b'and bike shorts. Drenched in sweat, we celebrate with a snowball fight in front of the Washington Pass road sign.Just beyond the peak at Washington Pass, we turn a corner and are looking down a canyon of the Cascades with steep snowy peaks, deep green pine forests, and a ribbon of highway running miles down its center. Our legs are like rubber and we are numb and lightheaded. But, we know we need to carry on. Other cyclists who passed us on the way to the top had advised us to dress for the cold for the descent, and to get on the other side of the mountains well before dusk. So, Emilie and I put on every stitch of clothing we have with uslong underwear, cycling booties, sweaters, winter gloves, ski masks and winter caps. We even wrap our socks in plastic to guard against the wind. After 25 miles of continuous climbing, we now begin a 16-mile descent. We dont need to pedal except to keep our legs from cramping, as our odometers surpass 20, 25, 30, even 35 miles per hour! I hadnt really thought of it until this moment but I am putting incredible stress on my bike frame, my bike rack and my brakes. The downhill speed is exhilarating but also terrifying. Around one hairpin turn a buck jumps into the road in front of me and just before we collide, the massive creature leaps out of my path. On another curve, I hit some ice. Just as the weight of the bike slides out from under me, I hit dry pavement and am jerked safely upright, avoiding a plunge to the canyon below. At the bottom of this 16-mile descent on Hwy 20, with the 7-hour climb behind us and the heated air of the eastern side of the Cascades embracing us, we arrive in Mazama, Washington (pop. 7). Emilie takes notice of a sign for the Mazama Country Inn which boasts a 3-star restaurant and sauna. Taking amile detour, we check into this simple, beautiful bed and breakfast in the forest. I alternate icing my knees with soaks in a hot tub. We stay two nights to allow our bodies a chance to recover. BEGIN: Diablo Dam, WA END: Mazama, WA After 7 hours of climbing, downhill DISTANCE: 49.9 milesspeeds over 30 miles per hour are exhilarating. Around a hairpin turn, a massive buck jumps into the road in front of me. Just before we collide, the creature leaps out of my path.9'