Friday, June 20, 2003, Donelle Point Overlook.
Pat's alarm went off before it was light out and we started stirring.

First things first: Pat applies chamois cream to his shorts. Pat: "Do you want some?" Tim: "No." P: "Don't you get saddle sores?" T: "Ask me at the end of the day."

It was cold—in the thirties. I put on every piece of clothing I had before venturing outside the truck. Pat was far more brave than I.

Breakfast of champions: hard-boiled eggs seasoned with Spike and peanut butter sandwiches.

This ride requires that you carry gear, water and snacks. Patrick straps a bag to his handlebars. There are no (underline that "no") shops between where we are now and the far point, Bridgeport.

We set out at exactly 6:00AM. The first miles are a descent. I immediately wished I had brought my fingered gloves. The skin of my fingers burnt.

After some easy climbing we arrived at Kennedy Meadows. The sign says 26% grade—don't believe it. However, the real climbing starts here.

Patrick muscles his way up the first major challenge: the climb to a notch called The Gunsight.


Gorgeous rock formations rise on either side of the road.

The sign says 8000 feet. More elevation gain to come.