Monday, November 5, 2007

How you climbers do it, I'll never know....

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.

3 comments:

DDYTDY said...

With A tiny gear any hill is possible :o)

On MT Washington NH people run 22/34 for a low gear on light road bikes.

Spin Man! It's all about the spin.

CliftonGK1 said...

The 520 hill is well over a mile long. Typically I drop to my 36/32 combo to do it if I'm not carrying anything. Maybe down to my 26 chainring if I'm loaded down.

Lesse about those hills...
I've got 8 of my 12 century rides planned out for 2008, and 5 of them have more than 5000' of climbing. I'll be doing them on a Surly LHT with stock gearing, so my low end will be a 26/34 if I really need it.

I'll show you my training hill some time: Squawk Mtn. 2.25 miles, and 1180' gain to the top. Maximum incline == 22% grade for almost 500 yards.

Noah said...

Simple answer: I don't!

I'm a big wimp when it comes to big hills. I can usually climb them, but I'll often hit my MHR or start hyperventilating, then I'll get all dizzy and have to stop for a bit.

I'd like to try this fabled hill sometime. I have family out in your neck of the woods.

My Goat has a really low gear that could practically pull stumps out of the ground if I could get the traction. I usually just spin like a madman for climbs. My roadie? Not so much.