Yesterday Chris, Sandra and I went to ride Mount Baker. I don't think we really knew what we were in for - but the epic ride called our names. We headed out to Abbotsford for 9am (it only takes an hour to get out there that early in the morning!) and crossed the border and commenced the 150km ride. From what I had read, I believed that we would be doing 40km to Glacier (the base of Mt. Baker), 40km up, 40km down and 40km home - the is some math missing somewhere in there...but that was all we needed to start our adventure ride.
Now what would an epic ride be without a good detour. Apparently I should have looked at the map (or the roadside signs) more closely, as we ended up taking about a 15km detour. But much to our luck with came upon a building advertising Beer, Pizza and a Wedding Chapel. Definately picture worthy - unfortunately for both you and me - I forgot my camera (not that I would have had room for all the extra clothing I had jammed in my pockets!) We got turned around soon enough and headed towards Baker. The ride itself was quite pleasant - it wasn't until we hit the 4 hour make that we had any inclement weather. Unfortunately, at 4 hours, we were still going up...making for a LONG day! The rain wasn't hard, and we knew we were near the top - so we pushed on. Good thing that we did too cause we were within a few kms and we would have been kicking ourselves if we had turned around.
Once at the top, we were greeted by hail. Yes, the mountain weather prevailed and we were in the middle of quite a bit of precipitation - not really what you're looking to have around when you have to descent for 40km! We had to stop twice on the trip down to try to regain feeling in our fingers as to be able to change gears and, more importantly break...man I MISS AUSTRALIA! We even ended up riding uphill a little - I resorted to singing out loud to take my mind off the pain...it is only September! Winter is going to be a LONG battle. Anyways, we made it out of the rain and continued down to the town of Glacier. I had lost the ability to shift into my big chain ring because of my frozen left hand and we were all expressing knee discomfort after riding for 2 hours at 50RPM before turning around and subjecting our joints to freezing temperatures!
At the end of the day it was a 6.5 hour ride - and the whole thing was amazing! The road is beautiful, the pavement smooth and the scenery picturesque. Definately a ride I would recommend to anyone just watch out for the mountain weather :P!