Sunday, June 24, 2012


All week, the Chelan forecast called for 70-percent chance of rain as well as thunderstorms, but luckily they held off. (Or actually, got it out of its system the night before.) The closest we got during this 107-mile, 8,600-foot climb- and pedalfest were the dark clouds seen in the above photo during Loop 1. (That's the lovely Manson orchard-vineyard-canyon loop.) Things got downright sunny later in the day as seen in some of the below phots.

Following the Titanium Cowboys back into Chelan along the stunning lake of the same name.

The Ivan Morse Road climb that snuck its way in between the Boyd Road and Upper Joe Creek climbs. Somehow a bunch of us--I mean, A BUNCH--ended up climbing this minor(ish) hillock though it wasn't on the course.

The Titanium Cowboys (Mike McQuaide, John Clark, Scott Young) after the 5-mile, 2,200-foot pointy-stick-in-the-eye called McNeil Canyon. Which comes at mile 58. This is the fourth time I've climbed it and I still can't get over how relentlessly tough it is. I love it.

Johnny Boy Clark on one of Loop 1's many fun descents.

Cary Westerbeck, a real nice guy, whom I chatted with during the Manson Loop. He told me he recently bought my book, "75 Classic Rides: Washington," which I thought rocked groovily! (I met and/or remet a lot of folks yesterday but given my hypoxic state for much of the day, I retained few to no names. Cary contacted me, reminding me of his name.)

Miss Lake Chelan and her two runner-ups. Lovely gals, all.

Johnny Boy getting extreme at the skatepark.

Our cozy lodgings at the Riverwalk Inn.

John and Seattle's Mark Clausen, with whom I rode part of last August's Shasta Summit Century, at the last aid station, about mile 90. By then, it was sunny and close to hot.

One of the many bounteous aid stations staffed by super friendly and supportive volunteers.

Titanium Cancellara using one of Chelan's unique pedestrian traffic-stopping flags whilst he crosses the street.

Some fast dude on one Loop 1's descents.

Ti Cowboys at the start. This is my second year doing the Chelan Century Challenge and I'd have to say it's without a doubt my favorite ride in the state. The terrain and scenery are incredible and the road surfaces are for the most part excellent. Traffic, especially during Loop 1, and most of Loop 2 for that matter, is pretty minimal really.

The community really supports it too. Lester Cooper and the Chelan Rotary do an excellent job. Thanks, folks, for putting on this ride!


  1. Photo 4 of 14 ... I saw you three pass me a couple of times and I thought the guy in the middle looked familiar. John, right? From Bellingham Fitness? I used to take spin classes with you. Now I live in Seattle. Anyway, great seeing you on the road!- Cathy Henley

    PS: Thanks, Mike, for posting these great photos. I shared your McNeil climb photo and link on my Facebook page ... great shot!

  2. Cathy,
    Thanks for the note. Yes, that's the one and only John Clark.
    And feel free to share whatever you want from my blog.
    Hope you had a good time on the ride!

    1. Thanks, Mike! Yes, had a great time. Loved everything about this ride, great support, fantastic scenery, awesome challenges, great weather (got caught in a short hail storm at the last rest stop, and even that was a thrill). Pass along a hello to John for me.

  3. Anonymous10:45 PM

    Imagine my surprise when I check out your blog tonight to re-live the Chelan Century and see pictures of myself described as a real nice guy by someone other than my wife! I'm Cary, the guy in black on the red and black Merckx. I recently bought your 75 Rides book and we chatted a bit on the Manson loop. What a great day out! It was my second year riding the CC and has quickly become an annual tradition. I've ridden many of the great mountainous rides in WA state and this is in my top 2-3, with excellent support. I enjoyed meeting you and sharing some pedaling time. -Cary Westerbeck