Finally, time to bicycle! I chose Mount Harrison in Idaho has my first climb because of the remoteness from other climbs, since I am unlikely to be bicycling through again. The downside is they don’t plow this road, they just wait for it to thaw out, and as of 2 days ago, no one had managed to make it past all the snow.
I set the alarm for 4:30 (there is a “dangerous heat warning” through Friday for this area) and woke up still feeling very beat up from the 1000 miles of motorcycling and my squished/cut up toe. I decided to be optimistic that bicycling up a 9000 foot tall mountain would be a “recovery” ride. I got my stuff together, rode to Albion, ID and unloaded at a gas station/convenience mart (side note: I wish I had stayed in Albion, it’s a nice little town and not as busy as the highway corridor.)
After spending a few miles along the valley floor, you reach the ski area turn off.
The ascent is gradual and mostly pastural and then becomes a bit more alpine-ish.
I saw my first snow around 7400 feet, and this was also where I started noticing that I like air. I spent the past two nights around 4500 feet, but I watched my maximum HR percentage (MHR) drift upward as the air got thinner.
Closing in on 8200 foot altitude, there was a 10 foot patch of snow I had to shuffle through – this is the first bike ride I had to kick snow out of my pedal cleats.
A bit further, you can see where you’re headed, then you ’round a bit switchback and.. a bit more snow.. but still passable.
Once more around a couple of switchbacks, and victory!
More motorcycling tomorrow, but definitely feel better with a bike ride and a major climb completed!