This weekend I rode in the Edible Pedal 100. I only found out about this ride a few weeks ago, so I ended up paying a pretty hefty late registration fee to enter this ride. But in the end it was worth it– it was a pretty awesome ride.
After what seemed like an eternity of climbing, I stopped for a breather at the side of the road. Then I looked up. “Holy shit…” I don’t swear a whole lot, especially when riding (since I usually enjoy biking) but that is what literally came out of my mouth when I saw the climb ahead.
So it turned out that the part ahead that I was swearing about– that wasn’t even the halfway point of this climb. At 6,000 feet of elevation, there was still another 1,300+ feet that we’d need to climb.
This is how I felt about the climb to Daggett Summit. It was brutal, without a doubt the hardest climb I’ve ever done. There was a sign across from here that said it’s a 9% grade for 8 miles. Ridiculous. The descent from Daggett summit was really short– only about 3 miles that were over really quickly. But it turns out that was a good thing– since any elevation lost here we’d have to gain when we climbed back over Spooner Summit to get back to Carson City.
On my way up Spooner summit I started to get hungry, so I took a break here. It was a nice spot. I sat in the shade and stared at the lake and watched the cars go by while I refueled with my Honey Stinger waffle and Powerade.
I was quite happy at the top of Spooner summit, since that meant the hardest parts of the ride were over, and there was a huge descent into Carson City. The descent was pretty crazy. Thankfully the road surface was really smooth and the shoulders were clean. But there were these huge drainage gates in the shoulder, which were marked off by cones, but they were so big that they prevented us from riding in the shoulder at all. So I ended up in the right lane riding down interstate 50 at almost 50 miles an hour. By the end of it my hands were cramping up and if I could look underneath my gloves I bet my knuckles would have been white.
The elevation chart for this ride’s pretty insane. As you can see the climb to Daggett Summit is a monster. There’s nothing in the Davis/Sacramento area that could prepare us for a climb like that. After the descent from Spooner summit there’s one last climb– that one last climb looks tiny in comparison– that’s the kind of climbs we have in Davis/Sacramento. Cantelow, the hill I train on most often, is about that size– around 800 feet.
So that last climb doesn’t look that bad. But for some reason there was a stiff wind blowing against me the entire way, which made the climb a lot harder than it should have been. More or less the rest of the way back to the finish line was against a stiff headwind.
The Edible Pedal 100 was the toughest ride I’ve ever done. But I think I’d do it again. Except for the brutal climbing I enjoyed everything about the ride. The food was really good, with tons of tasty homemade snacks. The post ride meal was incredibly tasty as well, and the support staff was really friendly. I think I just need to do more training on hills and at high elevation before the next time– it’s a good excuse to spend some time in Tahoe mountain biking.