We are showing you the UK version of our site: would you prefer a different location?
Part 2: Fremont Peak
The lower third of the 12-mile climb is shaded and hot but cooler, much cooler than what’s to come. Growing views of the valley below fade and pop. Moisture is sucked, stolen, lost. We are riding into the sky on a metamorphic path edged in craggy granite and marble. T i m e b e g i n s t o d r a g a n d b l u r w i t h n o e n d i n s i g h t. Cruel double digit grades rush to one-up each other with each next pitch. Tick-tack, pant. Greg and Ryan head off. Greg is riding like a champion. Unstoppable. Graceful, fluid and heroic. Aaron chases after them. Hahn and Cole, like a cruel carrot, float ahead then sink back, ahead, then back. It’s not a mountain it’s a mount, this climb is a pilgrimage. A paved catharsis.
The top comes slowly, so slowly, on the far side of several false flats and a number of misleading descents. It’s crowded with trees, covered in shade and teaming with mosquitoes. But going down is a rush, like learning to fly or skiing for the first time. An hour of torture and hallucinations for this 10-minute bobsled plummet, full of rushing camber, bank and twist. The thinest of snaky roads between you and hundreds of miles of valley stretching out in every direction thousands of feet below you. Is worth it.
“After the gravel road downhill we end up in an abandoned basketball court changing flats. And who should ride by, from a completely different direction than the way we had just come? The seven foot Sri Lankan.” – Greg Johnson
“If that tall dude had been riding a Dutch cargo bike it would have been lighter. But you could see he was just having the time of his life. The situation was, is, a touchstone – I mean clearly equipment doesn’t dictate or limit or necessarily enhance your ability to have a pleasurable or satisfactory bike ride.” - Hahn Rossman
“With everyone already posturing for the climb and nobody likely to wait for me, I decide to eat everything in my pockets and drink all my water at once. And as soon as we come out of the trees and the road turns steep my legs and wits come back. The road is the closest thing to a European mountain I’ve ever been on. Crazy steep switchbacks and so narrow.” – Greg Johnson
“Out in front it was the three of us, but then Aaron flated. Greg, the sleeper, just attacked it and it was all I could do to just hang on. I was feeling good but he just kept ramping ahead, eventually I had to let him go. I’m not sure when it was but it was sometime later that weekend, when I found out that he had switched his cranks to compact earlier that week. He was still superman but that at least explains his spin.” - Ryan Thomson