I didn't have enough time for a long ride of any sort on Saturday so I opted for making the miles count.
I haven't done THIS CLIMB in a while and figured it was time for a gut check. When I got home I subtracted the starting point from the end and divided by the distance covered... your basic grade percentage calculation. If I had known it averaged out as a 9% (OK, 8.9 but why quibble?) climb. If I had known that, I might not have tried.
Anyway, up I went. Can't say for sure if it was any easier than the last time I tried or if I stopped any fewer times to catch my wind but I did get to the top -1.3 miles- in 15 minutes. That would be 5 minutes less -minimum- than the last time I tried. Where I turned left was about 600' and I felt so good, I turned left and headed up and down and up and down and left and right and left and right and right and up and up and up and got to the top of Milagara Ridge, 663 feet up.
So, I hung out for a bit and headed on down to the top of Sharp Park Road. Hit the crossing button and waited. It turned green and -with one foot still clicked in- I flipped the around, pushed off, went to click in the other foot and my toe count the tire. Much awkwardness and a hard bounce of the ol' coccyxx and nether regions off of the saddle followed by stumbling and a general lack of grace ensued and I was on my way. Off course a car was sitting at the red light watching the whole display "Just look cool" I said to myself and peddled off across the road.
Then I pedalled around a newish subdivision I have never really checked out and headed out the parking lot right back onto Sharp Park Road. It pretty much just dumped me into the road way -which can be pretty busy- so I headed for the rounded shoulder and the bike/ped path to get out of the way. I took the curb at an angle -I was moving pretty quickly but not blinding- and when my rear wheel hit the gutter, I noticed, too late, that it was full of dry eucalyptus leaves. Shwoop! Out went my rear wheel from under me and I was airborne. Bike went down in a slow, graceful slide and I flipped over to land on my shoulder and did a half roll/summersault. How embarssing.
Gathered my wits, did a parts check and head down the the Grace McCarthy rest area (it's all on the hybrid view, folks, with sufficient zooming in). Took a break, ate my fig newtons and I got to take the 1 mile, 9% drop. 35mph. No cars behind me. What a rush. I was pretty beat from the climb up and the fall but, man, I felt good. I can't wait to go back and try again.
Is this great or what? I love my bike(s)