Flutterby™! : Climb to Shaver

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Climb to Shaver

2006-06-25 15:57:02.754886+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

On Friday the forecast for Saturday in California's central valley included record highs and a really bad air quality index. Friday evening I rode the fifteen or twenty miles from Sanger to Clovis, the starting point of the Tollhouse Century, even though it was somewhere between 105°F and 110°F in the shade (and an oven thermometer on concrete read a lot higher than I want to consider). I started out holding a nice 20MPH pace, for about 9 miles, sucking down copious amounts of water, but I was generally very conscious of the different colors of asphalt, dark new pavement was very uncomfortable, and the wind definitely didn't feel cooling.

In that tenth mile I suddenly realized that I was shivering, and there wasn't any sweat on my skin. I took that as a signal to go stand in the shade for a while and pour the water bottle (which now had warm water in it) over my arms and head and let that evaporate off while sucking as much out of my Camelbak as I could get down..

When I got to Rob[Wiki]'s house, we were both in agreement that even though it was all downhill, there was no real glory in dropping from Shaver Lake back into the Fresno valley and then hammering out the miles from Millerton back to Clovis. Especially since then we'd just be down in the valley which would be uncomfortably hot until after dark.

Thus yesterday we did an abbreviated version of the Tollhouse Century, the hardest bits: I did a meager 60 miles (Rob did a little bit less because I was in front of him and missed the rest stop in the town of Shaver Lake, had to backtrack a bit), but we did well over 7k feet of climbing, to an altitude of a little over a mile, with some portions as steep as 20% for about half a mile. Finishing out the century would have been mostly a long coast downhill (although not down highway 168, so there'd be no record setting descents), but it would have been dropping into record-setting heat in the hottest parts of the day.

Instead we hit the rest stop at 11:00, met Lisa, Charlene and others all went out on Rob's boat on Shaver Lake and spent the rest of the day lounging in the shade on a beach under the trees, swimming over to a creek flowing down a huge slab of granite, and just generally enjoying the high mountains. I didn't feel like wakeboarding or jumping off big rocks, although both were an option.

Here's a Fresno Bee article on the Climb to Kaiser, noting that we shared parts of the road with the Rumble to the Summit, but much like the sentiment expressed by the cyclist interviewed in the article, despite the noise I'd rather share the road with those folks (who don't take up much room and understand the issues of traveling on two wheels) than with some of the other sorts of traffic prevalent no those stretches.

The route up from the foothills into the mountains was really beautiful, I'd love to come back and re-visit this climb in more reasonable weather (even though we were going through a full load of water in between rest stops), but no regrets on the shorter day.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Nature and environment Boats Bicycling ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-06-25 23:54:16.833619+00 by: meuon

That's quite a ride, I don't understand the shivering as a symptom of dehydration and overheating, but I'm glad you caught it. 60+ miles sounds like fun, at a slower pace.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-06-26 13:56:51.210362+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I don't know either but it was very clearly a "somethin' ain't right" moment.

The 60 was nice and I'd like to do the accompanying downhill at some point too (although I had one of those "I don't need to know if I'm this tough" moments when considering doing the longer version of the ride, which doubles that climbing over the next 30 miles or so up to Kaiser Pass), but not in that heat.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-06-26 16:49:46.831654+00 by: Dan Lyke

On the scale this morning, I'm way up to 161.5, but the scale tells me I'm back down to 14% body fat. I don't trust the scale, but I like the idea that I've managed to put on 7 lbs of muscle.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-06-28 02:15:18.827832+00 by: baylink

If this makes you feel any better about yourself, Dan; I'd be dead now. ;-)

#Comment Re: made: 2006-06-28 02:46:22.692784+00 by: Dan Lyke

Only if'n ya didn't work up to it, Jay.

Yeah, the full 165 mile version has another 6k+ feet of climbing, with the steepest bits, and is considered in the hardest few organized rides in the country (although I don't know if that counts some of the extreme randonneuring rides). And the guy I rode it with did it with his son back in, I think, '96, and talked about a paceline holding 26MPH all the way to the first climb. He's also done nearly 320 miles in 24 hours in the Agony Ride, falling short of the record (close to 360 miles), but if you divide that out and count that you have to stop for the checkpoints on that ride that's a lot of riding. Given what happened in the last three weeks training-wise, I'm happy to have kept up.