November 14, 2017
This week I did an out-and-back on 82. I've done the climb up to Cloudcroft (about 20 miles in), but the rest of the route was new to me. It's a good route. There's a long, gradual downhill from Cloudcroft. It's a scenic ride and not much traffic. There's no shoulder most of the way, but I never felt like I needed one.
I'm not sure if I'm just picking bad days or if it tends to be windy up there. Today was pretty windy, and so was the ride I did in the higher elevations 2 weeks ago. It wouldn't surprise me if the wind is normally stronger up there. The good news is that it's usually a tailwind on the climb up to Cloudcroft.
Speaking of the climb to Cloudcroft, it has similar stats to Mt. Rose in Reno, but for whatever reason Mt. Rose feels like a much more difficult climb. Here are the Strava Links: Cloudcroft, Mt. Rose. Do 2 extra miles make that much more of a difference? Mt. Rose has a few ups and downs, while the climb to Cloudcroft is fairly steady, so that could be factor. Maybe it's the wind? There tends to be a tailwind for the Cloudcroft climb. Not so for Mt. Rose. However, I've ridden both on a calm day and Mt. Rose still feels more difficult than I would predict from looking at the stats alone. I'm not sure what else it could be. It's not the elevation. Both end above 8,500 feet.
Don't get me wrong. The climb to Cloudcroft isn't easy. I'm fortunate that I've been able to live close to such great climbs. I'll tell you what, though. I doubt I have ever done Mt. Rose as late in the year as November 14th. I did this descent today wearing just my normal base layer, a normal jersey, sun sleeves, and a thin jacket.