It was very hilly with almost 5,000 feet of elevation gain. And I haven't done much hill training this year on account of my Seattle-to-Portland training. Luckily the weather was extremely pleasant - a hot day would have made this ride a killer! I started out with Par and Kurt, but got dropped somewhere before the first rest area. No problem, I'm used to riding alone on long rides. I caught up with another friend, Lindsey, after the third rest stop and we rode the rest of the way together.
I didn't have any physical problems but did lose mental motivation on Marine Drive (around the 70 mile mark). It also rained on us for the last hour of the ride, although it was a warm summer rain and not really that unpleasant.
Overall, the course was great, traffic pretty minimal, fun crowd, decent rest stops (although way too few bathrooms), and great food, especially the huge buffet at the finish line. At a little under eight hours, I wasn't a speed demon, but I felt like I finished at least in the top 50%. I'm going to have to come back next year and try to crush this thing!
Up until now, the venerable gmaps-pedometer had been my favorite way of conveying this information, but I'm switching to Bikely! It has a few areas for improvement (such as its search) but development seems active so I'm sure they'll get resolved.
Overall, a very well-organized event. I would definitely ride it again (although I should probably do a little more pre-training next time). This ride was an eye-opener for me that the Seattle-to-Portland ride is less than two months away. I really need to up my training game if I'm going to make it in one day.
Unfortunately, I'm already falling behind the recommended training schedule...
This YouTube video shows two of the stepeest road rides in Portland. (The video would benefit from some liberal editing. Don't be afraid to fast forward.) They may even be the steepest. I rode both of them a few weeks ago with my biking buddy Kurt.
The first, College Street, is located just behind our condo. The grade is 18 percent. I had to stop once. With sufficient training, I could see myself nailing this one some day.
A couple of days later, Kurt suggested we try Brynwood, located off of Skyline. At 20 percent grade, this one is even tougher than College St (and longer to boot). I don't know if we were still recovering from the previous weekend's attempt up College, but Brynwood stomped us. I had to stop twice, the second time because my heart was almost 200 beats per minute. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do this one without stopping.
The line has been drawn in the sand for next year!