Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Big Dam Hill

Last night Annette & I met Gary and Rock on the River Trail for some biking. We headed out towards the Big Dam Bridge and another biker joined us along the way. We crossed the bridge and I'll have to say that bridge seems like nothing now to me. Last year I could barely make it up it and this year I have gears to spare and I don't even breathe hard.

We headed down towards the 430 bridge and Gary had to leave early so we didn't get to ride with him long. When we got under the 430 bridge, the guy that was with us (sorry I forgot his name) talked us in to trying the hill at River Mountain Road. He told us that his riding group a lot of times does 8 hill repeats on this hill on Wednesday nights. So I thought what the heck, the worst would be I stop half way up and coast back down.

As we started up the hill he was coaching Rock on how to climb. So I just stayed behind them and listened. I had done some pretty bad hills and I knew the pain we were fixing to have. Rock had never done hills like this. I knew Annette couldn't make it to the top so I told her just to ride up as far as she could.

For a while it wasn't too bad. I stayed in my second gear about half way up until I finally had to drop down to my lowest. The good thing was I was still maintaining speed, and I wasn't having to stand up yet. It was nice having the clip in pedals because I could get extra power pulling up and give my legs a little break. 3/4 of the way up the hill got steeper. So we would alternate standing for a few strokes then sitting down. I was breathing like I was sprinting. I wish I had wore my heart rate monitor because I know I would have been maxed out by the time I got to the top. Finally we were done. We had conquered the hill. Now we got to ride back down.

The downhill part is pretty scary as you can really get some speed going. Since I had never done this road, I was pretty cautious and held my brakes almost to the bottom. I was still going almost 35 mph with my brakes on! I venture to say one could hit 45 easy going down this hill. Annette was waiting at the bottom for us and she went up a pretty good ways. The overall length of the hill was right at .8 mile. According to the bikers, this one is one of the hardest because it is so long. Maybe not as steep as some of the others.

We finished up our ride by heading down Rebseman Park Road to the golf course and then back across the bridge. Annette and I rode with Rock to her car since she had parked next to the baseball field. By the time we got back it was almost dark. It was a great evening to ride and seeing the sunset along the river trail is an awesome sight. Total miles for the evening, 25.5.

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