Saturday, the Mount Baker Highway opened all the way to Artist Point (elev. 5,100 feet), so I headed up from Glacier (elev. 900). Tons of cyclists on the road making their ways up and I passed by all of them and started to feel quite burly, speedy and Alberto Contador-ish. That is, until I realized that there was an organized ride today from Burlington to Mount Baker and back--150 miles. So whereas I started the final 10-mile climb with a mere 15 miles on my legs, they had about 65. But 15, 65, ... really, what's the difference?
Incredibly beautiful, as per usual. A stiff south wind which made last two miles up top feel even tougher. I wonder if the elevation gets to me there too. From the Austin Pass Visitors Center to the end, I always feel like I'm pedaling through glue.
Wasn't sure I'd be able to do it. I'd done way too much downhill running the week before and as of last Wednesday, I still could really walk down any kind of incline without my quads spasming out.
But back to how beautiful the road to Mount Baker is. It's like the tour stages in the Alps. I guess I can see why Bicycling magazine didn't list it as one of the top 100 climbs in the country. I'm sure there're 100 better than it.