Sunday, August 17, 2008

RUSA 243 Sunrise Climb

I was feeling a bit guilty for missing the RUSA 10th Anniversary ride yesterday, but in much better shape after a day of recovery. I really had planned on riding yesterday, but I just didn't recover fast enough from Friday's ride.

I headed out to Black Diamond to start the ride early, leaving the first control about 6:15. It was about 70 and a bit muggy already, but that was much cooler than the past few days have been, so it felt pretty nice. It stayed nice like that almost the whole ride. There were scatterrd clouds along with blue sky, but fortunately the clouds hid the sun almost the whole time. For much of he way between Enumclaw and Greenwater, there was a pretty decent headwind ... with luck it will hold for the way back!

In the picture to the right, where a large stream joins the White River, you can see why they call it the White River ...

I made it to the White River Ranger station by 10:30 and started the long grind up, reaching the top right about noon. While it sure takes a while to get up there, the views along the way and up at the top sure make it worthwhile. The picture to the left shows some lava flows seen on the ride up; the one below shows the view from the 6100 foot viewpoint looking away from Mt.Rainier.

The ride back down was a blast. Not racing down, but simply enjoying the ride. The last few times I've ridden along 410 headed towards Enumclaw there has been a headwind that was just strong enough to shave a few mph off the ride ... not today. While there wasn't a strong headwind, it was either calm or perhaps just a little tailwind. In any case it was great! Temperatures were nice until I hit Enumclaw, which was very hot and very, very muggy. Got back to Black Diamond a bit before 4:00 PM. A very enjoyable ride!

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