Day 4, Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Auburn, CA to Truckee, CA - over Donner Pass
76 miles, 10 mph

Up at 5 AM, 5:45 load luggage, 6:00 breakfast at Denny's, 7:00 on the road.

It was raining when we got up and it rained all day. It was miserable! Our ride today was to climb to Donner Pass and then descend to Truckee. The first 58 miles was all climbing on back roads, often 6 to 10% grade and very winding. We then entered interstate 80 for a 17 mile climb mostly 3 to 4% grade. This was a very dangerous section of road and we needed to pay very close attention to traffic as trucks and cars were passing us at 60 - 70mph, often splashing us. When we first entered Rt. 80, there was construction for almost 2 miles. Two lanes were reduced to one lane and we were riding in the breakdown lane as far over as we could. Even so, we still got splashed. Water was running down the edge of the breakdown lane like a 1 inch deep river. I often found myself riding up the hill in this water. It was cold and I had multiple layers of cloths: biking shorts and long tights, a rain jacket with a hood over my head, a shower cap on my helmut. Under the rain jacket I had my cycling shirt and two wicking shirts on. It didn't take but 8 to 10 miles to get my shoes, socks and gloves totally soaked. My upper body (under the shirts) also became wet from perspiration. It also got colder as we went up in altitude. I became very chilled, especially close to the top of the climb. Actually, it snowed at the summit this AM, though by the time we got there it was raining (temp. mid 30's). I was really chilled to the bone and had great difficulty shifting chain rings and gears. My feet and hands were numb. Also, the breakdown lane was loaded with pieces of blacktop and other debris and several cyclists got flat tires. It was good to get to the summit and SAG 2 which was inside a restaurant (it had been raining hard). My hands were shaking and I couldn't make a fist. I think I had hypothermia. I stayed at the SAG for almost 2 hours to warm up. I had a nice bowl of broccoli soup. I finally recovered and completed the ride with Dale (a long steep downhill to Truckee).

We arrived at 5PM and I immediately cleaned my bike, had a shower, and went to route rap and then to dinner at Pizza Hut in our hotel. Tomorrow is supposed to be a better day - light showers in the early morning and possible thunder storms in the afternoon. Also it is a short 50 mile ride to Sparks, Nevada.

ABB staff did a great job with support today under very difficult conditions. We climbed 8,230 feet today. I was very disappointed though, that due to the constant rain it was not possible to take many pics. If it was sunny, I probably would have taken 50.

Lights out tonight at 11:30.

Riding into SAG 1, it is raining very hard

Me, Jim, Mel

Scenic view close to Donner Pass

Cream of broccoli soup

Bill, fixing his wet route sheet

End of ride

Wet, cold, and tired.

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