Sunday, July 20, 2008

Team HPC Powered by Cycle U group ride

We have had great luck with the weather for our 2008 Team HPC Powered by Cycle U group rides, and today was no exception. Sunny skies, mild temperatures, and light winds made it a little easier to roll out of bed and meet at the Happy Hooker at 7:30am. That would be the fishing pier in Myrtle Edwards Park, and that is where Coach Tammy from Cycle U gave an excellent clinic on cycling position for climbing and descending.

After the clinic, 20 of us including Tammy, rolled out of the park and headed out to Cougar Mountain. In an attempt to try and support as many people as possible, I offered two routes so that the riders could decide how hard they wanted to work, and how big of a challenge they desired. I was concerned that the “Solid” route might be too challenging for some, and the “Challenging” route might be not challenging enough for others, but my fears were unfounded.

Everyone rode well, and both groups had plenty of time to add optional climbs after completion of the basic route. That’s one of the great things about Cougar Mountain—the climbs are packed into a very compact area. Factor in the facts that the roads are generally wide and smooth, traffic is light, and, lest we not forget, these are some of the hardest climbs in King County (throw in nearby Squak Mountain and you have pretty much all of the hard climbs in the county), and you truly have a climbers’ Nirvana.

Several riders on the Challenging route completed what I think of as the Big Four: Zoo, Montreaux (Village Parkway), Pinnacle off of Cougar Mountain Drive, and Somerset from the north. We could have thrown in Horizon Crest, and completed the Big Five, but we’ll grind that out on an upcoming Hills of the West Coast ride. Other climbs thrown into the mix today included 164th (multiple times), Newcastle Golf Club, and Cougar Mountain Drive up to the school near the top of Cougar Mountain. Did I forget any others? You see, while I’d love to give you a complete report on all of the action on every climb, that’s not possible since we didn’t have the use of a helicopter to give us the Tour De France view. Feel free to email your comments to me and I’ll insert them into the blog, or simply post your own report as a comment to this blog entry.

Eventually, we regrouped at Lewis Creek Park on the top of Lakemont Drive, descended 164th as a group, and did a bonus climb up to the top of Somerset, this time via the “easy” way. Mileage and climbing totals varied according to the specific route permutations, but several riders managed to crack 6000’ of climbing for the day.

Be sure to mark Sunday 8/10/08 (same time and place) as the date of the next, and final, HPC Team Ride for 2008. Next month’s theme is Climbing and Descending II, and that means more of the good old ups and downs.

As an aside, we now have nine team riders paid up and committed to the Team HPC bibshorts that we will order at the end of the month. Once we hit 10 orders, we’ve hit the minimum, and it’s a go. If you thought our kit looked sharp today, imagine how we’ll look when our shorts match our jerseys. For information on how to order, please see my post on the Team HPC message Board:

I hope to see you on the road.


1 comment:

Coach Tammy said...

A fabulous ride, and yes, a nice parting gift for me. I completely Montreaux too!... oh, you mean they went UP it? nevermind.

Thanks for the kick in the pants. Hope to see you guys next summer maybe.