Tour De PierceSo today Steve, Brandon and Scott (Part of Steve's STP group) headed out on an unofficial riding of the Tour De Pierce. The Tour De Pierce is put on by Pierce County parks and recreation each year and consists of 12, 30 and 50 mile rides. The TDP was last weekend officially. We all were doing other things and couldn't make it, so we decided to ride it THIS weekend. I mapped out a course based on the official TDP route and came up with 43 miles.
We met at the Puyallup fairgrounds Gold parking lot at just before 7AM and headed out. Now up until this point, the furthest I had gone (in the last 18 years anyway) was 30 miles on the Orting trail. So setting out on a ride nearly 50% longer had me somewhat worried. We headed down Pioneer, crossed the Puyallup river into Fife, Fife up into Fife heights. We were following the "official" TDP markers on the road and I had not anticipated the hill up into Fife heights. Steve and Scott are used to rides of 70+ miles, and Brandon is just in naturally good shape. Not to mention they are all 60 - 110 pounds lighter than me. So this fairly steep hill caught me off guard, and about 1/3 of the way up, I unclipped and walked for a bit. At a relatively flat section, I hopped back on the bike and rode the rest of the way up. Fife heights, back down into Fife and across the valley into Sumner. At 20 miles, we stopped at the espresso stand near The Old Cannery furniture store and re-hydrated and ate a bit.
After our rest stop, it was on north on West Valley Highway into Auburn, then under 167 and back into Sumner. We followed the edge of the hill that is Bonney Lake and at about 35 miles hit the second "big" hill of the day. Well even though I was prepared for this one, I was not even close to being in shape for it. So I unclipped again and walked it. I have no excuse, I have never been good at hills. At the top of this hill, we rested for a couple minutes and drank quite a bit. The fun was coming down the back side of this hill. This is where out weighing your mates is an advantage. I got into a full tuck and showed Brandon what the power of inertia was all about! I think my GPS registered a max speed of 38.9 MPH . . . there is nothing quite like going that fast on barely an inch of tread. It certainly makes you consider things like "Did I remember my insurance card?"
Well, I forgot about the couple of little hills after this "big" hill and was just about spent when we hit them. So there go Steve, Brandon and Scott . . . and I putt along McCutcheon road to the Orting Highway (162). The three guys were far enough ahead of me that they got through the light and across the highway onto the Orting trail and headed back north. Rather than wait for the light and traffic, I turned onto the Orting Highway and ran parallel to them until traffic had passed and I could use a driveway to get over to the Orting trail. I don't know why there is always a frickin' headwind as we ride north on the Orting Trail, but there is.
I came into the Meeker trail head about a minute or so behind the guys . . . they were dis mounting to attend to business. We were at just about 40 miles at that point and my legs were JUST to the point of cramping if I straightened them out. I told them I couldn't stop for fear of cramping too much. So I kept going, and Brandon hopped back on to follow me. We ended up back at the Gold parking lot just before 11 AM. According to the GPS, our moving time was just over 3 hours. So not too shabby me thinks. I drank the rest of my Clif Electrolyte to get re-hydrated and my legs started feeling better. I was proud that I made it the full 43, even if I did walk a couple hundred yards of it. It does give me hope that I'll be ready for the 50 miles on the Dam2Dam in September. I just know I've got to get 20 or 30 pounds off my frame by then. Between me and my bike, my little legs are pushing 350 pounds around and that just is not acceptable. Time to get serious!
One shout out to my wife Teri. I really appreciate her words of encouragement and support when I go on one of these adventures. It's nice to know she'll allow me to head off with the boyz for a few hours on a Sunday morning to get my ride on. I don't take a whole lot of days off and we get precious little time together alone, so I appreciate it.
Anyway, here is the summary . . . click the map to be taken to Motionbased to view all the stats:
Location: Puyallup, Pierce, Washington, United States
Activity: Road Biking
Distance: 43.07 (mi )
Comments: Un-Official Tour De Pierce with Brandon, Steve and Scott.