We had a couple of Steel Wulers on the Ball Mauler ride today - moi and Brad Shelton. I ended up spending the whole day riding with Jim Langley which was an absolute joy. He told stories the entire way up Jamison and Alba while I was gasping for breath. And they were some absolutely amazing stories. After Felton/Empire, as we were finally heading down Empire to go home, Jim says "I'm doing Smith Grade." Jim has had the idea in his head for years of riding Empire and all the major connecting climbs to it, and all that was left was Smith Grade. I was cooked, but apparently sufficiently delirious that I agreed to do it with him.
Ended up with about 90 miles and 12,600 feet of climbing. It wasn't pretty and it was a slow grind for me but it was quite a tour de force of climbing:
Peter Thomsen and Zach Brown are super nice guys, both very strong riders. I think you would like them a great deal.
Thanks for forwarding the ride info. Please don't ever do that again. :-)