Monday, July 21, 2008
NETT crew heads North for some big climbs
A few of the NETT diehards took to the Green Mountains of Vermont on Saturday to test their mettle. Jerry the Tick, Frank KJ, Toledo Joe and Dave Guertin (who needs a nickname by the way), took on the "Four Gap" 112-mile bike ride that criss-crossed the Green Mountains with some unbelievable climbs. (Note: These are significantly steeper than ANYTHING In the Tour de France--no BS).
Here's Frank's report:
"It was hot and humid for most of the day and you throw in a couple of T-storms here and there including the summit of Lincoln Gap and it was a very demanding day for us.
Lincoln Gap was brutally steep up and scary going down. So yes, I was off my bike walking it for most of the last 1 mile on Lincoln Gap. Jerry and Joe rode the all way up - to me that seems humanly impossible on the gearing Jerry had. Brandon and Middlebury were great climbs, Lincoln was crazy and App Gap was very challenging, especially the last 0.6 miles when it kicks up to 18%; you can see the summit yet it is so far away. Total climbing on the ride was around 10,000 ft.
So the conclusion was that that Toledo Joe gets the yellow jersey for being up front on all hills and overall strength. Jerry clearly gets the polka dot jersey for his insane Lincoln Gap effort. Dave G was the clear winner of the white jersey for the strongest 'young' rider not only for his age, but given this was his first ride of this type, he did phenomenally well. And we decided I get the green jersey for having the cue sheets and telling people when to turn and sprint.
Will I do the ride again? I would probably rather go back and forth on App Gap and do whatever it takes to avoid Lincoln gap."
Thanks Frank. That gives a pretty good picture of what these maniacs did. For a finer point on it, here's Jerry's two cents:
"Yes, having done Lincoln Gap once I'm not sure I'll ever feel the need to ride it again or at least ride it without walking. Having considered it a little more I think that climb alone pushes the ride into the "epic" category. Dave Guertin does get the white jersey on his FIRST group ride. They're not all like that Dave!
My Garmin unit recorded 101 miles of the ride (forgot to start the watch couple times) and it spit back just over 11,000 ft of climb. Good stuff. Not sure we could make all 6 gaps without a significant modification to pace in between gaps."
So, what was Crazy Dave doing while these nuts were out trying to flatten the Green Mountains? He took a solid four-hour hike on the Long Trail from Brandon Gap (saw an amazing amout of moose poop and paw prints up there!) and then followed it up with a great trail run up the Chittenden Trail to the top of the ridge as well.
Then he took a nap in the van while the cyclists were still out on the roads.
Go Mini Ponies.