With 6240 feet of elevation gain, the 84 mile Tour de Blast, from Toutle to the Johnston Ridge Observatory, is one of the most brutal rides I’ve done. It’s at freeway grade and while there are only three climbs, they’re long.
I’m a big guy with a small cassette. The last time I did this ride I was forty pounds lighter. Yesterday, it was clear those forty pounds are making a huge difference in my climbing. Throw in my innate distrust of my very upright bike on descents and it’s little wonder I was one of the last folks off the course, if not the very last. Everyone was gone, the school locked up. Vic was waiting in the car with to go boxes from pasta feed.
While I finished and felt pretty good those last ten rolling miles, this bodes very poorly for the Ramrod.
The Rotary Club of Longview does a great support job: good food, friendly volunteers, lots of sag passes. I particularly liked the campfire at Elk Rock. Vic includes a map on his post about the ride here.
Here’s one last thing: I took the wrong lens, thinking I had the double glass Lensbaby, but instead had the plastic, so the pictures of the awesome scenery are, um, different, than I wanted.