I have been trying to decide if I was up for their longest ride - 150K (~100 mi). But it comes with 10,000 feet of climbing! The longest ride I've had this year is the 42 mi ride (mostly flat) the day I crashed. A long ways from 100 miles. And only a fraction of the climbing.
So I mapped out a route (thanks in part to Twitter pal @kmoorejr) to Blue Mounds and back to ride this past Saturday. It would be just under 80 miles, with over 2600 feet of climbing.
|The Day's Route|
|The Day's Profile|
I hadn't gone too far, about 5 miles, when I crested a hill at a farm called "Angel View Acres" outside Waunakee. They have a beautiful view of Madison from there and you can clearly view the capital dome standing out in the skyline.
|Looking south from Angel View Acres. You can see the dome of the state capital building about 12 mi away if you zoom in (one fence post to the left of the flagpole).|
|Looking back down from Angel View Acres|
At the top of the second climb, I turned left onto West High Point Road and continued upward. As the road turned, there was a magnificent view of the farms and the edge of Cross Plains below.
|Now the road name (High Point) makes sense!|
Next up, a climb up County P, another Cat5 climb (150' in 1.0 mi)
|Looking SW from West Mineral Point Road. That's where I'm heading.|
When I reached Cty F, I turned to the south to ride to Blue Mounds. I began to gradually climb. Not steep, but steady. This was it. The Cat3 hill that was on the proposed Olympic course if Chicago had won the bid. I paused briefly at St James
|May they rest in peace.|
|From on top of County Hwy F outside of Blue Mounds|
On ID, I was joined by another rider, a guy from the Twin Cities who was down for a seminar. He had been out riding and was looking for Cty F. He had heard about it, our Alp d' Huez he called it, and wanted to climb it. I told him he just missed it, gave him directions and he said he'd ride it tomorrow. He's going to come back with some buddies for a weekend to climb that hill and do a long road ride. They just don't have hills like that up there he said. I guess he can thank the last ice age for that.
I made my second stop in Mt Horeb. At the Grumpy Troll brewpub. A pint of Maibock to wash down a Clif Bar was a perfect mid-afternoon snack.
|An excellent location for a pit stop! A great brew awaits no matter what your taste. At least 10 beers that they brew on tap.|
Taking Cty P north thru Cross Plaines, I turned right on Enchanted Valley. In the first part of the climb I noticed this odd formation of roots and ground. The hill is eroding away exposing the roots of the old trees above.
The next day, I was exhausted. I even napped for a bit after lunch (and I rarely nap).
That evening, I started thinking more about the ride coming up next weekend. The rational side of me says that it can't (or shouldn't) be done. At least not the big ride. Take the the shorter route w/ less (but still a lot of) climbing. But I'm thinking I'm gonna do it. To get faster, stronger, better, you need to challenge yourself. To push past your (imagined) limits.
So... next week, a ride recap from the Feed the Need Ride. Let me know if you want to join me for the ride!
|Chasing my shadow the last mile home.|