Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hell, thy name is Bob

No, not that Bob; this Bob.

I decided to change up my weekend cycling by going for a climb with a bit more challenge, and managed to pick one of the most challenging climbs in the entire bay area, the Bohlman-On Orbit-Bohlman route... which also happens to start 13 miles away, making for quite a lengthy warm-up ride.

Now the average grade for the section I rode is 11%. This can only be described as "horrible, terrible lies", seeing as some sections are upwards of 24%. That's a lot of percent. It translates to roughly 14 degrees, give or take. Hold the end of a ruler a little less than 3 inches off your desk, and that'll be roughly the slope we're talking about.

It should additionally be noted that the slope doesn't let up any until you've ridden 2.4 miles and climbed 1500 feet, unlike Page Mill which has a number of flat or short downhill sections. There's none of that here.

Anyway, I made it to the bottom of the hill at 3:15 and started climbing. By 4:00 I had gone a total of 1.75 miles (setting a blistering pace of 2.3 miles per hour) and two things happened:

  1. I hit a small rock with my front tire. Normally this wouldn't be any big deal, but due to the slope and the amount of force I had to pedal with, it lifted the wheel quite a ways off course, which caused me to struggle somewhat to stay upright, which then resulted in my left calf locking up in a spasm. This was rather uncomfortable, and took a few minutes to stretch back out.
  2. I ran out of water.

Thus, at the lower intersection of Bohlman and On Orbit, I was forced to give up and turn around. I did quite enjoy the ride, though, and perhaps next year when I have a lighter bike I might try it again.

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tygunn said...

Sounds like a positively grueling experience! :) I'll have to work myself up to that kind of riding and join you!

Nicoya said...

You know it! Too bad the long, cold winters kinda ruin your shape, but I guess we'll only have a few more years of that.

tygunn said...

Meh, running on the treadmill every morning certainly helps. :)