Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wind happens

This won't be a ride report, I promise - but today was a pretty cool ride.

The plan was to ride from Furnace Creek (191 feet below sea level) to Hell's Gate (2400 ft above sea level), and then on to Rhyolite, NV, over Daylight Pass (4300 ft). A long, steady climb from CA 190 via Beatty cutoff,  with a delicious descent back to FC Ranch.

But, of course, Mother Nature doesn't ask your permission before she changes your plans.

We headed out into a steady 10 - 20 mph wind, with predicted gusts of 30+. All of those gusts happened during the climb up Beatty Cutoff - the 10 miles of 8% average ascent.

By the time we got to Hell's Gate, we all decided we'd had enough of her shenanigans. The winds were whippy, the corkscrew up through Daylight Pass was another 4 miles or so of in-your-face slogging, and we were all looking forward to that wind-assisted descent back into the Valley (in which Heather would reach a ridiculous speed of 50.8 mph).

We learned our lessons here over the years. We learned the hard way. We don't mess with the winds. We may alter our plans. But days like this make for the best memories.

The Three Amigas with our usual pose at Hell's Gate!

Our crew just before leaving for Hell's Gate

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