For a while now, Anderson Mountain, down Alger way, has been on my to-do list. So on Saturday, we raised out goblets of rock, broke out our big boy climbing legs and scaled its thirty-two hunnert feet of whole-grain awesomeness. The players were, as pictured below from left to right: Jacob Stewart (on a ‘cross bike), Titanium Cancellara (intoduction not nec.), Ryan Rickerts (‘cross promoter and all-around outdoor adventure stud), and myself.
After driving to Alger, we rode about four miles on Butler Creek and Cain Lake roads before heading up. Seriously up. Following the PNT trail's white blazes--painted on trees and from time to time, onto rocks on the ground--we pedaled up both forest road and winding single-track trail, gaining some 2,800 feet in 6 miles. By comparison, Lookout Mountain climbs 2,100 feet in 5.3 miles, so this is the longest sustained mountain bike climb I've done. (Actually I take that back, Devils Gulch near Leavenworth climbs about 4,000 feet.)
Parts of the trail were crazy steep; I'd pedal in my granniest of gears 'til, with heartrate at 183, I could pedal no more and had to walk and even then my h.r. would only drop to 179 or so. Others were crazy overgrown; today my arms and legs are streaked red with tiny scratches as if I'd spent Saturday rassling with kittens. But 'least I was on a mountain bike that offered help up those hills in the form of a 22 X 34 gear. Not so Jacob who rode his Bianci 'cross bike; see below pic of Jacob emerging from the pain cave.
(Later in the ride, btw, Jacob earned the distinction of being the first peson I've ever thrown a golf ball at during a ride; I'll leave it at that.)
Though we hit no rain, overcast and foggy skies didn't allow for the most far-reaching of vistas. At the summit, we were treated to views of yet another higher bump--Lyman Hill (or Mountain)--which looks to be about a thousand feet higher. Perhaps that's next on the to-do list.
Also cool about this ride was that it was basically a day at the office for yours truly. I'll be writing a profile of sorts about Ryan for the December issue of Adventures NW.