So as a goal for myself to compete in the NJ Gran Fondo I started going on the club's Hill Series. It's a Tuesday night ride that gets progressively harder as the season goes on. I've been in touch with someone here on getting better at hills, where I am originally from, most people ride beach cruisers/bmx/single speeds for good reason-it's flat as a pancake.
The ride was 15.74 miles, haven't mapped out for elevation yet, BUT, one downhill was 33% avg downhill, with a max @ 39%! Brake fade? OH YES!!!!!
Anyway, I was able to hang with the front half of the group until mile 13, we then had a short 8% average, 11% max climb. I felt my legs starting to blow, the lactic acid seeping through everly so painfully. I pumped, pedalled, stood, sat and spun, downshift, downshift, downshift. And I popped, blew, burned out, faded etc. I had to stop. . .45 feet from the crest. I was cramping like it was going out of style as I hadn't been drinking. I stopped for about 2 minutes, drank and managed to catch up with the rest of the group! No walking!
I got myself back together and followed suit. I decided to power up a hill @ mile 14 and my left calf cramped like a b@$tard. Stopped for about 30 seconds, drank a litle bit and kept going, caught the group and hung at the front.
Highlight of the ride?
1. Didn't get dropped
2. Didn't have to walk
3. Got kudos from the ride leader. This year he's taking on the Assault on Mt. Mitchell, Mountains of Misery, and 3 Gran Fondos. That made me feel good.
4. Some people referred to it as the "WTF Route" but I didn't feel too bad when we were done.
It sucked. I loved the suck. I wish it would suck some more.