This entry covers the 106 mile course from north of Aid Station 1/3. For a synopsis of the first 21 miles of the route read the previous blog entry titled 42 Mile Course Preview. Immediately after Aid Station 1/3 is an almost continous climb for next 23 miles, starting with the steepest grade (mile 21 to mile 22.5) of the remaining 8.2 miles of dirt before hitting the pavement. From mile 22.5 the rest of the dirt section contains some rollers and some sharp corners as you gradually climb towards the start of the pavement.
Mile 29.2 is the transition from dirt to pavement. A welcome sight at first until the realization hits home, as you stare ahead, that this climb seems to go on forever. Finally at mile 44.2 you reach the summit. From here starts a two mile downhill section where you can push the biggest gear you have and make up some time. With mile 46.3 begins a relatively flat section through an open area of alpine meadows where you can see Bill Williams Mountain looming directly ahead of you, the ski resort is on the north side of this mountain. Remember that these open sections of road can be windy and finding a group to work with and share pulls can be very beneficial.
Mile 48.1 starts a brief climb to mile 49 and then its back to flat and slightly downhill to the entrance to Elk Ridge Ski and Recreation Area at mile 51.6. From there its just 1.5 miles to the Aid Station 2 hosted by Absolute Bikes where you can stop and rest and take in the scenery and the many amenities of Elk Ridge Lodge while preparing for your return journey to Old Home Manor Park and the Town of Chino Valley.