While out west for a work conference, I had the chance to take a day off to borrow a bike and ride into the mountains. I stayed with a wonderful host from Warmshowers.org (a bike touring directory of helpful hosts), and he let me borrow his bike for the day. Another gracious host that was unable to host me had recommended a route up towards one of the parks, so I set out in the morning on that route.
The first hour and a half or so was all up. In Ithaca, we have a few 1,000ft climbs, but this was going to be nearly 5,000ft all at once. It was mostly a mental game, and I cranked away while keeping an eye on the elevation as I passed each thousand feet higher. I started the day at 5,600ft, and at the top of the climb I was at 10,300ft! I was afraid that I’d be winded, but it was nothing more than a typical out of breath experience from climbing for a while. It did get chilly up there though, about 15 degrees cooler, so I put my jacket, hat and gloves on before the long descent.
I stopped for a few photo ops when I saw peaks in the distance with snow on top. Overall this ride had few stops though, as I only needed to refuel about halfway into the ride.