2007 Race Report- by Todd Brown

The 2007 MW race was cancelled Aug 18th due to summit winds of 55 mph with gusts to 94 mph and 32 degree temps. Fortunately, the race organizers rescheduled the ride for today, Sept 1. The winds on the summit have been unusually mild for the last week giving great hope to those of us looking to lower our PR's (1:10.51) on the Rockpile.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature obviously has been conspiring with the Mountain and the wind was expected to increase from 10-15mph Friday to 30-45mph for Saturday am:(

During a wonderful dinner in Gorham Friday night, 5 of us Rockpilers enjoyed piles of pasta while getting Blackberry wind updates from the Mount Washington Observatory.

While ordering dinner the sustained winds were 21 mph, appetizers 24 mph, check please....29 mph!! The worry was that if winds were in excessive of 30 mph, any thoughts of setting PR's would be history. Morning wakeup at 4:30am and right to The Weather Channel...39 mph...arrrrgghhhh! By the time we left the hotel an hour later...43 mph...with gusts over 50 and summit temp of 35 degrees...forget about PR's...are we even going to be able to climb the mountain?

Thankfully the weather stabilized at this point and the ride was on! As usual, the weather and conditions were just perfect the first four miles while the auto road remained under treeline. I started out hard, pushing my 34X21 up the first two miles, hitting that mark in 14:14. To reach the halfway mark (3.8mi) I dipped into my 34X24 a couple times to finish the easier first half in 31:00 and the 4 mi mark in 33:00. At this point I felt strong and knew a PR was a possibility is the winds weren't too bad. Sure enough the NW 42-44 mph winds reared their ugly head right around the 4 mile mark. Fortunately, once I made the left turn up 5 mile grade, the winds were partially behind me. The six mile area was definitely the worst-taking a beating from the wind-this is the one spot I dropped into my bailout gear of 34X27 and hung on for dear life!!

Before I knew it, I was cruising thru the Cow Pasture at 1:00.00 wondering just how far I had to go. The next time I looked down at my computer it read 1:08 suddenly I could hear the crowds cheering from the summit. I put the hammer down and flew up the last quarter mile-ok, maybe I FELT like I was flying. The last 50 yards at 22% were a blur and then I was home-1:09.11!!! A new MW PR was an exciting way to finish off a wonderful year of cycling! All of the guys in the dinner group had great rides!

Thanks to all my fantastic cycling buddies for another incredible year!!

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©2008 Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb - A benefit for: Tin Mountain Conservation Center
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