Saturday, June 27, 2009

2 Peaks

I wasn’t so sure about this ride. Today was the club’s 3 Peaks ride, starting at the regular ride time (8am) which came a little early after having been out the evening before, first for dinner with a friend and then for drinks at another friends. We were home just before midnight. I hadn’t decided how far I would ride or how many of the peaks I would attempt and wanted to just see how the day went.

Starting off from the normal meet up spot with a huge group looking to work, we headed over to Mt Seymour first. Seymour is just over 13 km long (8.2 miles) with over 3000 ft elevation change and an average gradient of 7%. The weather was perfect for it. Not too hot, but sunny. Not having done the climb before I kept a nice even pace and didn’t push outside of my comfort zone too much. There were a few places where turning the pedals was really difficult, but I tried my best to keep my perceived exertion in check. The group was really spread out and I had expected the faster people to start descending long before I reached the peak, but they weren’t that far ahead of me. The descent was so much fun. I am not the best descender but I was just as happy if not more happy with the descent as I was with the climb. We regrouped at the bottom and when I rolled in Graeme was totally surprised to see me already.

Between this climb and the next things didn’t go so well. After waiting for everyone, we headed off and one of the guys got a flat. He had stuck with me on the Penticton ride, so I stayed and “helped” him this time. We thought we’d have to hammer to catch up to the group, but shortly after we were back on the road he got a call from his girlfriend that there had been a crash. Two people had gone down, though no one knew exactly what had happened. The girl was a little rough and had hit her head. The helmet had done its job, but she was still unsure of what had happened, so she rightfully called it a day and had someone pick her up. The guy looked a little rough, but he kept riding.

So, on to Cypress. It turned out that only 3 girls, myself included kept going for this peak. Cypress is 15km (9.4 mi) with 2500 ft elevation (from the base which you have to climb to get to) and an average gradient of 5%. I found this climb a lot harder. Seymour had switchbacks, but Cypress seemed like it was just straight up the hill. Once again I tried to keep in a nice rhythm and just keep turning the pedals. I don’t run or ride with music, but I wished I had some for the last half of this hill. Anything to get my mind of just turning the pedals! When I rolled into the parking lot at the top, Graeme was even more surprised to see me then he had been on the previous climb.

My nice was surprise was that a guy from the club had driven up to the top and had a trunk full of treats. That coke tasted SO good! By now the clouds had rolled in and it was c-c-c-old on top of Cypress. I was NOT looking forward to the descent. The first couple miles were brutal as I tried to hang on with my freezing hands, but then we entered back into the warm air, and in a few more minutes were at the bottom.

At this point I was already over 4 hours of riding, making it my longest ride time wise and I still had to get home, so I decided not to go for the third peak. A group of us split away at the middle of the climb up to the 3rd peak, which is the elevation I live at. In retrospect I wish I had done the last peak as it’s the shortest and because I had fueled well, I still had enough in my legs. But still, a great day and probably my most favourite ride ever. Over 110 km and 7000ft of climbing.

I had brought the camera, but didn’t have time to take pictures, so here are some google images.

View from Mt. Seymour

View from Cypress Lookout (less then halfway up!)

And an elevation map


John said...

How far is that from your home? Congrats on a huge day!

Beth said...

It's basically out my front door. I look at Grouse (which is the third peak and in the middle).