Northwest Tandem Rally 2005 in Bend, Oregon, Fourth of July weekend
Saturday of the Northwest Tandem Rally (NWTR) began with a club photo of Evergreen Tandem Club members in attendance. Then 450 bikes departed Summit High School in Bend, Oregon. What a sight! We cruised with the crowd for quite a while. Rode with various friends from ETC through the rolling hills.
We opted to take the long route to Smith Rocks and an excellent choice it was. The roads were fast and the view at the rest stop was fantastic. Visited with friends from around the country before heading back for Bend.
On the way back we caught up to Steve and Denise. They’ve been working hard all season on speed and man, it shows! We used to be able to drop them fairly easily. Not today. They kicked it up when we caught them, and we could barely hang with them for 20 miles.
Ended the day with 71 miles at a 17.6 average. It felt like the roads were all downhill. How’d they do that?
Sunday we rode day two of NWTR with Jim and Jeannie and Mike and Carol from ETC. Jay and Sara rode with us until the first rest stop. Again, it was a fast-paced group for the first section of riding. We relaxed a bit on the second portion during which time Mike and Carol had 2 flats and Jim’s saddle needed adjustment once. The mountains were all out, though. You could see Broken Top, the Three Sisters, Jefferson, and even Mt. Hood! The smell of the high desert sage was wonderful.
Spent quite a bit of time at the rest stop just lazing around and visiting. Sheila and I stretched out our legs on the homeward stretch ending with 61 miles at 17+ mph again.
Monday we did the optional ride for hardcore climbers. We called it RAMBOD (Ride Around Mount Bachelor in One Day). They called it the Cascade Lakes Loop. We went up Century Drive 20 miles to Bachelor Ski area. Then we looped down through some of the prettiest territory in the state. There were lots of little lakes and mountain pastures framed by the bulk of South Sister. We’d brought lots of extra water in our pannier, but had run out by the time we got to Devils Lake. A friendly couple from Wisconsin headed to Crater Lake refilled our bottles from their supply.
We continued cruising along at 25-35 mph through a long descent through the forest. It was grand. We eventually turned toward Sunriver, our next water stop.
From there it was another 11 mile climb up to Century Drive. A butterfly paced us for about 3 miles of the climb, apparently attracted by the bright colors of our jerseys. Or maybe she was just making fun of our speed. The climb took us another hour and a half in the hot, afternoon sun. We were more than ready for the payback – 18 miles down, down, down to Bend. We completed our 100 miles in almost exactly 8 hours clock time! We averaged 15.3, a very respectable rate for a ride with 6,000 feet of elevation gain.
Thursday, July 14: Today was our last big training ride before RAMROD. We followed the cue sheet for a 120 mile ride from Marymoor Park to Snoqualmie Pass and back with about 5525’ of elevation gain. As it turned out it was only 116 miles. We managed to complete the ride with a 16 mph average, about 9 hours clock time, with 7:15 saddle time. We’re feeling strong and ready for RAMROD. We’re hoping that taking this next week completely off (sitting a meditation retreat) won’t be an issue. We do plan to do at least one easy 50 mile ride between when we return and RAMROD, two weeks from today. The switchbacks up to Denny Creek were awesome. The road was smooth with little traffic and lots of shade. Too bad we had such strong headwinds pedaling back down the pass.