On Saturday, August 17, I will again ride my bike up Mount Washington, a 7.6 mile bicycle race to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is the largest annual fundraiser for Tin Mountain Conservation Center.
Why do I ride? I'm forever dedicating my bike rides up Mount Washington in memory of one of my best friends, Pete Roux, who was ice climbing in Huntington Ravine on Mount Washington, and was tragically killed in an avalanche on January 18, 2008. This will be my fourth ride up in the last five years. In 2009, I completed the race in 1:30:42. 2010 was an off year for me and I did not race. In 2011, I took over seven minutes off my previous personal record and came very close to my time goal finishing in 1:23:06. In 2012, having turned forty that March and feeling like 40 was the new 20, I crushed it! I knew what I had to do mentally and physically and I exceeded my 1:18 time goal, finishing in 1:15:25. I had Finished Mount Washington in TOP NOTCH time and what an amazing feeling it was!
For this year's race, I have again set a personal time goal of 1:18:08. That's one hour, eighteen minutes, eight seconds. The seconds might be tough to nail down, so I'll go for within the eighteenth minute.
Getting up this beast of a climb is 90% mental and this mental game may be the toughest challenge of all, but this year starting with the elite Top Notch group, along with all the energy leading right up to the cannon blast start and the personal motivations will get me up that hill. When I'm digging deep in my soul at mile five and the view of the top of the southern gullies of Huntington Ravine come into view, I know that I will have a great burst of spiritual energy to continue the push to that time goal. When Steph is at mile seven yelling at me and running by my side for a few feet, I will surge forward to the finish with great force and speed.
Your donation, small or large, will help me with the motivation to achieve my time goal and it will directly impact the Tin Mountain Conservation Center's continued efforts to teach and inspire so many with incredible knowledge and insight into our environment in the White Mountains. In the link I have provided below, information about the TMCC can be viewed, along with the ability for you to securely and conveniently donate on-line right from my pledge page. Just click on this link - https://www.pledgereg.com/39709
I politely ask of you, in memory of Pete and in honor of an amazing organization, please help me support the Tin Mountain Conservation Center, which has provided environmental education to over 75,000 students, campers and individuals throughout schools and communities in Northern New Hampshire, western Maine and beyond for over 30 years. Please feel free to reach out to family and friends who you think would want to be a part of my ride. I want to make this the biggest year ever for fundraising. After all, I just have to ride my bike. You all can feel good about your donation. I will make you proud on race day!
All the best,
Photos courtesy of Heidi Schoff Spiller