2014 SIR Cascade 1240km – Day One

Starting a few days before the ride, I laid out what I was planning on bringing. A few jerseys, jacket, pants, gloves, with baselayers & socks for each day, and a good supply of food would follow me. Much of that would go in a “drop bag” that gets transported by box truck to each overnight stop. My front bag on the bike would carry the day’s food and extra jersey and jacket for changes in the weather, and the rear seat bag would carry tools and cold weather clothes for descents.

Soma Stanyan. One day of food packed, three more days going in the drop bag. All the stuff I expect to use minus diabetes supplies.

Soma Stanyan

The starting line up would shrink over the week, but a whopping 88 randonneurs started the 1240km route on Saturday June 21st in Monroe, at 6am. Excitement was ramping up here just a minute before the start!

[Mile 0] 88 randos ready to roll out on the 1200k!

Mile 0

[Mile 47] Found the Boston-area guys (friends of Max) early on and the first 80 miles were covered in good time.

Mile 47

We moved along smoothly in relatively larger groups for much of the first day. Here’s a few of the Massachusetts crew (we had a mutual friend I knew from Ithaca and crewing long races), and Theo in blue who had been on all of the same rides I had in my series leading up to now.

[Mile 57] First view of a snowy peak - Rainier

Mile 57

At some point I left the pack and was on my own. I missed one turn briefly, and backtracked a quarter mile to find them again (although somehow they went from ahead of me to behind, so they must have stopped or missed a turn too). This was the beginning of the snowy peak views, with my familiar Rainier view from Enumclaw where I had ridden several times before when I was living in Puyallup in the spring.

 [Mile 139] We'd stop in Randle for my first Subway break of the ride.

Mile 139

Approaching Randle, I knew there was a Subway. People scattered between Subway, a Mexican restaurant, a bakery, and convenience stores. Not every controle point would have this many options as we ventured deeper into the state in less dense areas. Since we had been rolling swiftly, I took a good break at Subway to eat a real meal and rolled out with the Massachusetts guys (Jon and Matt).

 [Mile 150] Many miles down, solo, and climbing well. I loved the climb in the forest and there was little traffic.

Mile 150

We didn’t stay together long though, and I would spend quite a while alone along Route 25 climbing up Elk Pass. It was relaxing in the forest, climbing for a long time. I put music on to keep a steady candence, and there were few cars around in the forest to worry about. I set the GPS to show elevation instead of speed to be a little less depressing. I like reaching milestones – 2000ft, 3000ft, and 4080ft at the top.

I chuckled at the endless Garmin emails before the ride. I made it through the route with one battery swap!

Mile 165 – Garmin eTrex 20 with free topo maps

[Mile 165] View from after Elk Pass

Mile 165 – View from after Elk Pass

I had no idea what to expect with temperatures and layers needed, but it was still daytime, still warm, and no need for winter preparations on this descent. There was no summit sign, but on the backside there was a clearing, and this great view of Mt. St. Helens. There were half a dozen randos already there, and I only made a brief stop before continuing the descent slightly before them, knowing I’d be coasting most of it and seeing them catch up soon.

[Mile 169] Viewpoint of Mt. St. Helens.

Mile 169

[Mile 185] Eagle Cliffs controle — in Northwoods, WA.

Mile 185

After passing the Swift Reservoir would be the Northwoods Eagle Cliffs store. This was literally the only thing along the road for a while, and a welcome stop after many miles of forest roads with no services. The store employee seemed to love that so many people were stopping to buy food in this otherwise sparse area!

The climbing wasn’t over yet though – there would still be the shorter pass up Curly Creek Rd. to Oldman Pass. I rode with a couple from the San Fransisco area briefly, before climbing a little faster up the pass. I turned off the road for this nearing-sunset view of Mt. St. Helens:

Mile 190

With the last bit of sun left, the pictures would end for the day. Being near the solstice, the days were incredibly long which was a great benefit since I was also riding incredibly long. It cooled down a bit with the sun gone, and with a slight downhill I decided to roll faster for the remaining twenty miles to the overnight controle in Carson at mile 223.

I was happy to see many randos milling about, and parked my bike alongside the building. I didn’t stop for dinner, but I had been snacking all day, and just needed to sleep at this point. It was around 10:25pm when I got in, and took a shower before going to bed with my alarm set for 4:30am.

Strava data for day one: 06/21/2014 Cascade 1200 day one – Monroe to Carson 225.1 miles ridden, 13,877ft climbed.

This entry was posted in 200-300 miles, 2014Cascade1200, Olympia. Bookmark the permalink.

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