I had my doubts as I opened the car door. It was cold, we were in the shade, and it was still pretty early (10am). I knew there was going to a lot of snow on the road. After a few minutes, we were off and riding. My fingers were numb and the water in my bottle was already frozen. It didn't take long for the riders to settle in at their own pace. It was going to be a suffer fest and everyone knew it.
These rides always turn into a race but the crazy thing is, it makes no sense to get to the top first because we always wait for everyone to take a group photo. The longer the wait at the top, the colder it gets.
About half way up the climb, my fingers warmed up and I actually started to sweat.
Riding was tricky. There was a jeep track in the snow but if you got out of the track it was soft and deep. It was a lot like riding on rollers. You had about 12" of track to ride in and it was slippery.
I'm not sure anyone made the climb without putting a foot down or hiking sections of the road. Especially the last pitch. It got really steep and loose.
After the most of the people made it to the top, we took a group photo (see more pics over at Brad's site at http://www.bradkeyes.wordpress.com/)
After the photo, most of us were anxious to get down. The downhill was sketchy. Arond every corner there was someone doing an endo or tipping over sideways into the snow.
It was a good training ride and much more fun than riding inside.