Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Ride #3

Another Sunday, another good sized group. Colder than we would have liked, and a pretty strong Northerly wind aside, it was a good day to ride.

Rather than riding the direct 105/River Rd route to Wakefield, we opted for the more interesting East side of the river. In the summer we tend to trace a route that is about 60k to Wakefield, but we abridged that and made about 45-50. It worked out rather well; more hilly than the West side, and more scenic. The Cascades climb signaled 'game on' and a number of us suffered appropriately. It felt good to put in a 100% effort, but I paid with a bit of the ol' burnt lungs (I believe this is technically called 'athletic asthma'). This is followed by what is referred to as 'racer's hack.' No big deal. The descent past Cascades, specifically the chicane, generate a few smiles. Action.

From Wakefield, all but Rodd and I headed back to town. While we had loftier intentions, the wind was rather fierce and cold as we continued North, so we decided to check out the Woodsmoke climb.

Incredible. The climb ascends into a neighborhood atop the ridge, gaining about 150 meters over 2km. (average of 8%) Running an old school front ring, 42t (x27), required standing for as much as possible. The road is dirt, mostly packed, with a little loose stuff. This was lucky for me, as the loose cannot be ridden standing. Some of the pitches are at least 18%. It switchbacks twice.

This is certainly the most challenging climb we've encountered in the region. The descent was hairy, hitting 65 and sliding the rear wheel through the two tight turns. We'll be back there to do a little more looking around, as there are other branches to explore.

Covered bridge on Cross Loop

After Woodsmoke we simply backtracked to Wakefield and took River Rd to Cross Loop, then 105 to Scott.... With some really good climbs on the day I was happy with the 115k despite having planned for more. Hoping for a warmer day next weekend.

All the days photos can be seen here.

map and gpx here:


Next Sunday's potential excursion:


DomF said...

Nice ride Matt, I saw your post after you guys had already left...just as well, I got hit with some kind of virus and spent Sunday afternoon and night in bed with fever and an upset stomach.

Are you guys still planning on going to the Uxbridge Icebreaker - I have 2 spots left in my car if needed...sorry to post about it here - I have no other way of contacting you.

glacialridn said...

I was out...
You sure wood smoke is just an 18%'r?
I thought it was a bit higher than that.
That climb off river before the tracks is a 10% according to the sign.
I'm sure woodsmoke is more grueling. Could be the dirt though.

One other king of the hill climbs.
I forget the name of it- but just prior to the covered bridge in wakefield, you will see a road going up the hill. Take it. As fast as you can...

You boyz and galz going to do a full loop out to the dam in low then cross over the 105.
I'd be up for a ride out that way soooon.
Something that just makes the walls of your legs swell up.

Matt Surch said...

Sorry you had to miss riding on account of illness Dom. At least it was kinda cold anyway.

There are a few people doing the Icebreaker, though the number is not nailed down yet. Planning to go early Sunday. We'll either put a person or two with you or vice versa (I know you don't want to drive solo). Email me at my first initial followed by my last name at gmail.

Andrew said...

Thanks for the ride you guys, I will be out again for sure. Hopefully on something a bit more cushy than 23c...