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July 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

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A lenticular cloud forms over Mt. Rainier during the RAMROD cycling rally


Riders from the 29th annual RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day) cyclist rally take a break and pose for pictures in front of the mountain, crowned with a large lenticular cloud on Thursday July 26, 2012. A lenticular cloud forms at the peak when warm, moist air hits the surface, cooling into a cloud as it rises upward towards the summit. Although it appears to be stationary, a lenticular formation is a signal of steady air flow but, as seen here, only cold enough around the top of the mountain to appear as a cloud. Sometimes it means rain the following day, sometimes it's a signal of cooling temperatures. This view is from Inspiration Point, the highest point of the ride at 4,850 feet elevation and a big payoff for riders after making it through the first 75 miles. The RAMROD is organized each year by the Redmond Cycling Club. For more information, visit their website.

One of the riders just informed me of this tragic news about Steve Albers, who was gravely injured on the ride. The following is from the Redmond Cycling Club website:

"It is with sadness that we share the news that Steve Albers, a Northwest resident and RAMROD 2012 participant, passed away from injuries he sustained in a single bike accident during the descent from Inspiration Point to Box Canyon during the event.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Albers family and friends."

As are ours, here at The Seattle Times. -Bettina Hansen


Dustin Hamilton, left, of Seattle, and Carl Murrell of Enumclaw wait for the 5:00 pre-dawn start of the RAMROD, Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day, a 152-mile cycling rally that started and ended at Enumclaw High School.


A pack of cyclists make their way down state route 162 through sunrise fog towards South Prairie and Mount Rainier.


Cyclists pause after riding 75 of 152 miles to Inspiration Point, the highest point at 4,850 feet elevation during the 29th annual RAMROD cyclist rally.

For more photos, visit the gallery.

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Lovely photos by Bettina Hansen. She was lucky to be there, so close to the mountain... MORE
"That's not a cloud, it's a big flying saucer." This is exactly correct... MORE
That's not a cloud, it's a big flying saucer. Really. Nice... MORE