Ride the Hurricane
Today’s post is a short one. Longer, more photo-laden posts are on the wind.
Snowcatcher and I greeted Day Four with legs in good shape, albeit a bit tired. We drove the short distance west to Port Angeles where our second ride was set to begin. Today’s ride is a treat because we get to ride up Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park – car free! Once a year, for half a day, the road is closed to cars and given to cyclists.
According to my Washington cycling guide book, Hurricane Ridge is Washington’s biggest climb. It is big! Depending on how close to sea level you begin, it’s approximately 5,000 vertical feet in 18.5 miles. The first 4.5 miles are steep at 8 and 9 percent. The remaining 14 miles are a consistent 4 and 5 percent.
I had an advantage over many fellow riders, I could breath. My house sits at 6,000 feet. On the other hand, I had wee bit tired legs from yesterday’s 71 miles. I know, there’s always an excuse. The ride was fun, scenic and nice to not have 4,000-pound behemoths bearing down on you.
Is this a ride for the bucket list? You betcha! The views from the top are excellent, the road has excellent surface and you get that feeling of being on a mountain top thrown. The following video is my descent on the upper middle section. The Park Service asked we not exceed 30 mph on the descent. I tried to adhere to this, yet with some freeboard thrown in on the upper side. Most of us probably averaged 30 to 35 mph on the descent.