Yep. I went over yesterday, a beautiful day for a ride on the coast. Hard to believe I just bought the Reno in April, so -wow- 200 miles a month just on the LeMond since then (plus additional miles on the Kaitai in between spoke breakages). I was doing 100 miles a month this time last year. I didn't consciously set out to double it, I just did. What can I say? The LeMond makes me want to ride.
THIS is a "MapItPronto" of the more interesting part of the ride, the loop from the coast back into the Oddstad valley and back out again.
First, there's the little tester up and over to mile 1. I clocked this yesterday at 2.5 minutes to the top. Sometimes I take the parallel route (you can see it in "hybrid" or "satellite" mode that's like a mini Alp D'Huez).
This is followed by a 2 mile steady, uphill (or false flat. when does "false flat" become "uphill", anyway?) grind East, when you turn to make a 1 mile steady, uphill grind north. From 0 to 400 feet in 3 miles. Nothing severe by anyone's standards but I'm pedalling the whole time -no coasting- and there are a couple of little sharp "kickers" along the way. Up Linda Mar Blvd I can hold about 14 miles an hour without really straining. Things actually do go by pretty quick at 14 mph.
After the ride back down to the coast (Wheeeeeee!!!) I cross over to Crespi and then I can either take Highway or Roberts Road back north. I used to take the highway but it got boring and -really- not much of a challenge anymore. Now I almost always take Roberts Road. 1/2 mile at a 6% average (7.5% up front and 5.5% on the second half. I can hold about 6mph up this hill. It's amazing how 5.5% feels easy after 7.5%, I actually start to sprint for the summit, the "d" in Roberts Rd. on the map). I'm doing this climb now in 5 minutes 6 seconds. I'm curious to see how much that'll start coming down.
I've been using these opportunities to learn how to climb better. They're long enough to just be a grind and I always find I hit a couple of spots where I think, "I don't really want to be doing this " But it's just a head game and, after that, I fall into a rhythm and just keep pushing. I gut it out and it's never that bad when it's over. I'm learning to get my hands on top of the bars and to keep my upper body loose and light. While I never totally forget about it, the Brooks just sort of "disappears" under me and I find myself just sitting on it as I push the pedals, almost like a paddle boat. Sometimes I can only push 60rpm or a little less but it's not really a mash but more of a s...l...o...w spin. Pacing is key. I just find my groove and settle into a slow rhythm. I almost said "easy rhythm"... no, that's not quite right. Breathing, too, is a learned skill. At some point on Roberts Rd, I am huffing... really, breathing hard and fast -asthma, remember?- but that doesn't mean I have to be gasping like a fish. No, I just time my breaths to my stroke and it seems to work just fine. When I first climbed Roberts Rd, my HR hit 175bpm, easy. Now I can keep it under 165. I'm allowed 166 so I'm a winner there.
Next, I want to go back and try THIS again.
600 feet in 2 miles versus 400 feet in 3 miles (or to look at it a different way, it's 4 Roberts Roads).
Should be interesting.
I am learning how and from such small steps, the larger journey begins.