Yes, I have been on the bike 100 times, but this is the first time I’ve been out for more than 5 miles, a.k.a. not commuting or going to the store. I got up early on Saturday and plotted out a route taking me on a near 15 mile loop just north of the city line on some roads not far away which I’ve never explored. I learned something about riding all winter long on a trainer…
No matter how fast or hard you are going on a trainer, just because you think you are pushing yourself hard enough to go up just about any grade at 8 miles an hour or more does NOT necessarily mean that you ARE strong enough to go up any hill. I found this out the hard way. A few times.
There are a couple of hills on the route, and it starts out being mostly mild uphill, and ends off mostly mild downhill with some small spikes in the middle here and there. 2 of those spikes I found myself off the bike and walking in shame. Once because it was on a really narrow shoulderless road around a bend where I felt like a Land Rover was going to veer around and clip me any minute. That wasn’t too bad even though that’s when a fit roadie cruised past me. The second time was on a grade which bikely.com tells me is a 250 foot rise in elevation in around a half mile, the majority of which is in 2 short peaks right in the center. I have no idea if that’s bad or not relative to most healthy bikers’ terrain, all I know is that it’s bad for me. Right NOW.
Click for larger, the hills that killed me are around mile markers 7 and 11.
I WILL be going back there more, and I WILL be beating that hill. And many others. And SOON.
Other than the occasional sting of shame it was a very nice ride, and one I will be repeating again very soon. The sun was shining, and the birds were chirping.