The $6 Down Payment that Could Shape My Riding Year!

It’s March 1st ladies and gents!  I’ve had that day marked on my calendar for quite a while!  What is March 1st you ask?  No it’s not my wife’s birthday, or our anniversary.  I am not WAY late for Valentines Day nor did Easter come early this year.

It’s the first day you can enter the lottery (anyone feeling lucky?) with a $6 fee (shoot I’ve paid more for bad beer) for Redmond Cycling Club’s    R A M R O D 2013!  Anyone who has read this blog from the beginning knows I have one big ride each year, and I have finally reached the point that I think I can pull this one off!  What is the R A M R O D you ask?  (Well even if you didn’t) From the website we see:

RAMROD 2013 – Thursday July 25th
  RAMROD [Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day] is the Pacific Northwest’s premiere one-day ultra-marathon cycling event. It combines the incomparable scenery of Mount Rainier National Park with a challenging course featuring 10,000 feet of climbing over 152 miles. The course begins in Enumclaw, WA and takes riders through the rolling hills near Eatonville, Elbe and Ashford before entering the Mount Rainier National Park.  You’ll be challenged by three climbs: a 12 mile ascent to Inspiration Point (4,850 ft), the 3 mile Backbone Ridge climb and the challenging 9-mile Cayuse Pass ascent (4,694 ft).  Join us for another great edition of this classic ride!

I think the “by the numbers” helps explain it even more:

1 Mountain    
152 Miles    
800 Riders    
10,000 Feet of Climbing

English: NPS map of Mount Rainier National Par...
English: NPS map of Mount Rainier National Park Français : Carte du Parc national du Mont Rainier. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To me, it’s the one ride I have always looked at and wondered if I would ever be able to pull it off.  That is one BIG mountain, and I have done some of the hills around it Chinook Pass (well almost, more later on that) and Sunrise Visitor Center are two memorable and VERY steep HARD rides.

Why now? I pulled off the Highpass Challenge 2 years ago, within the allotted time, while wearing running shoes.  I didn’t have clips yet (yes we will discuss that later as well) not even baskets on my pedals.  You know you are the odd man out when someone says “You are going to ride this wearing those??”  Yep and got a finisher’s medal and backpack to prove it!  This year I am clipped in!

Holding the bronze medal after the High Pass Challenge!
Holding the bronze medal after the High Pass Challenge!

Last year did the Seattle to Portland, 206 miles, in one day. and aside from a sore tush, I was rarin’ to go!

Now add to it the stupid reason.  My ex wife had a best friend whose husband I could not stand, but I couldn’t figure out why.  Then looking at this ride it hit me.  When I was new at this biking game, anytime we discussed it, the “I completed the RAMROD you know” would come up.  Lord I wanted to punch that man (but I digress).  So instead of punching him (chances are I will never see him again), I will complete the ride as well!

So why the lottery?  The National Park only allows 800 riders.  This is a ride many people use to challenge themselves.  In a normal year 1700 – 2000 people sign up for the lottery.  This means the odds could be 60-40 against me!  (So if anyone has a rabbit’s foot or other good luck charm they could give an extra rub for me, it would be appreciated….)

I won’t find out until the first week of April if I was selected.  Then there is the waiting list if I DON’T get selected.  This means training without knowing for sure!  MUCH harder, but I can do it.

I am looking at plan B rides, but nothing is drawing my interest.  Any ideas?

Think good thoughts for me folks!

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