Sunday, July 13, 2008

Death Ride 2008

Jersey, Death Ride patch and check point stickers; one for every pass.

At the top of Ebbets Pass ... after hours of climbing in sweltering, 95-degree heat, then rain, and then hard marble-sized hail and painful cramps in my left shoulder, like a thick, steel blade was hanging in my upper back. Yes! Just two more mountain passes to climb. Will I make it? . . . Stay tuned.

Signs at HWY 89 outside South Lake Tahoe. Your last chance to turn back.

5:30am - Parked, unpacking the bikes, prepping for the day's ride.

The first climb. Almost to the top of Monitor Pass. Good pain. Great early morning views!

Top of Monitor Pass. First check point and rest station. Whew! One pass: 8,314 feet above sea level. Only four more to go.

Climbing up the back side of Monitor Pass -- in 95-degree heat -- the views across Topaz Valley. We started our second climb from way down there.

Reaching Monitor Pass again, completing the second pass. The sign says, "Monitor Pass, Elev 8,314 Ft.'

Speeding down the hill towards the Monitor Pass rest stop.

Rest stop near the foot of Ebbetts. Fuel and sunscreen stop before climbing pass #3, Ebbetts Pass. The weather was so beautiful. Little did I know the horror that lay ahead.

I stopped to take in the views and the scary-steep cliffs off Ebbetts Pass as earlier riders speed down on the descent.

The hard, wet, cold hail pummeled us :( Hey, nobody said anything about hail storms! I did not sign up for this.

Base camp for four days. Tony and I eating left-overs for dinner -- lots of carbs -- the night before the big ride.

Notice the smokey haze in the air from the wild fires that were burning in the valleys west and north of the mountains.