Bill and Melody called the route this morning. They, along with some other teammates, are going to the Pyrenees in September, so they thought a hilly route was in order. Okay...if you say so.
Besides the big rollers on 143rd, the first major hill was Flumerfelt up to Zenkner Valley. By the time I got to the top (well after the rest of the group), I "felt" completely "flumed". I'd been up that way a few years ago...now I remember why it's been a few years...and will be a few years more before I go that way again! At least the guy at the top, walking his dogs, acknowledged that we must be pretty strong to ride up that road.
The rollers on Zenkner Valley Rd. weren't too bad. For most, it was easy to get a good start from the downhill previous.
After a brief break at Schaffer County Park, we continued on Big Hanaford to the next big climb on Halliday. Right as I was nearing the top (once again behind most of the group, except Rick, who was within sight), two dogs decided to give chase. Well, they didn't really have to chase, as I was not going all that fast. A slow trot was more like it. I yelled my best "GO HOME!!", even though I was pretty well winded. They continued to chase for a bit, but then passed me off to another dog who also chased, but responded better to my yelling. That's the bad thing about being the last one. By the time I go by, even if the dogs have been sleeping, they are wide awake and ready for some fun! Lucky me...
Next up (literally) was Ham Hill. This little porker of a road was a new one for me. Lest you think this was just some little piglet of a climb, oh no, it was the whole hog! I think there should be someone waiting at the top with some bacon to reward us for making it to the top of this god-awful hill! But, no. Not even a nice ham sandwich! Hey, I can see it now!. Do a supported ride that includes Ham Hill. At the top, have a rest stop that has all things pig (pork rinds, ham and bean soup, pulled pork sandwiches, and, of course, bacon--lots of bacon). Hmmm...people might have a hard time getting back on their bikes...
Ham Hill "curls" to Seminary Hill Rd (often referred to as "Cemetery" Hill). Fortunately, except for a few short ups, we mostly went down Seminary Hill. Same was true for Grimes Rd. (another new road for me--although, I've seen it from both ends before). Grimes is significant in that there is a stop sign at the bottom of a really steep downhill. No lettin' 'er fly on that one!
Once on Salzer Valley to Little Hanaford, we had to regain a bit of the elevation we lost coming down Grimes. It wasn't too bad though and I was able to stay with everyone (I say everyone, but, by this time, two of the guys had headed back a shorter way).
We took Tietzel Rd to Big Hanaford. Part of Tietzel is fabulously smooth. It almost makes up for the part that is a lot less fabulous...almost. The last two big hills were on Tono Rd. Bill and Melody, on the tandem, stopped on Big Hanaford for a potty break. That gave me an opportunity to get up the first hill on Tono without being last. They caught me just as I crested the top. The descent was fast, but short-lived as the next climb starts not long after the descent. I was spent by the time I reached the top, but recovered pretty well on the descent into Bucoda. Everyone was waiting. I got about a 30 second rest, then we took off for the return up 507.
At Tenino, the group continued back on 143rd. I opted for Hwy 99 to Offut Lake and the trail home.
Total miles: 77.5
Average speed: 17.5
And a whole hog's worth of hills!