Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mountains of Misery

Aid Station #5 at Mountains of Misery

On Sunday, day two of the Cycling Double Header, I volunteered to help with the Mountains of Misery ride and was assigned to aid station #5 at the corner of 311 and 658. This event filled up, with I think 550 riders registered. Most of them were from out of the area, or even out of state. It's earning a reputation among cyclists as a tough must-do ride because of the hellish climb in the final 4 miles of the 104 mile ride (final 4 of the 128 mile ride for those opting for the double-metric of 200k). The final climb takes you to Mountain Lake. Here's the elevation profile for the single...check out that last portion!

The day was hot and sunny, and sweaty for both riders and helpers! We were a popular stop for riders and boy did they go through the food and fluids. We had cookies, chips, pretzels, fruit, trail mix, gels, bagels, and my specialty...peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I think I made 8 or 10 loaves of bread into sandwiches, but into quarters. The PB was in a near coffee-can sized container and we used every bit of it. Riders could opt for water, gatorade, or another electrolyte solution, Heed.

We just tried to be helpful, filling bottles, holding bikes, re-pinning numbers, and providing food. Equally important we offered praise, encouragement, and solace as needed. The solace was required for the four riders who had done an extra 18 miles by missing a turn.

I got to check out lots of equipment - bikes, gears, saddles, frames, and wheels. I found a cool saddle called the ISM Adamo that I am really considering getting as a solution to my raw crotch issues from long rides. (TMI? Sorry...)

The ride was so well run and coordinated, it was a real joy to be a part of it. The riders were gracious and the event organizers rocked.

Now the dilemma is whether to ride or help next year....?

Coach Jim (l) and his brother-in-law