Trey's Tour of Truckee
KAOS Confuses Californians
Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Transfer
Saturday, July 27, 2002: Stage 6
The cat slept in until 5:45.
Today is our last ride. The plan is to attack Donner Pass again only this time without high speed wobble. Neil feels a lot better and wants to complete the whole planned ride. We head out down the hill into Truckee. Damn. We gotta climb this thing again to get home.
The ride out past Donner Lake is subdued as each of us contemplates our attack on Donner Pass. We get to the start of the climb before we know it. Up we go! I check my heart rate. It is at 126 and starting to go up. I decide to try to keep it below 160 for as long as possible. It doesn't take long to pass 160. I feel fine and let it go to 170. At 171 I shift down to my 23. Back to 166. I keep it there until the grade increases. I shift into the 25 and recover back to 168. Still feeling pretty good. I am more than half way up the 3.5 mile climb. I'm tempted to stand and go after the rider in front of me but it is too early. I pace myself off of him. With 3/4 mile to go his cadence drops. I keep my cadence and pass him. He tries stays with me for a few yards, then slips backward down the hill. I continue to the top, feeling like I could do another 5 miles but am happy when the summit comes.
We reqroup in a ski lift parking lot.
The descent is uneventful this time. Neil is very cautious, with good reason. It takes about 1/2 hour to get to the bottom where the road ends in a camp grounds. It is 13 miles from the top. A left turn at the campground and over the I-80 bridge there is a gas station. We stop. There are a lot of people there. The tourists are on their way into Truckee and Lake Tahoe for the weekend. After a couple of Gatorades we turn around for the 13 miles back up. The grade is much less severe. Descending on the front side of Donner Pass is a trip! Trey and I catch up with a car. We are braking continuously to keep out of his bumper. The driver finally pulls over and lets up pass. Without pedaling, I max out at 52.4 mph.
Back to Truckee and up Trey's 3.8 mile hill to get home. This part is never fun.
Our last ride is complete. In six days we have riden 350 miles in some of the most beautiful and challenging country we've ever seen.
Back at the house we pack our bikes and clean up the garage. Showers taken, laundry started, we decide to meet Chrissy and her boyfriend for dinner in Reno. Our discussion turns to the climbs we have done. Based on a description I got from LanceArmstrong.com last year, Donner Pass is a Category 3 and Gold Lake might qualify as a Category 2. See "So, You Think You're a Climber!"
On the way back Trey takes us home via Rose Mountain. The grade is about 6% and is continuous for 13 miles for an elevation gain of around 4,900 feet. That equates to a Category 1 climb. The mountain stages of the Tour de France come into perspective. Someday we'll try it.