After much debate and consideration (read: we got piss drunk after a ride, and started thinking about the next ride) and in full cooperation with the Keepers, we announce the first Stage Cogal, July 27 and 28, 2013 in Packwood, WA.
We adhere strictly to the guiding principles of The Cogal: free to all, open to all. These events are about community, and our love of the Bike. And of suffering. To those ends, even the casual observer will see what we have planned for routes is, in a word, a motherfucker.
Cogals shall be long. And they are all about the bike. It is what you are doing that day. Well, we have extrapolated that to the V-to-V concept on this one, mates. V-to-V: volcano to volcano. These rides are not only long, but we tossed in some vertical. I, for one, am not a climber. But when it is What I Am Doing That Day, it will get it done (I roll a 180mm 50×34 compact connected to a 11×28 for just such emergencies.) As a 2 day stage Cogal, it is what you are doing that weekend.
Day V1 is Packwood to Windy Ridge overlooking (and in) the blast zone of Mt. St. Helens. This route is generally used by a local bike club as a “High Pass Challenge” but we may modify their course a bit. In accordance with Rule #55, we will first ride UP the volcano, then we will ride DOWN the volcano. Route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1331324
Day V2 is Packwood to Paradise on Ti’Swak (or Mt. Rainier to you non-natives) via Stevens Canyon road. I defy anoyone anywhere to find a more beautiful climb, starting at the Grove of the Founders on the east side of the national park. Only exceptions might be the Monuments, like Alpe d’Huez, or the Stelvio, but only because of their associated cycling lore. Route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1331326
Once at the top, you have the option of a Rule #55 descent to Packwood. However, even the most casual observers of these routes will note a significant departure from any other Cogal:
They are out in the middle of fucking nowhere.
Thus, some support will be provided. On Day V1, some neutral, on the road support will be available, soley for transport of fuel and water. There simply are no cafes or shops, so to do these rides, the Keepers’ (or most likely the Keeper’s agent, @eightzero) will have arranged means to refuel for the participants. It may be van support, some caching of supplies, or a combination. On Day V2, there will be neutral fuel/water support on the climb, and an offer of transport of bags to the lodge at paradise the day of the ride. Some of us will be staying at the lodge to Get Shitfaced(tm) with a special keg, in full compliance with the rule of the Cogal requiring post-ride recovery malted beverage consumption. You may ride down, then drive up to join us if you wish, and/or then depart on your own schedule.
Note (and this is very important) the summer schedule for these places fills up quickly and early. Summers are short and spectacular in the PacNW, and people line up to take advantage. The Lodge at Paradise has limited availability, so sign up early. Make early plans for staying in Packwood. For out of towners, SeaTac and Portland International (PDX) offer easy access, but there is an entry fee to the National Park. There are several lodging options in Packwood. We plan an early start both days; and the ride starts on time.
Then prepare to meet The Man With The Hammer.
We ride. VLVV.