Hills of March 6th.

It was a very nice day of about 60 degrees. Just a little bit of wind from the west and I was ready to go ride. I got out on my normal loop and diverged fromthe normal. I knew there was a hill at the end of a long stretch of road and I wanted a hill. What I found was, again, a bit more wind right in my face than I expected. Along the road I was able to maintain about a 10 to 12 mph average. I watched my heart rate and just kept it at 150-something and whatever gearing it took to maintain that I used. I got a new cassette for the rear. It’s really a compact configuration rear cassette for I still have that triple front chainring and I’m glad. the front is a 30-39-50 and the rear is now an 11-28 (previously 12-26) I have a huge spread of speed ability now. Into that wind I was doing fine. Maintaining a decent speed, trying to stay in the drops as often as I could to minimize the impact of the wind and working on my pedal stroke. things are going well in that department. Oh look a hill…

There it was. It wasn’t that steep honestly but it was steep enough to test people. 4.3% grade up over .8 miles. the bigges problem with a hill like this is the headwind into my face. did I mention that? I think it was probably a 5mph or so wind given the speed I could only maintain on the way to the hill, but this was a good thing. I got to the hill without all of my energy, but with enough for hills. I averaged 8mph up this hill with some wind in my face. I stayed put in the saddle all the way up on purpose for efficiencey. If I stood up and cranked along I would have done it faster but probably burned out the legs and had to stop. In a no wind situation I could probably hold 10+. According to STRAVA, this effort was 995th out of just over 1000 people that have climbed this hill. Going 16mph average up the hill would land me 50th. I am in no way comparing and analyzing what I do to the pros here but I am evaluating myself and my present ability and am finding that i’m doing pretty good for 6-7 months in to this. When people in my position see Olympic athletes on these routes and feel bad, they need to remember just how far beyond the next level pro athletes really are. For this climb, Taylor Phinney set the best time at just over a 21mph average…going up hill. Professional athletes are at least twice as fast as an average cyclist in these parts, so there is a level of ability that us normals just cannot look at as reference points. At the top of the hill I was riding on flat ground and let myself recover but I mae sure I didn’t just cruise pedal, I had to keep going. My heart rate was just over 180 and I was breathing hard but the amazing thing about this cycling is feeling your body go through the changes very quickly over a series of minutes. five minutes later I felt good again. I could tell the energy level was down overall but that’s what I’m supposed to feel. I know I’m running out of stored energy and would have to eat something soon. 50 minutes in to the ride I finish the first bottle of water and bust out the bananna, starting the second bottle.

The next good ride I do with some hill challenges I think i’ll have to go do the BCC club route that I rode last fall and compare the time now to +20 pounds and 5 months ago.

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