I biked around the rim of Crater Lake

Yesterday, I did one of the hardest things in my life, I rode my bike around Crater Lake. It was a 34 mile ride of pure horror and terror. I had several tribulations, where I considered stopping and not finishing. I did turn back, and moved my start point from the base of the rim where a spare parking lot had been setup to the top of the rim, where I had initially intended to start from. I didn't make the full loop because of this. I also failed to start out well, and was gulping for air at barely a mile in to the ride, which is part of the reason I skipped that initial 800 foot elevation climb. In the end though, I listened to the advice of some people who had ridden the rim before, and I leaned on the support of my friend Daniel, and pushed through. There were times I had to get off the bike and walk it up the hill. But, for all of the pain, effort and hatred required to get to the top of the mountains, the rides back down to the bottom were fantastic. My max speed as calculated by Endomondo was 40.3 mph. I really enjoyed riding the north side of the rim, that road was shady, mostly down-hill, and close to the lake. Climbing the mountains on the South East side was my least favorite part. It was miles of climbing, with a full view of just how far there was to go still. It was very much a confidence shaking point. The South West side was a blast, it was almost completely downhill, and where I had several 35+mph sustained bombing sessions. We came out at the end of the East Rim Road, and if we had gone right, we could have climbed another roughly 5 miles and 800 feet of elevation to get to the car, or we could go left, and go 5 miles and drop 3-400 feet of elevation and arrive at the campsite. We went left, and had a long fast, solitary ride back into the campsite. There were so many people out taking advantage of the road being closed for bikes and pedestrians only, which was an awesome sight. There were people of all ages, fitness levels and gear levels. Everyone seemed friendly and people didn't seem to look down on or judge those of us who had to walk up the hills. There seemed to be a pretty good pairing, where groups of friends were out doing the ride, and the stronger riders would push ahead, and the slower riders would plod along at our own pace. And up the road a ways, the stronger riders would find a turn-out, and would stop and take a break, and let the slower riders catch up. We would all take a short break, take a bite of some energy food and a sip of fluid, then we would take off as a group again. And the group would elastically expand and contract like that through the whole day. It was great.