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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Tour De Blast - 2013

    Cycling season is just starting for me and was planning on riding the event this year and was not looking forward the usual event date. Was going to have to train pretty hard to ride the early year event (tourdeblast.com). Just noticed on website that they announced the 2013 date. Glad they moved it from there usual early in the year start to Sept 21. They've always held the event in May or June where the weather still can be a chore especially in that altitude. Cold windy rainy days are the norm throughout early half of the year. Best part is that it gives me an additional 3-4 months of training period to take on the 82 mile course with 6,240 feet of elevation climb. At 50 yrs old and 20lbs overweight (amazing how much you could gain off season), I need all the extra training/riding I could get.

    See you guys out on the road. Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable cycling year/season.

    Mark
    Bianchi - Infinito - 2012 - Ultegra 6700 Group w/ Fulcrum Racing Zero wheelset

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    The bad part of this move is it could make for a very hot climb. Climbing in the cool wet was not too bad most of the time.
    2009 Specialized S-Works Carbon Tricoss
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4
    Gary Fisher Tassahara

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by moralleper View Post
    The bad part of this move is it could make for a very hot climb. Climbing in the cool wet was not too bad most of the time.
    Good point..... will plan on heading out early in the morning to beat the heat and "crowd"
    Bianchi - Infinito - 2012 - Ultegra 6700 Group w/ Fulcrum Racing Zero wheelset

  4. #4
    LC
    LC is online now
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    I swore off that ride after shivering through freezing fog one year and rain/hail the next, both times having to turn back early as it was too miserable and I could hardly see the rider in front of me let alone and sort of view. September sounds much better.

  5. #5
    raincityride
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    September is Better! 2014 TdB

    Quote Originally Posted by LC View Post
    I swore off that ride after shivering through freezing fog one year and rain/hail the next, both times having to turn back early as it was too miserable and I could hardly see the rider in front of me let alone and sort of view. September sounds much better.
    Rode the TdB this Saturday and the experience was exceptional. The start was cold at 45 degrees and chose to tough it out and not wear a jacket but did have my sun sleeves. Lots of folks had full leggings, arms and jackets though. It warmed up enough for me in about 45 minutes. Later in the day the temps were mid 80s.

    A volunteer told me they had 550 riders which was up from the year before which makes sense given the date change. Didn't feel crowded to me. Plenty of space and everyone was supportive and nice to each other.

    The Mt. St Helens made a debut early in the day and was always there to motivate and inspire you to climb to the observatory. It was my wife and I and a nice woman from Battleground rode with us through the first climb and then she left us on the final. That's the thing about climbling sustained that long is everyone finds their pace and just goes for it!

    The first climb is where you'll find the best rest stop which you'll pass through again on the way down. They had a fire going and were bbqing hot dogs and potatoes which I really enjoyed. Decent snacks, nice brownies, and amzing views.

    Then you get back on it and descend and start the 2nd and toughtest climb. TdB website says the climb is 9 miles. It's more like 6.5 miles which makes a difference. Grade varied from 4-8% and were manageable but the rise was sustained. We had a bit of a headwind on this stretch but not debilitating, more annoying, but the weather was perfect and not a cloud in the sky. It wasn't that hot actually because of the elevation. So even though it was noonish, tourists as the observatory all had jackets and windbreakers.

    Try to enjoy the view at the observatory, then grub some more snacks and get on the descent. Really fun to descend a route like this on such smooth roads. That is the key to this ride is the road. No chip seal, BS or gravel on the shoulder. the entire route is nice pavement. I hit 48 mph and managed 40 for about 2-3 miles stretch.

    Then it's over way too fast and you ride through a few miles of flatish before you head back up to the top of the climb you did in the morning. You can see the rest stop from the bottom and when you look up, you think it's close. It's NOT. This is the easiest climb on paper but it's the cumulative effects that hurt you now. The road just keeps winding back and forth, to and fro and you're thinking, where is the top of this thing! Then there it is, the friendly faces of volunteers to raise your spirits and refuel you for the 27 miles to the end.

    For me I hadn't thought much about the length, 84 miles, it was the feet to be climbed, 6200 ft. I might as well say this now, I don't know how the vertical is calculated for this cliimb. I think organizers aren't looking at the small rollers and some ups/downs in the middle. I think they are only looking at the base start elevation and subtracting that from the top. Someone help me with your opinions on this please. When I rode it the elevation I got was 7100ft and that feels about rigght. When I user entered the route myself into ridewgps it came out at 10K. When I replace elevation data with ridewgps I get 10K. Anyway this is more than 6200, and you will feel it with a few small rollers.

    Anyway, back the length of the ride. It started to hit home about 15 miles from the end, that I still need to get this horse back to the corral. So just settle into some slight downhill sections, flatish and a couple of little ups. Some guys on the side of the road near the end were offering free beers and really gave me a good laugh which I needed at the time. I could see a few riders at the roadside pub quaffing a beer before they finished the ride.

    At the end we ate big on spaghetti in the cafeteria. It was really good food I have to say and that wasn't because I was so damn hungry. It was a nice school cafeteria, well air conditioned and lots of volunteer filling gatorades, ice water, chocolate milks, brownies whip cream choc sauce, excellent meat and veggies spaghetti sauce, perfectly al dente noodles.

    Really amzing experience. The majesty of the views inspire a rider to achieve the goal of climbing these climbs. My first year at this ride and if the weather holds like it did next year, I'll certainly be back.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tour De Blast - 2013-image2.jpg   Tour De Blast - 2013-image3.jpg   Tour De Blast - 2013-image4.jpg   Tour De Blast - 2013-image5.jpg  

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