Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Biking - 7-mile 1000-foot climb, loaded

With regular consulting office hours now of T/W/TH 12-5, I need to take advantage of mornings to get out for some riding. Today started off sunny and near 60, so I loaded the bike and panniers in the car and headed off to a parking area just west of Schenectady. My route was going to be from river-level up to Mariaville, a 9-mile 1100-foot climb, with all 50 lbs of gear. As it turned out, rain started to threaten, and since on this ride I had a choice, I bailed a little before that and only did 7/1000. It was also a good excuse to not climb Weast Road :-) The overall ride was 16.8 and 1,300 feet, and the first raindrops were falling as I was driving home afterward. Good choice.

Although the climb itself varies in grade, it's generally pretty gentle. There is a 10% pitch in there somewhere, but it's mostly much less than that. I never hit my lowest gear, but stopped about every mile for a standup break to drink, catch my breath, stop the burn, and get my legs back. That's about the same as I did on my climb of Brandon Gap in Vermont a couple of years ago, and it seemed to work. Coming down, I reached well over 30 mph several times, and even hit 38.5 at one point, but the bike and load were rock-solid.

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