::Baker bashing::

First Lodge, good view of the glacier

First Lodge, good view of the glacier

The count down to Ironman Couer D’alene started about a week ago, with 6 weeks to go.  Going into my 20th week of training, this would be the biggest week of the training cycle.  Earlier then I would normally do, but I have a few weekends coming up that I won’t be able to get the volume in.  With that said, a big week requires a big bike ride.  I’ve done some pretty big rides in the last year, and St. George Ironman would be one of the toughest I’ve done.  After charging up Mount Baker for my 3rd time, 2nd time solo in 4 years, this ride is still king.   Total route is almost 98 miles, with a starting elevation of 154 feet, climbing to almost 4300 feet.  Comparing that to last years St George Full ironman route with 4767 feet of gain, this ride has 5500 feet of gain with a mean class one right in the middle of the ride.

Route profile

Route profile

I’ve posted pictures and have done a few paragraphs on this ride before and every time I do it, its amazing.  It takes about 75 kms to get the real climb started, after you’ve already been grind-ed down from the rolling climbs just to get there.  Once you climb out of the rain forest,  it’s a postcard the whole way up.

Riding through the valley before climbing.

Riding through the valley before climbing.

Just getting to the second, main base area.  The very top was still under snow.

Just getting to the second, main base area. The very top was still under snow.

Office shot.  about 6.5 hours in the chair.

Office shot. about 6.5 hours in the chair.

Few wind storms. dirty snow and some pretty good tree fallin.

Few wind storms. dirty snow and some pretty good tree fallin.

Snowpack

Snowpack.

Valley shot.

Valley shot.