Ride of the Week: Cycling the 3.2 mile 1100 ft Donner Pass hill climb – The Riders: Jackie Paaso and Melinda Armsby | SierraSun.com

Ride of the Week: Cycling the 3.2 mile 1100 ft Donner Pass hill climb – The Riders: Jackie Paaso and Melinda Armsby

Seth Lightcap/Sierra Sun

Have either of you ever cycled up Donner Pass before?

Armsby: No, this is the first time for both of us.

What inspired the two of you to take on the hill today?

Armsby: This was the only consistent climb I could think of in Truckee so Jackie made me do it!

Paaso: We did it to challenge ourselves and see how we would do.

How long did it take you to climb up?

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Paaso: I don’t know… maybe half an hour? It seemed daunting at the beginning but it didn’t take that long.

Did you have any trouble with cars passing too closely?

Paaso: No not at all. They shared the road pretty good.

Armsby: I was surprised at how nice they were. Everyone moved off to the side even on the turns.

How did you feel pedaling through the steep switchbacks?

Paaso: Other than forgetting my water bottle it was easier than I expected. I felt good.

Armsby: I wasn’t hurting either. Hopefully that means I’ll be feeling good hiking this winter.

Are the two of you training for anything in particular?

Armsby: I want to try to escape the terrain park this year and get out in the mountains. I’m trying to get stronger to be able to hike bigger stuff and last longer out there.

Paaso: I am a professional big mountain skier so I’m training for the Freeskiing World Tour ” hoping to win it all this year!

Will you come back to ride up it again before the snow flies?

Armsby: I want to do it all the time now!…maybe tomorrow?

Paaso: Definitely, next time I’m going to catch that mountain biker…

” This week’s Ride of the Week interview and photo shoot was conducted by the Sun’s Seth Lightcap. Send future interview suggestions to slightcap@sierrasun.com.