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THE WALL crumbles under my wheels

by on August 17, 2010

This Ride: 24.9 miles
Kona Distance: 2,798.8 miles
Month to date: 459.9 miles
2010 Total: 3,265.3 miles
Pace to 5,254.8 mile goal in 2010: (131.9 miles ahead of goal pace)

Several things prompted a second ride today:

  • The forecast for tomorrow is for up to 3 inches of rain.  The likelihood that I will get out and ride in that rain is slim.
  • Tomorrow marks the end of the 7th week of Nickel & Dime ’em to Life.  I was within a few miles of being able to have over 1000 miles logged in those 7 weeks.  I wanted that milestone.
  • THE WALL was calling my name.  It psyched me out this morning.  I found an excuse not to challenge it.  That couldn’t last.

And so, in 90 degree temps, and with a few hours to spare before evening meetings, I set out to conquer THE WALL.  The ride to the end of the trail was uneventful.  I tried to keep my heart rate in a reasonable zone.  At the end of the trail I checked my gears (granny gear still isn’t working right) and set off down to the water’s edge to pick up the base of THE WALL.  I did a loop like Mike did last weekend to prepare myself and to take in the gorgeous views.  There were plenty of challenging hills on that loop too.  Finally I was ready, and I eased down the road, shifted down into the small ring in front, reset my lap counter, and started up.

THE WALL is a combination of two short climbs separated by a “false flat” as Phil Ligitt might say.  The first climb to the “false flat” and the curve wasn’t too bad, I remember thinking.  I saw 12 and 14% grades on my Garmin, but couldn’t focus on that much.  Rounding the curve, I encountered the steepest part of the ride.  I was in the smallest gear available to me, and I was having trouble keeping the bike moving.  At one point, I thought that I might have to unclip fast and put my foot down to walk the bike up, but just then, a car, a bike and a scooter started coming down the hill and I wasn’t going to climb out of the pedals in front of anyone.  I grabbed the lower part of the handles for more leverage, and that helped immensely.  I continued the climb, picking up speed as it started to flatten out a little.  When I got to the top, I hit the lap button again on the Garmin to record some stats.

I was gasping for breath.  But I had done it!  THE WALL is in my rear view mirror.  It is a 0.26 mile climb of approximately 100 feet (according to what I can see on the Garmin.  I averaged 8.1 mph up the hill (most of that probably was at the bottom before the real climb).  My heart rate in those less than 2 minutes went from 111 to 175.

Excited, I went back to the end of the trail, and climbed the hill from Ritchie Hwy to the end of the trail twice.  I came back home by way of the trail and climbed the hill on Ritchie Hwy to my home twice.  I rode about a mile and a half with Neil from SPP who was headed to the meet up for the Tuesday night ride.

This was a great accomplishment!

From → Cycling

One Comment
  1. Horns, confetti, applause all around!

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