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Summer Soltice = Snow!? WTF? Race report(3 posts)

Summer Soltice = Snow!? WTF? Race reportBrooks
Jun 24, 2003 8:54 AM
The 15th annual High Uinta Classic went off on Saturday from Kamas, Utah to Evanston, Wyoming. 50 and 80 mile routes depending on classification. This race goes over the Scenic Mirror Lake Highway with approximately 4500 feet of climbing (to 10,600) in the first 29 miles, a screaming descent with two sweeping switchbacks, another small climb, then a long (generally) downhill towards the finish.

The morning dawned rainy, which is a good thing overall as we are in the fifth year of drought. Kind of sucks of bicycle racing. Deciding what to wear is always tough, even in normal weather. It can be cool enough for warmers, but the climb will get you warm in a hurry. Today was definitely a day for arm and leg warmers, long fingered gloves, undershirt, jersey and vest for me. At check in and warm-up we had some drizzle but it looked like the clouds might break up. Our pack (the old, fat, slow guys known as recreational citizens over 40, and other rec citizens) went first at 9am. No rain for five miles or so then it started to sprinkle lightly for the next 15 miles. The road spray from the other bikes was the worst, though. By the time we hit the steeps for the last 9 miles of the climb, it wasn't raining, but my hands and feet were soaked and cold. Booties would have been a good idea. I got dropped by the faster guys and made my way up and over. At the top a great view of the snow that had fallen! The descent: ride the brakes a bit to dry the rims and to keep pedaling to stay warm. I got up with my buddy (small, light, fit. I was behind him by 30 seconds or so) before the long downhill. "Get on board, this train is leaving the station". He may be able to climb faster (the little sh!t) but he couldn't hold my wheel on the downhill. I slowed on the rollers to let him catch up, though. By this time my feet were blocks of granite. I would unclip and shake my legs or try exagerated ankling to get blood flowing or at least get some feeling in my feet. Kept my fingers moving as well. My biggest concern was blasting downhill at 35-40 mph with little feel in my hands and control over the bars. I would have to look at each shifter to see that my fingers were placed correctly in order to shift. Fortunately, my torso was warm and dry. Towards the finish, my buddy and I rode side by side because I would rather have wind than be soaked some more with water off his wheel. Finished together (tied for 5th) and hopped in a van with volunteers throwing blankets on finishers. Squeezed the water out of my socks and warmers and waited for my wife to arrive with warm clothes and food.

Shortly after we finished it started to pour, then hail, thunder was booming in the mountains and it apparently started to snow higher up as well. Ambulance took at least three riders off with hypothermia. We saw a guy (who still had 30 miles to go) come to a stop and dive into a Sheriff's vehicle. My wife gave him some hot tea, the heater was on full blast, and he was still shaking and his body was in a full clench.

We still had two friends out on the road after being done for nearly two hours. We told the race organizers that they either turned around or we would pick them up. One had stopped and gotten a ride back to the start and we picked up the other on the way. He had been hit by the rain, hail, and snow but was doing ok.

Quite the epic race. By the way it has rained all day Monday and today with snow only a thousand feet up or so. Nothing like summer in the Rockies!

Brooks
Snow in June in San Diego ...Humma Hah
Jun 24, 2003 9:15 AM
It was either 1999 or 2000 that it snowed in the Laguna Mtns in San Diego County, CA. Got about 2" at 6000 ft and the snow line came down to about 4000.

A month later it snowed in the mountains of Mexico, and the locals thought the world must have been about to end.
Snow in June in San Diego ...Humma Hah
Jun 24, 2003 9:16 AM
That was in June in San Diego, July in Mexico.