Archive for May, 2013

Porto Sokhna Ride 2013

May 10, 2013

 This extension of the Ain Sokhna ride is becoming our classic, and it’s the toughest one. On May 10, the weather prognosis stated East wind with speeds of 31 kmh and temperatures of 36 deg at noon. It was the day the climbers were waiting for.

 Everything worked like clockwork, we started punctually and there was not even a single puncture despite the length of the ride and the increased number of participants. There were about 19 at the Cairo toll booth, from which 12 of them were doing the event ride.

 The group photo below is taken at the Restaurant at km 75 from left to right, top: Omar I, Luis, Thomas, Nick, Erhard, Ashraf, Dan, Khadiga, bottom: Meg, Jun, Omar II and Ibrahim.  Note Ashraf´s red jersey which has to be the first design of the CCC attire and it is in perfect condition after more than 10 years. This makes him the most senior CCC member in the ride.

Group_Photo_km75

Tempo was quite steady and relatively high until the Ain Sokhna toll booth. The strong and persistent North wind on the coastal road we had on the Monasteries ride, was this time rather cross or head wind from the East. After the toll booth there was a non-aggression pact for about 20 km, called by Jun to increase safety due to traffic. Speed picked up on the last 10 km before the final climb, with Dan pulling most of the time.

 And then, in the scorching sun of 12:40 pm, we hit the wall: the 3.2 km long and winding road that takes you from seal level to 227 m of elevation, that is an average slope of only 7%, but in several segments it is above 10%, and after 150 km it feels like much more.

 Facts and subjectivities aside, the climb was brutal. We reached our limits on the way to the top. One shortly collapsed at the very finish line, another zig-zagged his way up, another one clung to the accompanying cars. At the Sky Mall summit 9 completely exhausted but happy riders made it after 151 km from CAC, see pictures.

Cold beverages at the top felt like heaven.

Cold beverages at the top felt like heaven.

All Sky Mall finishers with the Golf of Suez in the background. Note only one rider can prove to have climbed with his bicycle :-)

All Sky Mall finishers with the Golf of Suez in the background. Note only one rider can prove to have climbed with his bicycle 🙂

 The climb was taken by Thomas, who is again the King of the Mountain after we trained him in the Monasteries ride for this event. Nick and Jun, came after. The two ladies and the two Omars did a remarkable effort, kudos for them as well. Thanks to Nick for the cold beers at the top. Thanks go to all participants for another unforgettable cycling adventure. The final climb was the highlight and reminded me of what a former CCC rider used to say: “It hurts so good”.

 Luis

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