Tuesday, May 08, 2007

First Time Up the Mountain

Did a double Mount Baker Hill Climb ride on Tuesday (asterisk attached), but before I get to that, let me tell you about the two Golden Retrievers we saw on the way up. Only they weren't Golden Retrievers.

I was riding with Stewart Bowmer (of Fanatik Bike Co. fame), his wife Mary Margaret, and their friend Shannon. Anyway, Stewart and I went ahead, then Stewart went ahead of me, and at one point I round a bend and see Stewart and a pickup truck stopped to let these two dogs cross the road. Thing is, nobody lives near here; the closest house is 10 miles away. So they're not dogs, but black bears. But young ones, and cinnamon in color, unlike any I've seen before. They mosied, took their time, and finally scampered down off the side of the road.
Quite a thrill. The only disappointment was that I chickened out on getting a photo. Just to be on the safe side, Stewart wanted to pedal past the bears right behind the pickup (so we'd be somewhat shielded in case they turned into grizzlies) which sounded like a capital idea to me. So I put away the camera and quickly latched on to Stewart and the pickup.
As for the riding, it couldn't have been better. Warmish, sunny, no wind and the road is plowed only to the upper ski area lodge so we didn't have to ride all the way to Artist Point. As for the giant asterisk alluded to earlier, we started about three miles before the D.O.T. shed so there was no Nooksack Falls (Powerhouse) hill. Each repeat was 2,200 feet of climbing over about 7 miles. It was enough for me to get them done.
Stewart, on the other hand, turned it into a prescribed workout, muscling out some miles in a high gear and low cadence. Other times he sprinted as hard as he could--"Until I blow up," he said--then climbed steadily until his heartrate dropped back down to 150. At which point, he'd stand and sprint as hard as he could until explosion time. On and on all the way to the lodge.
I'll leave that for next time.
Or the time after that.

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