|Bill's glitzy cycling shoes|
We start with a glorious but serious descent from Rossland to Trail as we shed 900 metres in less than 10 km. at around a 10% grade. The road hairpins down the mountain past the Trail Smokeater hockey arena (a world champion hockey team in the 50's) and finally passes below the smelter and across the Columbia River bridge. My Garmin unit packed it in and went on auto pause at 70 km/hour and so I have no stats on speed etc. except that Pual Underhill who did pass me clocked 83/km/hour. I think it lost satellite reception because the mountains pass in so tight as some of the other rider's units also went on the fritz. You have to be careful in th hairpins as it is a major highway and there are trucks that ascend this road bellowing away as they grind up the slope.
From Trail we head South down river until we start our climb of the Columbia Valley and into the towns of Montrose and then Fruitvale. This climb gains us 200 metres which we basically hold onto all the way to the base of the Kootenay Pass. Of course as soon as you see the sign "border crossing ahead" that means turn left and let's climb another mountain so the highway can stay in Canada. We had our lunch break at the base and so fortified people left in little groups to ascend the pass. Again I started with John and Joan and we covered the first 6-8 km together. From then I was on my own. Over the course of the climb I went by a few more riders who were taking the odd break. More interesting, Tom, Patrick and Andrea passed me in the opposite direction as they descended the mountain as they are all doing a double ascent. More interesting yet, Patrick passed me on the way up again as he was completing his double. Tom told me later that it was not the best decision of the day for him!
|Bill at the top|
|Sydney & her sister|