Pretty good training ride for Mt Mitchell today in the NC/SC mountains. We covered about 82 miles and had 8400ft of climbing. Some of the climbs were so steep I was actually "resting and recovering" on the longer climbs where the grades dropped down to 10-11% by just slowing down a little. Now that felt pretty strange to be resting on a 10+% climb and if my cadence had slowed any more I probably would have been going backwards!!!
On the last climb of the day at about the 78 mile mark I was pulling a guy up a hill. He had jumped on my wheel 2-3 miles before in the flats and I was glad for him to ride along. I could tell by his breathing and "grunting" that he was suffering so I was just glad to hopefully help make his ride a little easier.
The last climb is about 1 1/2 miles long and has grades up to 15%. With all the climbing and steep hills we had already done it felt even steeper!!
About 1/2 the way up apparently he decided he had to stop and tried to unclip and stop in the middle of the road. I heard him unclip and then I heard him fall over and hit the pavement. It was a pretty steep stretch and was a really tough place to try and stop--not to mention I'm sure his legs were pretty well spent by then. I looked back over my shoulder and hollered to see if he was okay. He said he was fine so I kept grinding away.
I saw out of the corner of my eye that he was layed out on the road. I suspect he had one heck of a time getting going again. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't walk it up to the top and then jump back on.
I'm not sure I could have easily stopped even if I had tried. As bad as it hurts to keep going, I've always used the "fear of stopping and getting back started again" to keep going on a climb. I was on a really steep hill by myself last summer where I did stop about 1/2 the way up and it took me 5 tries to get clipped back in and going again. This year I've tried slowing my cadence for a short stretch to rest a little and it seems to have helped.
I wish I could show you the elevation of today's ride but my photo shop is messed up and I've having problems creating files with it. There are a number of large "spikes" in this one.
Any tips on stopping on a hill are welcome!!