Challenge Complete: Climb to the Clouds COVID Edition!

By: 
Steve Carlson

The past two Climb to the Clouds will now go down in the CRW history books as uniquely memorable!

Last year, the century was surprised by an extremely cold downpour which left many riders nearly hypothermic and bailing at the midway point.  This year we were hit with the unfortunate COVID pandemic leaving everything in its wake cancelled, including all CRW bike rides.

All is never lost, however, as your Century Committee and volunteers scrambled the plans to make the best of all situations! This year we thought it would be interesting to encourage members to take the challenge to get out and enjoy the CTTC routes, unsupported, sometime between May 28 and June 22nd

Riders were encouraged to sign-up, record their rides on RWGPS or Strava, and post comments and photos on social media.  Our Climb to the Clouds Century always attracts pretty ambitious riders, so as you can imagine, those interested in riding it solo attracted our most determined bunch.  We had over 30 people take on the challenge!

We loved seeing all your stories on Facebook, and hope the ride left you feeling accomplished and tired!  Congratulations to everyone! 

We did offer a few cash awards to riders who inspired us with their stories and photos.  Let’s all enjoy the experience vicariously through them until we can all ride again…together!

Everett Briggs, rode the Century, Best Story Teller (refers to himself as EBB)

“Riders (3*): E (leader - stubbornly determined), B (along for the ride, "come what may") and B (sweep - picking up the pieces and motivating the other two characters to keep going).

Yes, "we" had to pick the hottest day of the year to tackle Wawa from Cambridge for the first time in 2020. Even so, now that I can submit this report, I have to admit, it was a perfect day.

It was not pretty. "We" set no records. "We" all survived though - barely. (That last is what made it perfect!)

….. It was after 6 when "we" finally reached our end, back in Cambridge. In spite of the fact that we were pretty dead at the end, fortunately, no one ended up in either of the two cemeteries flanking the start/finish of the ride. Like I said - 'twas not pretty!”

Doug and Cindy Chin, Our Only Tandem Team:

“We’ll remember this year’s ride because we decided to be brave and get out there even though so many were staying home for Covid-19. We felt like we were winners by getting out there and doing what we enjoy.

….We found the ride a significant challenge. We think the challenge was a combination of things. First, it was fairly hilly. Second, this was early in the season and we weren’t in the best of shape. Third, it was unsupported. We had to bring our own food and water and fortunately found a gas station on the way to get a little snack and a coke to give some variety for our energy bars and water. Fourth, finding a place to go to the bathroom was challenging.”

Gary Muntz, rode the Century, Best Photography:

“For me this was certainly a challenge……

…. The heat on Fathers' Day was forbidding but that was the day that worked for me. I'd rather ride at 25 than 90 degrees so managing the heat was the main challenge for me. I'd decided to ride-to-the-ride as part of my training plan for future rides, so it would be a long day.

 ….. I channeled its embrace of pre-dawn and started at 4:30am. How I've missed the sunrise! Those first few hours were deliciously cool and free of cars as the drama of sunrise unfolded. Fun to watch the GPS move efficiently westward, a straight line to the big climb so I could finish it before the full heat of day. 

…..  I'm grateful for the advice to take pictures to share with CRW on social media. I enjoy taking them and looking at them later, but while riding it's easy to feel too rushed to stop and shoot. CRW's note helped me take that time, and even to be a little more alert to enjoy the visual beauty of the ride. Starting before sunrise on a hot day was also wonderful and led to some of my favorite photos.”

Photo:The Smiles, Miles and Memories of CTTC CVID Edition-2020