Fools rush in..
A dozen of my teammates and I embarked on a trip we call "The Volcanoes Ride." We had all been training for the past several months to prepare for the epic adventure. On the one hand we were all prepared. On the other hand; the youngest among us is forty six and the oldest was sixty.
First the staggering numbers..
Four hundred fifty one miles of riding
Just shy of Thirty nine Thousand feet of climbing
Yeah, we should have all known better.....
We met at the stroke of six in the morning and loaded up vehicles like a bunch of kids going to camp. If your imagination has a hard time combining thoughts of men sporting bald heads and grey hair acting like ten year olds; then maybe you don't know us very well..
After packing and cafffinating we were down to Crystal Mountain in a flash. While most of the group dressed for the departe El Jefe and I shuttled cars to Packwood where we met Michael (the MP) and soon the three of us we were riding. The plan was to meet the other ten at the entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park.
The sign sums it up..
Here we come !!
This was the first food stop of the day. We took turns driving our one support vehicle which carried our food and duffle bags.
The road went up and so did we.
Our next food stop is off in the distance.
Calories are GOOD !
Soon enough we made it to Packwood and found our abode.
After cleaning up we made our way down the street for a forgettable dinner. We all ordered and as our meals came many asked for additional side and main dishes. By the time we left Dave E had dispatched two burgers and a bowl of chili. I was glad he wasn't my roommate for the journey.
As a special treat we had daily jersey ceremonies with jerseys for all. In addition to the yellow jersey for GC we had white for best young, green for sprinter, red for most aggressive, grey for best old rider, Ti for the rider with legs of Titanium, black for the rider with the best judgement, KOM for the KOM. In addition we had the transparent jersey for the most honest, opaque for the rider who saw the most ghosts, slight yellow for the best descender (think about it), One for the All World rider, and even a Mariner Teal jersey for the rider who didn't do real well, but was a nice guy. As you might guess, the award portion of the evening got to be quite fun..
We were all tired and knew the day ahead would be epic. We went to bed without a whimper.
Day one stats: 134k, 1,889m of climbing, just over five hours in the saddle.