Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Hard but Happy Weekend in July

Mangs at the REI rest stop in Kent
Lots of work went into training, preparation, planning and now it was here – Team Mang’s signature events for the year are in July – the Seattle to Portland Classic and the California Death Ride.  
The team showed up in force for the STP.  Most started at the UW start line but others, for logistical reasons, had to start their official ride at the Kent rest stop 25 miles in, making up for the lost miles with rides from their homes or around the area on the way to the meet.  Kicking off the ride at 6AM from Kent, Mangs quickly made it through the first quarter of the ride through South King County.  A few groups developed, as is natural for a group this size (more than 25) but most everyone stayed with a team member all the way until the JBLM rest stop at mile 55. From there, the trip to Centralia broke up the group into even more. 
The fast riders arrived in Portland
a little past 7PM
The other Mangs crossed the Portland finish line within
seconds of each other, just a little bit past 8PM.
Eventually, all arrived safely at the halfway point at fairly good time.  Lunch at Fuji Teriyaki hit the spot…until it was time to climb the Napavine hill (try that on a full stomach).  By the time we got to Vader, there were some experiencing difficulty – even wanting to give up – but thanks to the always positive and encouraging tone and riding style of the others, we soldiered on even as the fast guys put in at least an hour lead over the rest of the group. The fast guys made it to Portland in record time arriving early after 7 PM while the rest of the group came in just a little bit past 8 PM.  A couple of riders got stuck with mechanical troubles early on and had to spend the night in Longview, but finished it early the day after.  All in all, another fun 1-day STP, 207 miles (or 195, depending on where you started), is now in the Mang history books.  Here's a video summary.
Mang Rene, Gat, Eric and Boni finish 5 passes of the Death
Ride challenge

Four Mangs took to the mountains on the same day – in California, no less. The annual Death Ride challenges participants with 5 mountain peaks over 129 miles and a climbing effort of over 15,000 feet.  Riding with friends from H2Velo, our super climbers also went on their own individual paces.  At the end of the day, though, every single one of them finished all 5 passes, albeit not at the same time.  No doubt the high altitude environment made an impact in terms of breathing difficulty.  Some struggled, others felt it was a breeze, but in the end, they all saw it for what it was – a fun day suffering in the mountains, conquering their demons and meeting their cycling goals.
Mang jerseys and an H2Velo jersey
getting ready for the Death Ride 
Early July tests everyone’s mettle – making sure that all our Winter and Spring training efforts would make a difference.  Team Mang was up for the challenge again this year and hopefully, we will make another memorable summer of it.  A few more official rides are coming up – RAMROD, RSVP, Whistler, Kitsap.  Watch out for us on the roads even as we build up our other half – Team Aling!