Monday, January 26, 2009

Sometimes, Ignorance is Bliss

On last Saturday's ride I thought I would go up a hill that I've driven up numerous times.  I'd planned out my route and looked at the elevation chart.  There was a hill but it was short and only 8% grade (that's the purple part).
So I headed out.  I tried to take the first half of the ride fairly slow so I could get home okay, and
 because all of the climbing was at the beginning.  When i got to the hill, it looked a lot bigger than it ever did in a car.  But, I'd committed myself at that point, and besides, it was only a mere 8%.  The internet doesn't lie!

So climb I did.  There were parts that were so steep that I felt that if I didn't lean forward enough I would fall off the back of the bike.  After struggling 1/3 of the way there was a flat side street that I pulled into to regain my breath and legs.  After about 3 minutes of rest I went at it again, only to pull into another side street another 1/3 of the way up.  One last push after the
 rest and I made it. 

By the time I made it all the way up, I was convinced that this beast was steeper than 8%.  After making it home I looked it up and this is what I found.
Not only was the hill steeper (20%!!!) but the smallest incline was 7%.  I made it home okay, in fact I averaged 22 mph over the last 15 miles of the ride, but it did take me at least 3 miles to recover from that climb.

Would I have done the ride if I'd really known how steep the hill was?  Probably.  Will I do it again?  Yep.  Was the hill easier not knowing how steep it was?  Absolutely.

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