Monday, June 4, 2012

It’s time to climb!

In my last 5 rides, not including recovery rides, I’ve climbed nearly 12,000 feet.   The rides themselves have not been all that long with most of them in the 40 mile range.  They’ve just had a lot of up and down to them.  Yeah, you could say I’m focused on climbing right now.

This all started a few weeks ago when the Saturday club ride included a little climbing.  Frankly, I did not do well.  I was laboring up hills I usually get up with no problems.  As I slowly climbed it gave lots of time to analyze what was going on and then it hit me.  I’m not climbing well because I haven’t been climbing (duh!!!).  For whatever reason, our club rides have been on the flatter side so far this year.  It was time for a change.

Harrison-Coleman Valley-Bittner

Ride 1This is one of my all time favorite routes so I could not think of a better way to get back into the climbing groove.  This was a club ride so I also had great company.  Well, I had great company until we reached each climb.  Then I was by myself.  This route brought out some of our better riders who simply dropped me on every climb.  But I didn’t care.  I had a plan and I was sticking to it.  If it worked, I would be staying on their wheel soon enough.  Beside, like I said before, this is one of favorite routes so I also took the time to enjoy the scenery.  This would not be the case in the next ride.

Sonoma Mountain – Roberts Road

Ride 2I found myself riding solo on the Memorial Day Weekend so I chose to continue my climbing.  This time it was more serious.  I chose to climb Sonoma Mountain, which is not one of my favorites (because of the road condition) but it is a great climb for building strength.  Although the scenery on this route is very beautiful I was more interested in gearing, cadence and heart rate.  It was on this ride that I felt my climbing strength was beginning to come back.

Crane Canyon-Lichau-Roberts-Fountain Grove

Ride 3The next day I decided to tackle every major hill near the house.  This included riding Lichau Road for the first time, which is that second spike on the profile.  Lichau Road will get its own post here soon so let me just say this was an awesome ride.  I was toast as I approached the last climb but I held the course and completed the ride I started.  

Hill Work in Fountain Grove

Ride 4For my Wednesday after-work ride, I decided to continue with the climbing strategy.  The hills of Fountain Grove are less then 3-miles from my house and even closer to work.  The first 5-miles of this route was the ride to work so the hill work is really miles 5 through 20.  The coolest thing about this ride was that it was completely done in the middle ring, which told me I was getting stronger quickly.

Half of Rockpile

Ride 5Saturday’s club ride was going to the top of Rockpile, which is a very famous climb in Sonoma County and one of my favorites.  However, as soon as we began to climb I realized that my hill all the hill work was catching up with me.  I turned around about half way up with one of my fellow riders.  After a screaming descent, I was back at the car ready to call it a day.

Now, it’s time to recover.  I spent the last 3-weeks improving on the climbs and I am really feeling it.  That’s ok.  I know all this hard work will pay off in the end and I look forward to more climbing in the very near future.

Until then, bring on the recovery rides.


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