Cycling Date: Monday 30-June-14
Mileage: 88 miles
Weather: Low 60s to start. Low 70s to end. Sunny. Winds were not much of a factor. Variable at best. Tailwind at worst.
Highlights of the day:
This day is known for its early headwinds. Usually. This year? No real headwinds. If anything the riders were being pushed a little from behind. Our luck continues. Perhaps not tomorrow but why worry about it?
Our first SAG stop was at a rest area that overlooked the Snake River. Hills, water, sunshine – stunning. We climbed a bit and then descended quickly to ride along the Snake River. Stunning! It’s repetitive but accurate. A left turn onto Rte 31 brought us to the first big climb of the day – Pine Creek Summit @ 6764’. I would describe this as a relatively gradual 14-mile climb – mostly 4-6 percent with a few kicks up to 8 percent. Beautiful vistas. And then there was the descent into Victor. Non-technical. Good roads. FAST!
Victor provided a brief pause to refuel before the signature climb of the tour. Teton Pass @ 8431’. It starts off innocently enough out of Victor. At 1-2 percent, it’s almost as if you’re not climbing. The Wyoming state line, complete with a big sign and many pictures, marks the start of the “real” climb just over 5 miles outside of Victor. The next 6.6 miles definitely challenged the riders. The grade gradually increased each mile with the last two miles topping out at just over 10 percent. Legs and drivetrains were tested.
The last 10 miles were primarily downhill. The first 5 of these were steep and technical with tight corners and rippled pavement. This portion of the day was discussed in depth and seriousness at last nights route rap. It was not a time for the riders to push their comfort zone or see just how fast they could descend. I am very pleased to report that all riders descended safely and drank in the amazing scenery, stopping to take a picture or two. Tonight Jeff can sleep more soundly.