Sunday, September 02, 2012


Almost at the top. The last 0.3-mile to 7,488-foot Slate Peak is narrow and steep, averaging 16.5 percent!  Oh, and the road surface is slippery , powdery gravel that one's tires sorta sink into.   
Brian Ecker at the start of the hour-long descent back down to Mazama. About 10 years ago, I got a  flat tire on my pickup truck right on this stretch. That remains one of the most terrifying moments of my life. Riding this on a bike, however, was absolutely no problem.  
Smiling writer guy atop Slate Peak. The middle-of-the-mountains feel from Slate is absolutely  overwhelming  and I daresay unlike any other place I've ridden my bike.
Made it! GoPro handlebar cam records me making it to the top. By this time, Brian's bike  had been leaning against that post for probably 40 minutes. 
Brian on the descent.
Brian descends, Slate Peak in the background. That final pitch has stretches to 27 percent!
At the top: A closed lookout tower, a building with the highest elevation graffitti in the state, and Brian.
To folks planning on driving Hart's Pass Road, this might as well say: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here. But to those on bikes like Brian and I, no biggie.
I sorta have to admit, I got a bang out of passing car after car on the descent.
Unfortunately, this photo doesn't really show it, but this is one of two especially narrow stretches that gave me an agida-anxiety attack a decade or so ago when I drove this road. It's actually fairly low, about 3,400 feet, but is a half-mile of pothole-riddled, bumpy scariness. (The other is the flat-tire stretch I pointed out earlier.)   What I realized yesterday was that were you to go off the side in a car, you'd roll and tumble over and over again and you'd most likely die a bloody deathly death. On a bike, however, you'd be scraped up, sure, but wouldn't ragdoll down the mountainside or anything. If you've ever ridden Burnout Road, it's similar to that last really steep stretch that's somewhat exposed--I'd never ever want to drive that, but on a bike it's no big deal.    
Altitude sort of has a weird effect on me ...
Another Strava KOM for Brian Ecker. All in a day's work.
Stupendous scenery: Get thee to Hart's Pass-Slate Peak!
Here's our route/stats:

1 comment:

  1. I think that may have been the moon.