The pre-ride breakfast at the Starbucks in Cameron Park.
This is the camera backpack converted into a water carrier. I learned this trick in France- wrap each bottle in a paper towel, put two bottles into one freezer baggie, add ice, and voila, you've got something that's going to keep your drinks very cold under very warm conditions!
At the start of the ride the mountains look quite some distance away. No clouds here, and pretty darned warm too (about 80 at the start, warming up to 90 in an hour or so).
The sign tells the story. 25 miles to Highway 88, pretty much all uphill! And no "services" for 31 miles. Which means no food, no water, except what you carry yourself.
The uphill side to the "roller coaster" isn't quite as fun as it will be on the return!
It's not just the mountains that make the views spectacular, it's the clouds. About this point it's also beginning to cool off a fair amout, dropping from 90 to around 74 with a slight breeze.
Our first snow, just to the right.
Highway 88 at last! We're heading left, the "up" direction. When in doubt, always head "up."
Don't miss the turnoff for the resort at the west end of the lake! The original destination back in the day had been Kay's Resort at the bottom of Highway 50, but that place closed a couple years ago. No matter, Plasse's Resort fits the bill just fine. One catch though- their website says they didn't open until June 12 this year (2009).
The twisty steep road from the main highway down to the resort had Kevin wondering if we really needed to go all the way down there. He was not looking forward to the ride back out!
Approaching Plasse's Resort.
Arriving at the very-well-stocked General Store
Kevin posing for the camera. I had to force him to eat (a couple of powerbars; he didn't want to buy anything at the store, but I did get him to drink a coke). He really wasn't looking forward to what he thought would be a very tough ride back.
Highway 88 is a pretty easy grade back to the 8000 foot summit, which surprised Kevin.
8000 feet, almost at the "top!"
One of the steeper pitches, after turning off 88 and onto Mormon Emigrant Trail. Steep, yet Kevin was charging up the relatively-short climbs very strongly.
About now Kevin is realizing the return is going to be fun, with a *lot* more downhill than uphill.
We called this section the roller coaster, because you had three separate pretty steep drops, with small rises in-between. It was pretty easy to get 45 miles per hour here.
The final little climb before the finish.
Crossing the dam at Sly Park. Almost finished.
Back at the car! 63 miles, 7000ft of climbing, just over 8000ft max elevation.