Today was definitely the hardest cycling day of my life – bar none. Back in 2011 Mark Frantz, Alex Lidback and I climbed Alpe d’Huez in France; a tough 7 mile climb averaging 9% grade with sections over 10%. It’ a classic mountain climb on the Tour de France. Today’s climb was similar but with a 70 mile ride and another challenging climb tacked on the front end as a warm up. The last 2.5 miles took almost an hour to ride up at speeds of 3 mph and struggling to keep the bike upright.The views and the descent made it worthwhile though. All of our riders made it up and down safely except for two. One had a mechanical on the climb that couldn’t be fixed right away and another had altitude sickness issues and will have to sit out a day or two. Teton Summit is 8431 ft above sea level, not exactly Mt. Everest but altitude affects people very differently, particularly when they’re exerting themselves.
The descent is really nice ….2900 ft over 4.8 miles or so with wide sweeping curves and few hairpins. Riders who know the curves well are said to be able to do 65 mph or higher. My max was a meager 35 mph. Taking no chances here. Want to make it to the Atlantic in one piece.
Here’s a video clip someone posted of his descent. It gives you a good feel for the ride down:
If you can’t open it just google “cycling Teton pass you tube” and select the video that’s 3:52 long.
PHOTOS: We got a last look at the Idaho version of the Snake R. as we climbed out of Idaho Falls. We then climbed Pine Creek Summit, the first smaller peak on the profile at mile 62. We took a photo at the WY state line and then started climbing. The yellow signs warn trucks to shift to low gears. The views from the top to the East from the summit were great. Lastly Jackson WY is an upscale ski town where many of the rich and famous have 2nd, 3rd or 4th homes. It has all the upscale leather goods stores, art shops etc. but they try to preserve a western motif with stuffed moose on the sidewalks and the Antler arches.