A buddy and myself took the day off from work and went on a great training ride today. It was a 37 mile out and back with 3 or 4 major climbs both ways, I define a major climb as anything that is above 12% that last longer than a mile.
There was a 12 mile warm up, before we hit any real climbs, but after that it was climbing non-stop. The first climb was called a "little tester" but ended up being a very tuff little climb. It was about 17% for about a 1/2 mile, we both went up it too hard and I thought that I was in trouble. All the other climbs for the day were not going to be as steep, but there were for sure going to be a lot longer! The next climb came and we took it easy up the climb and made it to the top together, that was the last time that would happen! The next climb I decided I was going to test myself and see what would happen if I really tried to push it up these mini-mountains, I surprised myself and my buddy by makiing it to the top averaging right around 10mph, not the greatest but not too shabby either. We had one more climb and 15 miles until the rest stop that unfolded the same way, the decents were great, twice we both clocked 51mph!
On the way back I got a little crazy and decided to climb the last two climbs in the big ring (53x23), that was the hardest I have ever worked on the bike, but it felt great when I crested the hills in big ring still. I also managed to do all my climbing in the saddle, which was also a great feeling. We ended up with 74 miles and aprox. 5700 feet of climbing, it was a great day and I am already looking forward to doing it again. There was some talk of doing this ride once a month, if I started to do that I would truly be able to rule the Cat5's with a iron fist!!!!
Here is the elevation map of the ride, the two climbs circled are the ones that I did in 53x23: