I've had my eye on the map looking at a new places to explore. Couse Creek looked interesting so I gave it a try on a "nice" sunny day last Thursday (Jan 5th) starting at 11:30AM. There was a little breeze at the house and temps were near 50F so off I went. I was yawning for 16 miles of pavement riding which I had to do to get to Couse Creek road. Finally the dirt - there's nothing better than riding on dirt. The bottom of Couse Creek, looking up (awesome!) -
The monster switchback - each leg of this switchback was just over 1-mile long -
Looking down from the monster switchback onto Edeburn Gulch (an alternate route to try in the future - too muddy today) -
Up on top the view of 3 states was great - Washington in the foreground, Oregon to the right, and Idaho left and in the distance. The lower reaches of Hells Canyon (Snake River) is just below and to the left) -
The wind was really blowing up on top making my life full of leg burning pain for 12 miles of headwind + uphill pedalling. Several times I almost turned back while I struggled to make headway at 8-10 mph. By the time I hit my return road (Weissenfels Ridge Road) I was tired, but it was getting late and I wanted to get home before dark so onward I went. The wind was now at my back making pedalling a bit easier - in fact I was coasting right along on the very slight downhill at 30-38mph without using my superhuman effort.
A few miles from home (after nearly 60 miles and 4 hours of ride time) I was feeling a Stage-1 bonk coming on (that means I was not sure if I was going to make it without stopping in the park for a rest). The headwind up on top took a lot of energy and I was feeling it now in a big way.
I did make it home just in time to get my bike in the door and fall down on the couch. It was bad and after a short nap I resolved to take more food on my rides in the future. That means more than one Hammer Gel, 8 gummy candies, and 1 small bottle of Hammer Perpetuem - usually enough energy for me to make 60 miles on a breakfast of oatmeal and midmorning toast, but not enough with 20-25 mph headwinds I found out.