September 2012

Or, the tour of the Horse Haven Hills!

This ride in eastern Washington appealed to me although I have never ridden in this region before. I’ve wanted to try a brevet which involved some dirt road riding and this one offered a little over seven miles of dirt in its route. This ride also had a good deal of climbing in it and while there were no major passes to climb, a couple of moderate climbs and the endless rollers of the Horse Haven Hills added up to a significant amount of uphill.

In Europe there’s an informal tradition of naming particularly hilly randoneés as grimpeur (“gram-purr”) routes, referring to french translation as “climbers routes.”  Although this route might not measure up to other great climbers routes it is not easy.

Overall the route is remarkably traffic free and with the exception of the dirt road section the pavement and road shoulders are in great condition for bicycling. The weather was also better than it could have been with generally light winds and temperatures topping out in the mid 80’s. Out of seven pre-registered riders, four showed up to ride that day. Our small group started out together but after 10 miles or so we split up as we each tended to our own needs. During the day riders were often not that far apart and we overlapped at some of the controls but in the end we finished an hour or more apart.



L’Eroica is just over a month away and it is time to make sure that everything is in order with the bike. I have a couple of hundred of miles on the Legnano already but have not done any real hills on it yet. I decided to to a hilly 100 km populaire into Bryce Canyon that has about 4000 feet of climbing in it. This should give me an idea of how the bike climbs and how well it is working.

The route starts in scenic Red Canyon a little ways outside of the park and climbs up the wonderful Red Canyon bike path. This path has been recently extended and will take you to within a few miles of the park. Eventually it will go all the way to Bryce Canyon National Park.