Monday, April 30, 2007

Ebbett's Pass

We road up Ebbett's Pass this Sunday, something that has been on my to-do-list for a long time. Ebbett's Pass is located in Alpine County, California. It's a narrow alpine road that is closed during the winter season. In fact, the pass is closed right now. To automobiles! There are still campers and anglers along the way, but from 7,000 feet to 8,730 feet, it was bicycles only.

We began our ride in Markleeville, CA at 5,500 feet, with the Jody and the Potters. The first half of the ride was a gentle climb along the Carson River. The sound of the rushing river winding through the narrow canyon cleared the mind. Midway up, there was an old cow camp. The old wood and green meadow spoke of simpler times. Around the 7,000 foot marker, the road pitched up steeply, and the country became more rugged. It was also at this point that we went around the Road Closed Gate.

The road became narrow, and I was glad I was not in a car. Mountain roads like this scare the heck out of me in a car. I feel like I'm more in control of my destiny when traveling these types of roads on a bicycle. We climbed up past the snow level, and the temperatures began to cool off. Kinney Reservoir at 8353 feet, was completely iced over still.



Kristy near the top of the climb.

It was a great feeling to reach the top. 3,200 Feet over 18 miles. It was certainly a milestone. It made me think of how far I'd come on my bike since I started getting back into cycling in 2001. We met up with some other cyclists at the top, had some good conversation, did some carbo-loading, and got ready for our descent back to Markleeville. The first half of the descent was amazing. I thought to myself that I need to spread the word...this is one thing you need to try before you die! As we descended I couldn't believe how much we had climbed. It just seemed weird to me that we did this on bicycles. This 36 mile out and back trip is highly recommended!




Looking down the descent.


More photos can be found HERE in the Ebbett's Pass photo set.

7 comments:

Tank said...

How 'bout you post more pics of HB

shawnkielty said...

That's quite a ride.

Jeff said...

Yes it is. I hear it has opened up to traffic now though. Still...it's one of the lesser used mountain passes. I may do it again on a weekday.

Anonymous said...

Kristy, please tell me about the cycling gloves you are wearing...what brand, where did you get them, etc. I just put a downpayment on the same bike and I loved the gloves...I assume that they are as good as they look with all the cycling that you do.

Kristy said...

Hello Anonymous, I wear Nike fingerless gloves. Nike and Trek seemed to be partnered together, so they are right on with colorful accessories. These fingerless gloves match perfectly! They don't have the nice gel cushion in the the palm of the hand, but the fabric padding seems to work just fine. Note, check out the Trek helmets, I think there was a helmet that matched that bike too.

My riding buddy just bought a pair of Specialized gloves, with the gel and they are real comfy!

Joyce said...

Hey, Kristy...thanks for the response. I have checked into the Trek WSD Moby Gel Gloves and one other one that seems to come close. I saw on the different posting that you and the group do a lot of riding. The one to Ebbett's Pass looks incredible!! Reminded me of WV (I live in Charleston) on the descent. I was amazed that you were in bike shorts IN THE SNOW! but realized you did not have snow starting out. Do you love the TREK 1600? I have been going in drooling over it for months...waited until the sale and put a downpayment on it. Won't be able to get it out until probably spring but at least I know it will be MINE, MINE, MINE. I am just beginning on the "road biking" adventure but am very excited about the potential for taking incredible rides. How long have you been riding?

Kristy said...

Hi Joyce! Thanks for commenting!

I checked out the Trek WSD Moby Gel Gloves and found them in the Lt. Blue. They look really nice, plus it looks like the color would match the bike perfectly! I think I spent $24 dollars on mine, it would definitely be worth the extra $10 to have the gel padding. Good job! I will have to look for a pair of those for myself.

That ride up Ebbets Pass that day was so beautiful! It was my first time up the climb and we chose to go in early spring since the road would still be closed because of the snow. No car traffic only riders, knowing this we were road hogs. I remember it was one of those extra warm spring days, where most of the snow had melted. We always get a "teaser" spring for a couple of weeks then it will snow a couple more times before it actually stays warm. So that day was especially nice and we soaked up as much warmth as we could.

I really love my 1600! It is the most beautiful bike I have ever owned! I sometimes wonder if it is a bit small for me though. I am 5' 7" so I purchased a 54 inch frame. When I ride I feel like the top tube should be a bit longer for me. Always feel like I am trying to push myself back a bit on the seat. I think they design the WSD bikes to be more petite for women and I guess my torso is just longer or maybe I have longer arms. Not sure really. I just know that knowing what I know now about my body I would probably buy a men's specific road bike in the future, to have a bit longer reach. I didn't get a chance to try it out before I bought it, it wasn't in stock. Is yours at the shop, have you tried it out?

Funny, my WSD Specialized Stump Jumper, fits me great! Go figure????

I got my first road bike at 10 years old. I didn't really start getting into it again until last October when I got my Trek 1600. I have been riding mtn. bikes sporadically since college, we even got into motorcycles for a few years but just really started riding mountain bikes heavily the last few years. Something just clicked and I got past the "my butt hurts" stage and started to enjoy it. It also went along with our lifestyle change too, eating more healthy foods and trying to cut back on our reliance on cars and gas powered motorcycles. I have also hooked up with some amazing women riders in the community so it is so empowering to get stronger together. I have done 3 century rides this year and I have found that I really love road riding. It is a blast! You get a group going with a pace line and you all help each other make it to the finish. It is fun, fast and rewarding. I know you are going to love it! It is going to be hard for you to wait until the Spring.

Well, I guess I have kinda gone on and on. Please feel free to send me an e-mail and we can talk some more.