Saturday, October 08, 2005

Mount Dora Bicycle Festival

Friday through Sunday is the Mount Dora Bicycle Festival, and I signed up to participate all three days.

Yesterday, I did two rides:

  • Thrill Hill

    Ride through the rural countryside with a few gently rolling hills and roller coaster thrill hill.

    I was curious about Thrill Hill ever since I found Thrill Hill Road on the map. As I made my way along the course, I saw a hill looming in the distance. It was 25 or perhaps as much as 40 feet of elevation. I considered my options: gear down and spin up; or gear up now to gain speed and let my momentum carry me through. It was all moot because I had already summited by the time I finished considering all this. That was disappointing, and I continued along. After another tenth of a mile, I saw the road disappear out of sight... AHA! I'm going to spoil the big secret right here: Thrill Hill is actually... a valley. In a hill, you have to work to climb one side to coast down the other. Here, you get the fun part first, and then have to climb back out.

    I hit 35 mph coasting down it. I did a quick check with TOPO and it appears Thrill Hill (Valley) is between 75 and 100 feet of elevation change, at roughly a 6% to 8% grade. I might buy an inclinometer to get better grade measurement, since TOPO tends to smooth things out. I think Thrill Hill was a little steeper than that - it reminded me of one stretch on Hollywood Hill in Woodinville.

    Giant Spider
    Originally uploaded by klbarrus.

  • Three Bobs

    A flat scenic ride with many lakes on the route.

    Nobody on the ride knew why it was named "Three Bobs". The ride was fun, especially since we got off course once or twice, and had to backtrack a little. I chatted with a ride marshal who was wearing a complete Orlando Road Club outfit. I asked if she enjoyed bike racing and her response was enlightening. She said "not really, I'm too lazy to race often enough to move from Cat 4 to Cat 3. I really joined for the store discounts and group rides." Nice, I can see myself doing that exact same thing.

    Rural Florida
    Originally uploaded by klbarrus.

Total yesterday: 60.4 miles in 3:38.

Today I did one ride:

  • Yalaha Bakery Ride

    Ride to an incredible German bakery. Work off your pastries on the way back.

    Yalaha Bakery Ride Start
    Originally uploaded by klbarrus.

    If you mention "Black Diamond" to a Seattle area cyclist, most will instantly recognize a small town locally famous for its bakery. I must admit that I never did make it to the bakery in Black Diamond. Here, the locally famous bakery is the Yalaha Bakery. I rolled into the bakery, tried some almond something-or-others (it was crescent shaped like a croissant, but had a firmer texture, like coffee cake, covered with almonds) and it was absolutely delicious. Fortunately the bakery was jammed so I wasn't tempted to wait in line and get more.

    Yalaha Bakery
    Originally uploaded by klbarrus.

Total today: 55.4 miles in 3:20. The ride out was at a considerably faster pace - 28.4 miles in 1:34 for an average 18.1 mph. On the way back I took it easy - 27.0 miles in 1:46 for an average 15.3 mph. What can I say, I had to let the pastry settle. :)

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