Been slacking off this year for the most part in terms of climbing. I'm still on the fence about whether to do the Bike MS event in September, which is two days of 3000ft/50mi... far more climbing than I've ever done before.
So, yesterday I decided to start doing some hill training. Instead of my normal 600ft/20mi hill route I did a 900ft/20mi hill route instead... and holy crap that was hard as hell. My speed actually dropped down to 3.5mph on one giant hill, the slowest I've ever gone on my bike before. I could barely make it up... but I made it, without getting off and walking. So there's that at least.
I did that hill last year and I'm certain I could do it at 6mph. On the other hand I've gained 40 pounds since then, so I suppose that's where the difference came from. I really need to lose a lot more weight. Hauling 400 pounds up hills is no fun at all. So for training I think I'm going to do a hill route once a week at first, to see how well I can eventually end up doing it. Once I get it down I'll increase the distance and go from there.
On the plus side, I now have a new speed record. Hit 36.5mph going down the other side of the hill... in a 35mph zone. Neato. I was amazed at how much more stable the road bike is compared the mountain bike I rode last year. Even going 28-30 on that thing felt like I was unstable and was going to die, but now on my road bike I just went into the drops, said "hmm, I don't think I'm going too fast", looked down and saw 36.5mph. That was strange, but also awesome. I bet I can even hit 40 on a bigger hill...
One thing's for sure though. 900 feet over 20 miles hurt like hell. I simply don't understand how people do that much climbing in even shorter distances.