Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 17

It was a bright and sunny day. The trees were green and the uphills were long. A long climbing day was planned so we were up before the sun and rolling by 7. The first 8 miles to second breakfast in Groveland took 2 hours. Switchbacks were clearly visible above and below, it was encouraging to see how far one had already climbed and challenging to see what still lay ahead.
While grinding up a long grade sometime math is a way to pass the time. A grade of 5% means 50 feet up per 1000. Thus in one mile you climb about 250 feet up. 4 miles is about a 1000 feet of climbing. I climb a 5-6% grade at a little over 4 miles per hour. Easy to see that a 1000 feet of elevation gain takes me an about an hour. Todays climbing starts at about 1000 ft and crests at just over 6000ft. 5 hours of climbing should do it except that the road climbs 2000 and then goes down 200 to 400. Then you climb another few hundred and you go back down a few hundred. And repeat over and over. It made for a long day. The road shoulders were resonbly good for most of the day except for the final 10 mile decent to the Yosemite valley floor. We had planned to continue our trip by backtracking this days ride. The shoulder on this section is too non existant to return this way. Downhill wih no shoulder was no problem as we could go fast enough to stay up with the cars. The longer route thru Mariposa will be our route on the 15th.


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