too many words by laura lemay

ride of death

This weekend I’m going up to the sierras to the Death Ride. The Death Ride, otherwise known as the Tour of the California Alps, is a very famous local bicycle ride: its five mountain passes in the Sierras, 130 miles and 16,000 feet of climbing. That’s a lot of really steep hills to suffer up in a bicycle. For comparison, Alp d’Huez is one of the more famous Tour de France stages — famous for being horrifically steep and difficult. It’s 8.6 miles and 3300 feet of climbing. In the Death Ride the second pass is 9.3 miles and 3200 feet. And there’s one big pass before and three more passes to go after that. Of course the Tour guys are racing Huez and the Death Ride is just a ride, so the comparison doesn’t really hold up. Still: its a tough ride.

So am I actually riding this horrid suffer-fest? Of course not! I am going in support of Dear Husband Eric, who likes nothing better than riding painfully up a really steep hill and then turning around and riding up it again. Dear Husband Eric rode the Death Ride last year, came back to the car after twelve hours looking like he had been beaten with rocks, and swore he would never, ever (“never, never, never…”) do that ever again. Two weeks later he was planning his training for this year’s ride so he could get a better time. Climbers: they like to suffer. They are nuts.

By support on the ride, of course I mean I will be sitting in the car with my computer playing games. I am also in charge of driving back to the hotel after Eric comes back beaten with rocks. Fortunately, we are staying in South Lake Tahoe, so there will be a lot of alcohol available.