Cycling: My First Cat5 Climb


Today I’d been thinking about doing a 5k or 10k row…. something long and grueling.  It was a such a nice evening out though that I opted to cycle my first ever Hill Loop near our new home.  I driven this 4.75 mile loop a few times and it can be daunting to even drive.  Essentially it goes from the top of the plateau to down pretty close to the elevation of the Ohio River.

Rather than start from the house (on the plateau), I drove my bike down to the bottom and start the ascent portion first.  Since I’ve never tackled a hill of this magnitude, I wanted the “wimp out option” of being able to turn around and coast down the hill should I totally bonk.

The bottom of the hill is around 530ft and the top is around 890ft, so I had a 360ft gain, most of that in the 1.5 mile STEEP ASS ascent.  Okay… this isn’t the Tour deFrance, but it was Mt Everest to me!  I’m not very far back into my cardio rebuilding and this had my heart jumping so far out of my chest that I thought it might rip my shirt.

As I passed the house at the top, I almost pulled in the driveway and had Penny drive me back down to the vehicle, but then I might have missed the “thrill ride” down.  I wasn’t sure my brakes were going to hold out, but it was a real scream!

The nice part is I did this with a steel touring bike (Surly Long Haul Trucker), so I had to drag a lot of weight up the hill.  I will sleep well tonight!

My new Hill of Death

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2 Comments

  1. Paul Murray said,

    September 1, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Nice to see you back on the bike again, Bob. And well done on the ride. Be interesting to see how it compares to getting the thrill first and then climbing back up.

  2. wb416 said,

    September 2, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Thanks Paul! I feel pretty good today, but was pretty wiped out last night. This summer of house renovation has severely crimped my riding…. probably around 100 miles this year compared to 1000+ each of the last two years. Doing a short intense route like this might be just what I need time wise.


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