hour each day, beats half the pros,” got to sit with Drew and his friends, he’s very respected there. Saturday dawned…well dark, cool but basically perfect weather as it was through the weekend, a little breezy at times up in the hills. I imagine the “Monster Climbers” are familiar with all these rides, We warmed up with a 20 mile ride up to South Lake from Milpond, found my place fairly quickly as the lead group (Masters 55+), dropped me 15 minutes into the ride when I was at threshold heart rate and it dawned on me that “this dog wasn’t going to hunt” at this pace for 7 hours. fell in with other droppees and able to find reasonable pace, beautiful scenery would have been more appreciated if suffering weren’t involved. Woohoo, fast descent back to Sawmill road to reach and climb Pine Creek (never passed on a descent through the weekend to live up to the Descenders jersey, wish I could say that for the climbs…passed by pros, amateurs, old, young, males, females, etc…). Back down Pine Creek to the valley, up Lower Rock Creek road, up 395 a bit to Tom’s Place then up, up, up to Mosquito Flat, 22 mile climb to summit and end of timed portion for day (7’32” for me,  haven’t seen Drew’s time yet, but I saw him fly by me on the last climb offering kind words, wearing his backpack in contrast to all the riders with support cars he was beating). BTW it’s amazing to see how little effort he appears to expend and minimal leg movement involved with his use of the Power Cranks. Delicious food and drink at the top hit the spot, Challenging first part of descent from Mosquito Flat with cars, bikes on a 3/4 lane road at the top but untimed at least so safer for everyone. LONG ride back down 395 while crying “mama” to get back to the car at Milpond. Lots more food back in Bishop, pastries at Schat’s, fish and chips at Whiskey Creek and then wonderful sleep. Day 2 starts out of Big Pine, 15 miles south of Bishop, at 395 and 168. Started west of 395 after neutral start with a 10 mile climb up to Glacier Lodge, had a nice group to ride with, pace dropped from Saturday, heart rate was very reluctant to push past endurance level, another wonderful descent, DON’T fall off the ride side of the road, there’s no coming back. Back across 395, up Waucoba Canyon for 9 or 10 miles, the only one of 6 climbs that wasn’t an HC, it was a mere Categoy 1… ah a break, this isn’t so bad, kind of like Palomar East Grade, a fun descent at the tail end of pros group, 1 climb left, how bad could this be…..BAD!!! 20 mile climb up 168 to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine forest, started rough, taunted with a couple spots of flat/descent then a friggin beast the last 3 or 4 miles, first thoughts all weekend of whether I’ll make it. A volunteer was kind enough to point out me as I eyed the switchbacks above me that there were only 3 miles and 1200 ft of climbing left, just kept going on and on and on… then 1000 meters left, 200 meters left, done and 4 cokes, quesadillas, bagel and cream cheese, pb and j, pretzels, snickers, well you get the idea. Congratulated Drew who set a personal best, he’s a very nice and humble champion. A wonderful no work thrilling descent down 168 to the car, feast at In and Out Burger on the way home, back to work and looking forward to Tour de Poway.

Bernie

On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 8:21 AM, Rick Bienias <rbienias@att.net> wrote:

Good luck to Bernie and Drew at the Everest challenge this weekend.
2 days, 206 Miles, 29000 ft of climbing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Ouch

Rick
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