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Part 3 - Lolo
"On the shoulder of Mt. Hood, the highest mountain in Oregon, is a 3,450 foot pass called Lolo. Lolo is located at the top of a never-ever ending eight mile climb up a captivating assemblage of climates, flora and fuana. It does this on a narrow and private chipseal lane.
Once I rode it on a fixed gear, I had to zigzag from one side of the road to the other, for over a mile. Not like a mile or almost a mile – an entire standardized unit of measurement MILE. Ira Ryan, classic stoic reserved Midwest guy, claims he’s even experienced intense sensations, emotion some call it, when climbing Lolo. I have to take his word for it because when the climb starts in earnest, I quickly, reluctantly and inevitably loose sight of him as he winks from existence and the horizon. Besides, who lies about sensations.
Once I saw a tandem and its contents fall over on one of the more aggravating double-digit switchbacks. Which was funny even though or maybe because, the pilot and stoker, panting, snorting and wheezing, maintained an argument their whole way to the ground.
The last time I rode it, this summer, I almost passed out. When finally I was forced to stop and plant my feet, something up until that point I had never in eight years of cycling done, my knees buckled and my vision warbled and I had a full blown flight or fight attack. That and the ninety-five degree heat, the humidity, my lack of water and the knowledge (certainty) that any minute I would be passed, was suffering at it’s best. In fact I’m not sure I’ve ever ridden Lolo Pass, I’ve just endured it, and even that, just barely."
– Daniel Pasley
"Written in the middle of the road towards the summit in red spray-paint at corresponding intervals, is the distance to the finish. It’s an inspiring and useful prop, or it's painful like those annoying mileage markers that mark what feels like a lack of progress along almost all boring and flat roads in the world."
– Ira Ryan