Tour de Peaks 2006

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For the last five years, I’ve spent the first weekend in August riding either Tour de Peaks or RSVP. It’s unfortunate the rides overlap, but I chose to do the Tour de Peaks again.

TdP attracts more casual cyclists than many local events, which is great because the riders are friendlier — people say hello to each other and take the time to thank the volunteers at the rest stops. It’s also encouraging that families attend.

Both loops have their own charms, with good scenery and managable traffic.
I rode to the start from my house and did the “upper” loop first. The “upper,” located on the lower part of most maps (a point several people, including me, found confusing) goes in and around Mt. Si and E.J. Roberts park. Except for the first few miles of Tokul road, it’s rolling-to-flat. The lunch stop back in Snoqualmie was well-loved, with foodstuffs donated by several local vendors. Sue Beauvais, the ride chair, did a great job calling specific attention to who donated what. (This appeals to my marketing side.) The GianFranco pasta was my favorite warm dish.

After lunch, I set out to do the “lower” loop, an out-and-back jaunt through the farmlands of Fall City and Carnation. The flat terrain and lack of tree cover made the effects of the afternoon sun more pronounced. I had rolled up my bike shorts slightly to extend my tan-line, but neglected to apply sunscreen on this portion. (This morning I have an uneven, red band on my mid-thigh.)
The water stop at Jubilee Farms was picked over, but I drizzled some of the cold water (from the vat of melted ice) on my head to cool off a bit. The rest stop at Tolt McDonald park had icy cold beverages. I took my time downing the splenda-sweetened fruity beverage. Simple pleasures!

Temperature on the ride back was pushing the upper 80s. After hitting Snoqualmie (again) to top off my water bottles, I took the familiar Preston-Fall City road back to I-90, down the feeder, then up the Sammamish plateau.

Total distance: 91 miles, nearly a metric sesquicentury! I was surprisingly tired at 50 miles (the lunch stop). The last 41 miles were powered through sheer force of will. I wanted to qualify this ride for the UMCA year-round challenge. (And make up for missing a century in January.)

Total time: 8:20, including breaks.
Weather: Nary a cloud in the sky. Afternoon temperatures approached the upper 80s.
All Things consumed: nearly two gallons of fluid, three slices of pizza, a heap of pasta, 5 1/2 Clif bars, a piece of lemon poppy coffee cake, sliced potatos (not very good cold), a bunch of grapes, two oranges, nine cherries and a mini bagel with cream cheese. When the ride was over, I was neither hungry nor thirsty.

4 thoughts on “Tour de Peaks 2006”

  1. I’ve been steaming red potatoes, quartered. After they cool I spritz them with a little extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with a little kosher salt, and put them in snack-sized ziplocks. They seem to stay more palatable that way through the day.

  2. Excellent suggestion. The thing I was most lacking on this ride was a source of salt. (except for the pizza) Typically I have an emergency stash of pretzels standing by.

    I know it’s only August, but I am almost sick of Clif Bars.

  3. Did you try the Smoked Salmon quesadillas at the finish line? Best ride food ever. Nice people too. A thoroughly enjoyable ride

  4. The people were *fantastic*

    I didn’t try the smoked salmon quesadillas (those were next to the pasta, right? If so, I have a picture). By the end of the day, with 14 miles left to go home, I had eaten so much to stave off bonking, I didn’t want anything else. (Wafer thin mint? I’ll pass.)

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