So I took a short ride yesterday. A nice relaxing Sunday afternoon ride. I wanted to attempt "the 520 hill".
I decided to ride down into Redmond to the bike shop I've started using Gerk's Alpine Hut. I broke my rear fender last week and wanted to see if they had the type of fender I wanted to replace it with.
Ever since I moved here, I've been hearing people talk about "the 520 hill" and since I had worked on my "hill legs" I wanted to give it a go and see if I could make it without stopping. Well, when I got to the top of it heading down on the way to Gerk's, it didn't look too bad. I made it down to intersection and thought "this wasn't hard...I could sure come back up this".
Then I realize, this wasn't the bottom....not the road (Leary way) into Redmond. So I cross and keep going, and going, and going, and going. I realize that its a pretty LONG hill. Probably at least a mile or more. The grade wasn't too bad until you get to the bottom section (last 1000 feet or so).
I thought...OK, this will be a challenge coming back up. So, I hit it....that first steep part just kills you. I barely made it to the end of that steep part before having to stop. After resting (and walking) for a little bit, I started back up again, but realized I didn't let myself rest fully. I could tell right away, I was going to have to stop again soon. I made it about another 1/4 mile. Stopped and rested again. This time I rested a little longer and was past all the steep part. I was finally able to make it up the rest of the hill in one shot.
I mapped it when I got back and it shows about 450 feet of elevation for my entire ride back (probably 350 of that was the 520 hill). All in all it was only about a 10 mile ride, but that hill was a bear.
My question for your climbers who do 5000 ft. climbs and such. How in the world do you do that? It seems like it will take me YEARS to be able to get to that point.
Ok...I'm done whining. Please return to you regularly scheduled programs.