Another awesome ride. Just like in 2007, it was back-to-back weekends of long rides with tough climbs. Aug. 16 century, Aug. 23 70 miles with some ridiculous amount of climbing, and Aug. 29 Crater Lake, which is 61 miles roundtrip to & from Diamond Lake. I know it doesn't sound like much, but believe me, it's a challenging route.
On Saturday we woke up to VERY cold temps, after driving part of the way to Diamond Lake on Friday in pouring rain. The rain stopped fortunately when we arrived at the campground! Man, it was cold though. Got rolling about 9am, a bit late, and I think we were the last to leave camp. The climb is just relentless. With each turn you try to avoid looking up and when you do, thinking you are just about there, no, there is another turn and the road continues to point upward. It's just an endless grind. Then you arrive at the first viewpoint for some photo ops, quick rest, and continue to climb after that! Miles of climbs. Miles of fun screaming downhill on smooth pavement, then more climbs! Wow. Much more fun than when I rode it in 2007 because of my Tsunami! On the way down there were some brutal crosswinds, combined with a somewhat slick-newly chipsealed (but not loose gravel) road surface. We felt better hearing that everyone felt a bit uneasy on that stretch of road, but we all made it! EPIC. And the high temp of the day was probably 72. Perfect.
Sunday was MUCH hotter. Rode around Diamond Lake after packing up the campsite, but most people took off for other destinations. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. They really missed out! It's a flat ride through campgrounds on a bike path around the lake, but offers some gorgeous views. I was surprised not many people were there. This is really the ideal time to go camping there, as the crowds seem to be gone, and the weather is still good (though cold at night). I'd much rather go for a short, easy ride before sitting in the car for 4 hours to drive home than just packing up and leaving!
I'm so glad I went and did this ride again, and very glad that so many Portland people went along too! It was an awesome weekend with lots of laughs, great rides, and some great food!