Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Passport 2 Pain

Awhile ago, I vowed two things: 1) I would stop blogging, and spend more time riding; 2) I would not tell anyone about what a great place Vashon Island is to ride. Today, I'm breaking both those vows.

First, the secret will soon be out about Vashon. I can no more keep Vashon a rider's paradise by not mentioning it than Sheriff Tate could keep Boo Radley an innocent by declaring that Bob Euell fell on his knife, suh, he fell on his knife!

Second, I just have to tell you about the Passport 2 Pain.

Imagine a mountain stage of the Tour de France, with perhaps 3,000 meters of climbing, spread over, say 120 miles. Now reduce that 120 miles to 75, with the concomitant loss of recovery miles, and you have the P2P.

Or, think about the US Pro Championship parcours in Philadelphia. One hundred fifty six miles, with ten climbs up the Manayunk Wall with its (shudder) 17% grade. Now take a few of those climbs, tilt that 17% so that it exceeds 20%, shrink the recovery time to half, and you have the P2P.

Fellers, let me tell you about P2P. It's a 75-mile course that takes in more than 18 of Vashon Island's steepest climbs. For those of you who have never been to Vashon, imagine this. Sea level, 500 ft. elevation, and not much in-between. And what is in-between? Is seriously tilted. For those of you who have been to Vashon and ridden the published routes: you know that long, long climb up from the ferry? That climb is not part of the route, and hills of that grade are not considered as part of the 18. They are sous-categorie. They are what get us from one of the 18 to the next.

Now, it would be awfully funny if, after all this, I had not actually ridden the P2P. But I did. Woo doggies!