June 27, 2020 - For the last two years, I have been doing the Mt Hood 6 hr, which is typically the last Sunday of June. This year, the race was cancelled since most of Oregon is still shutdown. Instead, I decided to keep it closer to home and do one of the Portland Classics, the De Ronde van West Portlandia, fully self-supported.
The way things have worked out for the last two years, I've been at home without the family for the last weekend of June. With nothing better to do, I've been doing the Mt Hood 6 hr mountain bike race. The solo course is 6.7 mi and 1,100 ft per lap. My goal this year was to do 6 laps; the previous years I did 5 and 4, respectively. Nutrition for this race has always been my weakness. Since the race was cancelled, I decided to take on another goal of mine, the Ronde PDX. The official route is 50 mi and 7,346 ft. Making the whole thing 56 mi was going to be easy if I rode to the start and from the finish. I slightly modified the course, since my house is near the second climb of the day I put the first climb as my last.
I had attempted it before, but was thwarted by a bonk. After experimenting with a new nutrition strategy, I decided to try it again for the virtual race. The foods I had with me this time were PB&J, fig bars, and some gummies. I also had two bottles of carbohydrate drink and two bottles of water.
I left the house in my Team Stages kit at 7 am, heading for the first 17% grade. The next climb was a big one, a 22% grade for a quarter mile. Unfortunately, I ran out of gas before the very end and had to dab. The other steep road on the course was a 20% grade at the 33 mi mark, which I managed to clean. After that, the rest of the course was a blur.
The final numbers were 61.5 mi, 8,789 ft elevation, and 6h 21m. That would have been technically 9 laps on the Mt Hood course, but with other riders, altitude, and everything else, I will take that as my 6 laps.