Many of you have asked how Amy and I did on RAMROD, so here's the ride de-brief:
We had been training all season for RAMROD (Ride Around Mt. Rainer in One Day), typically a 150 miles / 10,000ft single day ride that starts in Enumclaw, WA and circumnavigates Mt. Rainer via Paradise and Cayuse passes. It is well known as one of the most demanding one-day non-competitive road rides in the Pacific Northwest, and speaking as someone who has done both the STP one-day and RAMROD a few times previously, I can attest to that. It's brutal, especially climbing the always hot Cayuse at the 100 mile point.
June: We were informed that the course was modified due to road construction on the route to Paradise, with the new route skirting the park a bit further south and eliminating our favorite descent. An alternate "EFI" (Every F-ing Inch) option was added as an out & back on a forest service road towards the end to regain mileage and elevation lost when avoiding Paradise.
July 28th (3 days before event): We were informed of fresh chipseal segments throughout route as well as a few gravel patches that may require walking.
July 30th (day before event): We drove the EFI option on the way to the rental cottage. The steep areas looked insane, part of it consisted of lots of short (1-2 mile) steep (+12%) grade changes. Oh, my.
5:45am: Nearly at the start line, we realized that our water bottles were still at the cottage about 30 miles away. Scurried to procure a couple of small disposable water bottles to carry us over until the first bike shop on the route, about 35 miles away.
6:15am: Ride out of Enumclaw, temps about 60 degrees, roads fair with occasional chipseal segments, and decent opportunities for pacelining
8:08am/32 miles: Leaving Eatonville water stop with new bottles. Amy has an upset stomach and can't eat - this is not good.
10:03am/54 miles: Departed first food stop near Ashford. Amy still isn't eating.
11:37am/78 miles: Departed Packwood water stop. Prior "gravel and rough road" segment (Skate Creek Rd) proved to be much better than expected. Amy still isn't eating and is starting to consider dropping because she's getting shaky. Regardless, she decides to press on for the time being.
12:22pm/85 miles: Departed minor food & water stop at junction of Hwy 12 and Hwy 123. Amy is starting to think that she can take her time, make it up Cayuse, and finish as her stomach is slightly better and she's been able to maintain a decent speed.
1:40pm/97 miles: After a brief rest partway up Cayuse, we split up so that I have time for the EFI, which we expect will add 2 hours. Cayuse is cooking everyone, there are bodies looking for shade everywhere.
2:34pm/102 miles: I summit Cayuse pass (4400') fully cooked due to no breeze, blazing sun on my back, and a radiant wall of hot rocks to the right - imagine riding uphill in a sauna and you start to get the idea.
3:00pm/110 miles: While preparing to leave the food stop at Crystal Mtn. Road, Amy rolls in - she's feeling better so she eats a bit and we join forces again, riding the fresh chipseal until...
3:47pm/123 miles: Amy gives me a final "Good luck, dumbass!" as I turn onto the EFI course while she continues straight to the finish line. Yup, I'm really that stupid.
4:45pm/133 miles: I reach the EFI turnaround & checkpoint. The middle 10 miles of the 20 mile round-trip was the most difficult road riding of my life, at times I was standing on pedals and hoping I had enough weight and strength to make wheels turn. I rested 15 minutes at the checkpoint then headed back towards the main course. I found an inbound crashed rider with lots of painful looking road rash, but nothing was broken and he decided to press on after getting taped up.
5:00pm(est)/147 miles: Amy finishes after pacelining with a couple different groups for the last 30 miles.
5:45pm/143 miles: I am back on Hwy 410 with only about 30 miles to go, the first half of course being chipseal. People are beginning to do stupid things like stop on shoulder without warning, causing multiple near crashes. I refuse to stop for anyone or anything at this point and grab any wheel I can to help finish.
6:52pm/167 miles: I finish, eat, head to grocery store, eat while heading back to cottage, then eat at cottage. Amy can't eat much because of a sore throat, we assume this is due to sucking so much air throughout the day. We take a picture of the water bottles that spent the day on the counter.
Jason: 166.8mi, 11,125' elevation, 15.4mph avg, 10:49 on bike, 12:37 elapsed.
Amy: 146.6mi, 9,173' elevation, 15.4mph avg, 9:20 on bike, 10:45 elapsed(est)
Elevation data provided by ridewithgps.com from recorded GPS track - this may be a bit high due to the GPS having issues with accuracy in some of the narrow canyons.
All finishers get the patch, and as an EFI finisher I also received one of these coveted pins.