|Mike and Brad at Loon Lake|
Yesterday was the 9th ride in the 2016 series - One Cool Loon. This is a 100 mile out and back from Cool to Loon Lake and features 10,000 feet of climbing with about 7500 feet of that being on the way out. This type of ride is always a challenge for me. Being a Clydesdale sized rider, a big climbing ride is always tough. This is especially true of rides where the climbing is grouped into one section as this does not allow for recovery time.
|One Cool Loon Elevation Profile|
The first part of the ride is relatively flat as we headed toward Georgetown. Georgetown is a great little town of about 2400 people that epitomizes "small town" America. There is a small baseball diamond that reminds of the one where I learned how to play baseball as a kid in a small Indiana town.
|Enrico near Loon Lake|
|Vu dunking his head in Loon Lake|
Before we started heading home, Vu put his head in the water following Mike's pre-ride announcement of this head dunking tradition.
The trip home started off great. The first 7 miles leaving Loon Lake were all down hill. During this descent, we gained more appreciation for the actual climb. Turning back onto Wentworth Springs Rd, we started a 5 mile climb that was very taxing. A couple guys stopped for a moment, but I was afraid to stop as I wasn't sure I could restart.
10 miles later we stopped in Stumpy Meadows for our final break. There is a small climb out of Stumpy Meadows and I had the misfortune to get a flat. Both SAG vehicles stopped to check on me and I used a floor pump to fill my tire. Unfortunately, this also meant I was on my own for the last 30 miles. Being tired and aching when alone seems much harder than suffering with others nearby. Nevertheless, I was able to let my mind wander and the time went by quickly. I kept a steady pace and was relieved when I arrived in Georgetown as I knew there was only about 10 miles to go. When the remaining distance gets to single digits, it is a great relief.
When I finally arrived in Cool, I was fully spent. This was a very tough ride and I think I underestimated the difficulty. I think the 7500 feet of climbing to Loon Lake took more out of me then I expected. The return trip, while a net descent, was much more difficult than I thought it would be. There were several challenging climbs on the return portion that really tested my stamina. It is probably a mistake to underestimate any ride that has 10,000 feet of climbing. I built some mental toughness doing this ride.
Special thanks to the SAG support from Lois and Cindy. We all appreciate the extra help in accomplishing these challenging rides.
Chris Mumma also made a video of the ride that I am sure you will enjoy: Link.