Me? A Mtn bike ride
About 11 years ago I organized a club ride in the Mendocino National Forest. It was a 41 mile loop starting NE of Lake Pillsbury then headed north to Hull Mountain (el 6950) and then continued north and then east and south around the back side of Hull and then west- back to where we started.
There was about 12 of us and we camped at Lake Pillsbury the night before, getting well hydrated on microbrew.
The ride started at elevation. 3300 feet. Now mind you, we all lived at elevation 600-700 feet so 3300 feet made us a little short of breath. Most of the ride was over 5000 feet in elevation which made us more than a little short of breath. The first three miles was a nice warm up with a mere 500 feet of elevation gain. The next four miles had a lung busting and leg burning elevation gain of 3000 feet.
But the view at the top was fantastic and after a half hour rest we were good to go. Over the next 15 miles we dropped to 5000 feet and then climbed back up to over 6000 feet. A notable event: during the last part of that climb, I announced to the three guys that were with me that I was going to walk for a bit (thought it might be a good idea to conserve my legs since the ride was only half done) I thought it was funny that the other three guys did the same.
The last five miles were quite interesting. We were sooo tired. We stopped to rest at one point and when we got back on our bikes one of the guys had a miss shift and we all went into hysterics for a good five minutes. We were gone mentally. Riding back after that I was in a zone of zones. I felt like my head was separate from the rest of my body, flying at an elevation of four feet.
We were still tired when we got back to the cars-imagine that. The ride took 9 hours with about 7 hours of saddle (and walking) time. Total elevation gain of 7300 feet. All jeep trail and dirt roads, but we only saw two cars during that entire ride. I had no desire to ride again for over a week, but boy it sure felt great to have done that ride.
Would I do it again? Yep. I did two years later.