Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Team Mang gets busy for summer

Our awesome Team Aling support
at the Sunrise Climb ride on 6/7
Some of the Mangs who did the
weekend Mt. Rainier climbs
So the team's been keeping itself busy this past June - specially because we're only a few weeks away from the season's major rides.  A cancellation of the Peninsula Challenge gave us the opportunity to do a mountain ride on the first weekend of June.  The team started the day from the bottom of Crystal Mountain road - a 6 mile, 1,500 foot warm up climb to the resort parking lot and then quickly back down.  From there, we turned left and up on Hwy 410 veering right to climb up to the Sunrise visitor Center for a 21 mile climb and almost 3,600 feet of elevation gain. More than half the group was done by the end of that climb but others chose to add another effort to their day. Heading back down to 410, they hung a right to go up to Chinook pass, for another 3,000 feet of climbing.  It was a long day, for sure, but Team Aling was right there, providing support for the Mangs while fund raising for their marquee event in September - the Cycle the Wave Ride.  Want some video? Here you go!
Our century ride took us around our southern areas

The second weekend of June gave us the opportunity to complete another century (which was good for those who didn't do the Flying Wheels ride).  Rolling out from Renton, we basically retraced a combination of some of our previous rides starting with the 15th St Auburn climb, snaking our way through Federal Way via Dash Point.  We added a few more climbs through the Browne's Point neighborhood towards some of the roads we traveled on the May Day Classic through Jovita.  From there, we crossed over to Fife, Puyallup and then to Sumner.  Then what was supposed to be a short lunch break at Subway turned out to be an hour and a half long sit down lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Orting. I suppose you shouldn't be surprised anymore by these food detours (we ride to eat, and eat to ride). The second half of that adventure proved to be challenging (not just because we were stuffed) but because of the heat, the winds and the 1 major climb. We had already lost a few riders before lunch (dropped them on a climb and they missed a turn) and we also suffered a mechanical on one of the bikes. We managed to complete the whole loop from Sumner through South Prairie, Buckley, Enumclaw and back to Renton in approximately 10 hours.

Mangs at the start line of the Chelan Century
Father's Day weekend was a special event ride - the Lake Chelan Century Challenge over in beautiful Chelan county.  It's a 3 loop ride, kicking off from the Don Morse park in Chelan, with each loop averaging about a little over 30 miles.  The first loop was the warm up loop through the town of Manson where in spite of the climbs, we were rewarded with scenic views of orchards, wineries and just big country - mountainous terrain meeting crystal blue lake water.  This was all to prepare us for the marquee loop - the 30 mile McNeil Canyon Climb loop. It was a different type of scenic route, lots of desert and no shade for most of the ride, beginning with 20 miles of wind-breaking pacing before going into the the start of the penultimate climb.  5 miles of grinding away at anywhere from 8 to 13 % grades into some 2,300 feet of elevation at temperatures well above 96 degrees turned out to be quite an effort.  It took all of us around a couple of hours to get to the top, some faster than others, some more painfully than others.  By the time that loop was over, a few of us were done for the day and headed back to our camps/hotels but some continued on to the third loop - for more climbing of more than 2,600 feet over another 30+ miles.  You can catch glimpses of those rides in these videos: Manson Loop and the McNeil Canyon Loop.  Much more than the ride, though, was the sheer fun and enjoyment of just hanging out with each other and our extended cycling families - including H2Velo - while camping at the State Park (let's not talk about almost getting kicked out).  We just have to mention, of course, that those who couldn't make it to Chelan did their own epic mountain ride that Saturday up to Paradise on Mount Rainier.  It's good to know everyone's keeping in tip top shape to get ready for July.

With Gig Harbor beyond the Narrows bridge, these guys
were set to take on the monster hill collection over 99 miles
Finally, we closed out the month and our STP Training Series with another Team Aling supported ride through the Peninsula Century route in Pierce and Kitsap counties.  We dubbed it this year's Team Mang Gran Fondo.  Over 7,300 feet of elevation gain across 99 miles of 95 degree F weather - all for fun. No mountains here, just a ton of steep hills and rolling terrain - which, they'll tell you, is more than enough to drain you!  Everyone who participated (and some who didn't even ride) contributed towards our lone Team Aling rider doing the Obliteride in August - Aling Veronica.  We're so glad to be able to help out with such worthy causes.  Here are a few scenes from this ride.

July is upon us and three major rides, the Seattle to Portland Classic, the California Death Ride and the Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day (RAMROD) towards the end of July will prove whether or not our training was enough. We're confident that it has been and that we'll get to our destinations with time to spare. One thing to note - June has seen an increase in cycling interest among our ladies and a possible growth spurt in the ranks of Team Aling.  Stay tuned next month to  see where this is all heading. We should have a bigger contingent at the Cycle The Wave even this September.  Thanks for all the help and support from friends, family and other teams.  We'll keep riding for fun and friendships and now we also ride for meaningful causes.

Go Team Mang! Go Team Aling!