Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Remember the Alamo

Los Alamos Road,that is. I was feeling ambitious yesterday and got to thinking.... lets try Los Alamos Road. It goes up part of Mt. Hood. It starts two and a half miles from home (135') and gets up to 1721' All in 6.8 miles. I started feeling like the tiny defenders of the Alamo real quick like. The mountain was the entire army of General Santa Anna. For better or worse the middle is the steep part 14-21%. My visions of really hitting that mighty army of a mountain faded. Where was Sam Houston anyway! I'm glad I wasn't on a HRM because I had to stop 3, yes 3, times just to get my breath. The third time I nearly turned around, but I continued and a good thing because it eased up after that to a milder pitch.The view was magnificent at the top. Now the turn around, Those of you who know me in the mountains probably think of me as a capable descender. Out here it is way different, not only is the pavement rough, cracked and patched, but it is often very twisty so you are on the brakes hard. Today was a new experience-about 2/3 way down I hear the hiss-hiss-hiss of a flat. Front, fortunatly not a blow out. It seems I was braking so hard that the tire/tube had spun a little on the rim. This pulled the stem and a hole developed at the juncture with the tube body. That's never happened before. A week and a half 'til the Gran Fondo, actually the Medio-metric for me. I feel good but there is a huge wall about a mile long at the mid point. Think Grandfather Mtn, the last part. Its odd, when the Tour of California did this the first couple years, it didn't even rank as a climb. The view out over the Pacific is grand. The Gran Fondo(103 mi.) goes over an extra hilly stretch into back country more remote than anyplace I know of back in NC. There are 3500 people registered and 1500 are doing the whole enchilada. I hope y'all get to dry out soon, roll on! HH

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