Group Rides

Join us for evening indoor training rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm at the Recycle Bicycle Shop in downtown Ellensburg.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Manastash Metric routes

The new routes for the Manastash Metric Century and Half Century have been approved and posted on the Mansastash Metric website.  Check it out - click on the elevations map to see the actual course.  Should be a great ride - all in the lower valley - and essentially flat.  Two climbs for the 100K route at Hayward Hill up to Hwy 10 and the annual trek up Hungry Junction.

Rumor has it there could be a full century (100 mile) course added in the next couple of years.  Stay tuned for more on that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Manastash Metric route update

If you haven't already heard, or figured out, Hwy 10 is closed through October, 2012 for a bridge replacement.  Since that has been the route back to Ellensburg for the Manastash Metric bicycle ride a new plan had to be formulated.

The sponsor group, RSVP in Ellensburg, has been working diligently on a new route and have two options for this year's ride.  The routes are with the state for approval by the Department of Transportation.

We expect the routes to be posted on the Manastash Metric Facebook page and also on the Manastash Metric website the week of June 25th.  Stay tuned for more information.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A short ride synopsis

Time is often the bane of a cyclist. Having a family with multiple kids involved in team sports makes it difficult to get in much more than an hour a day for training purposes.  So, when I found out our family schedule had opened up for a visit back home to the Palouse region in eastern Washington I had to start making plans for a good ride.

I have not been able to do a century ride since 1997 when I was training for the cross state Cannonball one day ride.  I negotiated with my boss to let me work Monday (Memorial Day) and then take the following Friday off (our weekend trip).  My entire plan was to head out from home between 9:30 and 10:00 am and ride east on I-90 until my wife caught up to me around 5:00 pm.  Since last fall's attempt at a 100 mile ride ended abruptly at mile 14 when my dad crashed on his bike and broke his pelvis, I have been thinking non-stop about doing a century.  Everything was falling into place perfectly.
I started accumulating the things I needed the day before the ride.  I waffled for about a week on which bike to take and finally decided on the Spectrum titanium because it had two water bottle cages versus my other vintage bikes with only one.  I grabbed the larger, expandable saddle bag from my mountain bike and proceeded to fill it with  patch kits, a spare tube, Nuun electrolyte replacement tablets, a multi tool and four granola bars.  In my pockets were the mp3 player, fourteen fig newtons, my cell phone and a sandwich bag with my drivers license, health insurance cardit, credit card and some cash.

One of the distinct things about heading east on I-90 from Ellensburg is the prevailing tailwind to crossing tailwind that you can encounter.  I was hoping to have some of  those winds as I was a little nervous about the ride having not been able to get the training miles to a level I'd like to see at this time of year.   Starting out I felt great and made it from my place (10 miles northeast of Ellensburg) to the Ryegrass rest area in about an hour and ten minutes.  I topped off the one water bottle I had already gone through and then headed out.  I'd never ridden down to Vantage on I-90 and, I must say, it was quite a bit of fun in averaging 33-40 miles per hour for eleven miles.

The only nerve wracking portion of the entire trip is crossing the bridge over the Columbia River at Vantage that has no shoulder.  I timed my entrance to that portion between two semi-trucks, put the bike in my 42-19 gear and started pedalling hard.  Only three cars decided they had to honk as they went past and and I quickly entered the shoulder after clearing the bridge and prepared for the mile climb. 

Another advantages of riding the interstate is well spaced rest areas 34-45 miles apart.  Confidence builds in knowing you can go through two water bottles and be able to fill up every couple of hours.   You also get to answer a lot of questions from motorists stopped at those rest areas who 1) can't believe you're riding on the interstate and 2) are interested in where you came from and how far you're going.  It definitely makes the ride a little more enjoyable.

After fixing a flat tire at mile 64 it was short distance in to Moses Lake where I quickly stopped for a Snickers and Coca Cola to prevent a low blood sugar situation from building.  Then it was on for the last few hours of riding.  By mile 85 I was starting to get tired - my longest ride the prior year was 73 miles and I had a total of four mountain bike rides in the prior three weeks thanks to a hectic work schedule.  I rolled into the next rest area about 3:15 and took a more extended break to eat some food.  This was at mile 95 and I decided based on the time and distance (43 miles) to the next rest area I wasn't going to make it there before the family caught me.  Ritzville would be the termination of my ride.

That last 23 mile leg was the toughest of the entire day.  The legs were getting more and more tired even though the cardiovascular system still felt strong but the brain was starting to shut down knowing I was almost to the end.  I rolled into the parking lot at Ritzville at 4:35pm and let out a big sigh followed by 10-15 minutes of stretching to try and stay loose.  The ride stats were 118.5 miles, 6 hrs 1 minute of riding and a 19.7mph avg. 

Finally, a 100 mile goal had been reached.  This was the longest distance I had ridden since 1997 and it felt good to check that one off the "list".  Now it's finding a way to stay motivated to do more centuries.