PTC Big Bike Week Day 4. Crystal Lake.

I had another great ride today. It was tough cuz of the long ride yesterday. Today’s route was a huge climbing route. This was PTC Big Bike Week Day 4. I only made it to Day 3 and Day 4 this year. I had to work on Thursday and Friday. It definitely got me ready for hill climbing. It was part of my training for Mulholland Challenge, coming up in April.

Summary. 47.0 miles, 4,984 ft elevation, 4:22 moving time. Champion picture at the top. Me, Lucas, Steve and Lynda.

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Here’s the Strava details, from my Garmin. There is some discrepancy with Garmin Elevation, but that’s what I’m going with now.

PTC Big Bike Week Day 4. Encanto - Crystal Lake  Strava Ride - Mozilla Firefox 392014 91611 PM

Now, Back to the beginning with the blow by blow.

It was also the end of Day Lights Saving Time today so we sprang forward. The day started off with a gorgeous sunrise. Stunning really. Pink by my house. Then 5 minutes later, on the freeway, sunrise turned orange. Then 2 minutes later, it was a blah grey.

Lesson: Most spectacular sunrises happen in an instant. Beauty may pass you by, so wake up and enjoy it.

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B Group Started from Encanto at 7:30. Me, Lynda, Lucas, Steve. PeterN was early for the A group.

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Also ran into Derek, who had a personal option ride to fit his family schedule. He later said there were issues. No further comment.

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Coming up Hwy 39, we pass a series of dams.

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We passed East Fork. You’ll hear about East Fork on other rides.

Life Lesson: During slow ascents, you get to know your friends really well. Private discussion for hours. Amazing friendships are made.

We talked about all kinds of stuff on the way up. This is one of the great parts of riding with friend in the mountains. It’s very quiet (when you get past the OVH area). You can talk about all your family and training stuff. I won’t go into topics, because it’s more like that Vegas saying, “what happens on the mountain, stays on the mountain”. I’ll leave it at it was great to get to know Steve and Lynda a lot better today.

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We passed OHV Staging Area. Lots of monster 4-wheel trucks were headed there. On the way up, there’s lots of these truck passing us. Ugh. Ken caught up to us at this point.

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Next we passed Cogwell Dam turn off. This is one of my favorite rides. It runs along a babbling brook. It’s closed to vehicular traffic. It’s got beautiful shady birch trees filtering the light and shading the route. But, we kept on trucking up the hill. The A group zoomed by us on the way up.

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Lucus and I were dropped. We stopped for a snack and a break and a panoramic shot.

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The long straight stretches led to winding switchbacks. From Cogwell to the top is a long steady grade. Weather was pretty good. The other times I’ve ridden this route, the long stretches were very hot. Not too bad today. Switchbacks crawled up to the babbling brooks. Serenity in the heights.

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[I took video on my bike on all the descents. Quite thrilling. It takes forever to upload to you tube. Stay tuned.]

Lucas and I had some dark moments, but we pulled each through. We saw the A group coming back down. We took a few, quite a few break. Lynda and Steve waited at the top. They eventually gave up waiting and came down the hill. But, we were literally just around the corner. They rode back up to the top with us, less than a half of a mile.

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Here’s the victorious picture at the top. Then we zoomed down.

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Here’s some video clips of the descent from Crystal Lake. Clip1.

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