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Old 11-30-09, 11:23 AM   #1
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Thanksgiving Day Race Up Mt Hamilton 18.4 miles: 4,343 elevation

Our Low Key Hill Climb fall series http://lowkey.djconnel.com/2009/week9/results.html culminated with a race up Mount Hamilton on Thanksgiving morning. Standing at a majestic 4,343 feet above sea level, it served as the final and most demanding test of our climbing ability.

The weather Thanksgiving morning was sunny and 55 degrees going up to the high 60s with over 170 men and women getting ready to race. Plus, there were countless riders who were riding up the mountain but not racing.

Results:

The winning men’s time was 72:17, 15.27 mph average speed climbing 3635 feet/hour. Also, he was second in the Irish National Hill Climb Championships. The fastest women’s time was 89:14, 12.37 mph average speed climbing 2,944 feet/hour.

I finished 109th out of 152 competitors with a 106:48, 10.34 mph average speed climbing 2,460 feet/hour. In the overall competition for the best of 5 races combined, I won 60+ men 1st of 13 and for the men overall, I was 81st of 370.

For the women, Velodiva finished 6th of 18 with a 98:21, 11.23 mph average speed climbing at 2671 feet/hour. In the overall women’s competition for the best of 5 races combined, she was 2nd of 50 and she won the 55+, both men and women combined, 1st of 14.

Bike forums’ Rumbutter rode his low rider trike up the mountain and set a new record of 116:46 shattering a 1998 record. We love trikes, rbents, tandems and fixies at LKHC. In fact, we let runners try to beat the bikes up climbs. No one is denied the right to suffer. I lined up next to the trike but did not know it was Rumbutter. At the start, he pulled away but I caught him later on the climb. Rumbutter is a fantastic cyclist using any technology.

In the oveall competition for the best of 5 races, our team the Sisters and Misters of No Mercy were 1st of 107 teams. This team was formed for this competition and was comprised of members of various clubs. It is always a great feeling to be on a winning team.

Mount Hamilton Stats:

climb 1: 5.90 mi, 1514 ft (4.86%)
climb 2: 3.20 mi, 770 ft (4.56%)
climb 3: 6.60 mi, 2060 ft (5.91%)
total: 18.4 miles, 4343 ft



There is an observatory at the top that is visible for the last 7 miles of the climb and with each switchback keeps increasing in size as you approach the top.





The terrain is beautiful, rugged, unforgiving and demanding setting the stage for a great climbing experience.







Here is a pic of me on the finish of one of the descents. I really like this picture. I am going to hire this photographer to follow me around for a day taking pics. I look ageless in the pic but maybe it is because the wind is blowing my skin tight.



Here I am suffering at the finish line.



Here is Velodiva on the climb and at the finish line. In the pic below, she is on the right and looks like she is going to rip that guys legs off as she goes by.



Velodiva at the finish line.



This was a great racing series and many thanks to the organizers and volunteers that make the 9 race series a reality.

Last edited by Hermes; 11-30-09 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 11-30-09, 11:28 AM   #2
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Hanging out at the top.





Velodiva and a friend chatting.

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Old 11-30-09, 11:29 AM   #3
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Wow! Great job!

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Old 11-30-09, 12:06 PM   #4
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Congratulations Hermes on a job well done (but what would one expect of the messanger of the gods?)! You look great in the photos and ageless. What is this about cycling that makes us want to go out and do things that put us right on the verge of puking? The photos look really good too. I like the team name too: The "Sisters of No Mercy". I think they taught at my friend's parochial high school. At least, that is what he always claimed.
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Old 11-30-09, 12:13 PM   #5
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Those shots of you and 'Diva at the finish are true images of suffering.
It's what it's all about.

Well done!
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Old 11-30-09, 01:11 PM   #6
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Awesome!! I've lost the motivation to ride at that intensity level any more. Good for you guys!!
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Old 11-30-09, 02:49 PM   #7
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That looks like a great ride. I'm just imagining the ride back down. Nice pics.
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Old 11-30-09, 04:07 PM   #8
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You are right, that photographer does nice work.
Congrats on your fine placing for the year!
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Old 11-30-09, 06:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Congratulations Hermes on a job well done (but what would one expect of the messanger of the gods?)! You look great in the photos and ageless. What is this about cycling that makes us want to go out and do things that put us right on the verge of puking? The photos look really good too. I like the team name too: The "Sisters of No Mercy". I think they taught at my friend's parochial high school. At least, that is what he always claimed.
This type of event is not a puke fest although I guess it is possible with poor eating. This climb is about pacing the first two climbs hard but slightly below threshold and killing it on the third. After completing the first two climbs and descending, I crossed a bridge and there is a sign that says "7 miles to the top". At this point, I was tired and needed a strong mental focus to keep the power / level of effort up.

The team started out as all women and then they opened it up to men and added Misters to the name.

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Those shots of you and 'Diva at the finish are true images of suffering.
It's what it's all about.

Well done!
The climb was hard but we enjoyed it. At the end, I was tired and there was not much left in my legs.

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Awesome!! I've lost the motivation to ride at that intensity level any more. Good for you guys!!
I think the lost motivation is caused by too much golf and the new Prince. I am committed to competing at Masters Nationals and Worlds this year so my motivation and commitment has never been higher. I hope you get your Mojo back since I enjoyed your assaults on mountains, centuries and time trials.

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That looks like a great ride. I'm just imagining the ride back down. Nice pics.
The ride down is as challenging as the climb. The road is technical and very long. I was getting tired of descending and braking. And there are the two climbs totaling 3 miles. When I hit the first climb on the way back down, my legs felt like concrete and the feeling like they were flooded with lactate. It took a few minutes before they felt sort of okay but really tired.

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You are right, that photographer does nice work.
Congrats on your fine placing for the year!
The pics are really good. We are very fortunate to have a great set of photographers that followed this series.

Thanks to all for your comments.

Last edited by Hermes; 12-01-09 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 11-30-09, 07:19 PM   #10
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Those shots of you and 'Diva at the finish are true images of suffering.
It's what it's all about.

Well done!
I, too, really like the finish photos. And a "Well done!" from me too! You guys rock.
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Old 12-01-09, 07:00 PM   #11
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I, too, really like the finish photos. And a "Well done!" from me too! You guys rock.
Thanks. Suffering is part of building the engine.
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Old 12-01-09, 07:19 PM   #12
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I hope you did that before the turkey feast!
Great job! Thats a long climb - a sustained 6% can really wear you down.
I have given up the big climbs until next spring - right now I'm just turning the pedals. It was 24 degrees for my 6AM ride this morning, tomorrow it will be 32. I just don't have the time to go out to the hills and bag the big verticle this time of year - just keeping some level of fitness for spring is all I can hope for. Whiteface is looming again next year.
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Old 12-01-09, 07:26 PM   #13
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WOW is all I can say!!
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Old 12-01-09, 11:25 PM   #14
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Thanks for posting the pictures. A few of us in our group have climbed Mt. Diablo, Mt. Tam and Mt. Hamilton. I missed Hamilton, but I think I'm glad I did. Killer. Great pictures.
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Old 12-01-09, 11:29 PM   #15
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I hope you did that before the turkey feast!
Great job! Thats a long climb - a sustained 6% can really wear you down.
I have given up the big climbs until next spring - right now I'm just turning the pedals. It was 24 degrees for my 6AM ride this morning, tomorrow it will be 32. I just don't have the time to go out to the hills and bag the big verticle this time of year - just keeping some level of fitness for spring is all I can hope for. Whiteface is looming again next year.
Thanks, my wife and I got ready and put a turkey breast in the crockpot and went to the race. We had our T-Dinner late in the afternoon.

We were very lucky with the weather for all the climbs in the series but T-Day was very nice. As you know, the weather in the mountains can be difficult. I will continue climbing but the next race is the first USCF race of 2010 which is Mount San Bruno on New Years Day.

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WOW is all I can say!!
Thanks DnvrFox. I have come a long way since reatarting my cycling in June 2006 when I had a hard time climbing up 300 feet of vertical. I am thankful that I can still do this stuff, improve and have fun with it.
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Old 12-02-09, 10:21 AM   #16
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Thanks for posting the pictures. A few of us in our group have climbed Mt. Diablo, Mt. Tam and Mt. Hamilton. I missed Hamilton, but I think I'm glad I did. Killer. Great pictures.
I have climbed and raced Mount Tam, Mount Diablo and Mount Hamilton. Each one is different and favors certain types of riders over others. Mount Hamilton is the longest and takes the most time but you go faster. The pedaling does not require as much torque. By that I mean Hamilton is a steady grade whereas the others have 9 to 12% sections where you feel the extra force in your legs and back. And if you have any extra weight or are just taller / bigger, the steeper grades favor the lighter riders.

The other difference between Hamilton and the others is that Mount Hamilton is three climbs with two descents. So there is recovery on the downhill.
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Old 12-02-09, 05:00 PM   #17
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Thanks so much for sharing the story and photographs. I live in Los Angeles but have enjoyed riding a little in the northern half of the state. Mt. Hamilton is a beautiful ride.
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Old 12-02-09, 08:58 PM   #18
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Holy cow! I'm going to feel lactic acid in my legs tomorrow just from reading about it.
http://blog.pentagram.com/Holy_Cow.jpg
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Old 12-03-09, 07:48 AM   #19
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Way to go Rich, you guys a pair of climbing fools. You both look real good and hurting a little. I really like the pictures of the climbs your doing out there. What's that they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
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Old 12-03-09, 11:22 AM   #20
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Thanks so much for sharing the story and photographs. I live in Los Angeles but have enjoyed riding a little in the northern half of the state. Mt. Hamilton is a beautiful ride.
You welcome. We lived in Brentwood, LA north of the Getty Center prior to moving here but did very little cycling there. I did a little mountain biking around our house in the Santa Monica Mountains.

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Way to go Rich, you guys a pair of climbing fools. You both look real good and hurting a little. I really like the pictures of the climbs your doing out there. What's that they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Thanks George. The last climb was difficult but I knew that everyone else felt the same or worse. I worked out at the track yesterday and it was a nice change of pace to spin and go fast. However, the race up Mount San Bruno is on January 1 and commences our sactioned racing season next year. Therefore, a little recovery and back to the mountains. This is a very tough sport.
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Old 12-04-09, 11:08 AM   #21
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Thanks for the excellent report and photos Hermes,

Looks like all kinds of fun to me; have to try that climb sometime. Maybe it's part of some CA double century I haven't tried yet?

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Old 12-04-09, 03:56 PM   #22
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Thanks for the excellent report and photos Hermes,

Looks like all kinds of fun to me; have to try that climb sometime. Maybe it's part of some CA double century I haven't tried yet?

Rick / OCRR
That would be the Devil Mountain Double except you will descend what we climbed and climb the backside of Mount Hamilton. You will start by climbing the south side of Mount Diablo. The challenge is after descending Mount Hamilton, you will climb Sierra Road with 140 miles in your legs. Of course you can do it, but the gear selection will have to favor Sierra Road, IMHO. However, too low gearing and you will spend too much time climbing. Anyway, it is all good.
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Old 12-05-09, 09:45 AM   #23
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This type of event is not a puke fest although I guess it is possible with poor eating. This climb is about pacing the first two climbs hard but slightly below threshold and killing it on the third. After completing the first two climbs and descending, I crossed a bridge and there is a sign that says "7 miles to the top". At this point, I was tired and needed a strong mental focus to keep the power / level of effort up.
The climb was hard but we enjoyed it. At the end, I was tired and there was not much left in my legs.
I am committed to competing at Masters Nationals and Worlds this year so my motivation and commitment has never been higher. The ride down is as challenging as the climb. The road is technical and very long. I was getting tired of descending and braking. And there are the two climbs totaling 3 miles. When I hit the first climb on the way back down, my legs felt like concrete and the feeling like they were flooded with lactate. It took a few minutes before they felt sort of okay but really tired.
Hermes - "No Pain..." Good luck on your quest this year, based upon your postings over time, I've no doubt you will succeed! Both you and jppe are / have been motivation for me.

jppe's been throwing down the gauntlet for TTs at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and I'm afraid to admit I'm thinking about it for 2010
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Old 12-05-09, 11:00 AM   #24
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Hermes - "No Pain..." Good luck on your quest this year, based upon your postings over time, I've no doubt you will succeed! Both you and jppe are / have been motivation for me.

jppe's been throwing down the gauntlet for TTs at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and I'm afraid to admit I'm thinking about it for 2010
Next year is going to be a long season. We plan on competing at Masters road Natz in Louisville in July and Masters Track Natz in Texas in September and Worlds in Lisbon Portugal late October. It should be a blast since there are 30 of us going from Hellyer Velodrome to Lisbon.
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