Monday, July 23, 2007

Back from the Kiss of Death

I just got back from Terry Morse's "Kiss of Death" ride with Undiscovered Country Tours. It's a nice ride:

Day 1: Ebbett's Pass, Pacific Grade to Bear Valley and return. 72 miles, 7200'
Day 2: Monitor Pass, SAG to Sonora pass, return. 50 miles, 5000'
Day 3: Blue lakes, 52 miles, 4100'

It's a healthy amount of climbing, and the last day is pretty. But after riding in the European Alps (especially Switzerland and Austria), the California high mountains don't look very pretty at all. We were really disappointed, and it was hard to motivate ourselves to climb hard.

I think if you were to do this the same year you did an European trip, do the Kiss of Death as a training ride, and then go to Europe. That way, you won't be disappointed. Oh, and I should say that Terry and Mary and their guides provide fabulous support. You won't be disappointed by their service. (Disclaimer: Terry's a long time member of Western Wheelers, my bike club, and gave us club members a discount for this ride) And I say this even as someone who almost never does organized bike tours as a rule.

And now that I've done most of the roads involved in the Death Ride, I think it's a really silly ride. As Mike said, "What's the big deal?"

Mike wore out his Avocet 700x28s at the end of this ride (I noticed it when I dismounted his bike from my car). I guess those tires really don't last more than about 1000 miles for a 200+ pound rider.
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