Live to Ride,Ride to Live
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North Carolina
Bikes: 2 - GT Panteras of different vintages, Trek 1100
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Th Six Hill Drill and the Brad Run
There's a little route that I started to do last summer that I don't do all the time but did it yesterday.
It's a sort of a "Brad Run" because my friend Brad's house is about at the halfway point and I can stop and bum water if I run out. Yesterday, though, I decided that I was going to call it the "Six Hill Drill", because you go up and down six hills ranging in grade from about 6% to about 10%.
Where I live there are a lot of ridges, and in any given ride you will ride from one to the other. The Brad Run starts with a 2-1/2 mile climb to the top of the next ridge. It's not a real steep climb but it's a climb nonetheless. I was out and about one day last summer in my air conditioned car on a day when I thought I might spontaneously combust if I stood outside too long. I was heading up the climb I just mentioned in my car and saw a bunch of bicycle tourists suffering up that hill in the heat, needless to say, not breaking any speed records.
Other than that, I have never seen anyone else on that climb.
AT the top of the climb you take a left along the ridge. The grade drops slightly or at least levels off so you can shift into high gear and really scream. Then you turn right into Brad's development and proceed to cut through the development, back to where you came from, more or less, passing the various streets along the way. There are three hills you have to climb, steep but not long, thank God.
I can manage to keep my heart rate down by concentrating on my cadence and making sure I am in the right gear. It's tempting to bust up the hill like I used to do when I was healthy but patience pays off these days. When you come to the end of the street that once again empties out onto a public road you make one more climb to the area where the grocery store all the yuppies in Brad's development shop is located. I usually cut through the parking lot so I don't have to deal with the traffic at the intersection.
From there, you make a short climb up to a road that has a bike lane on it. This is more or less level until you get to the top of yet another ridge, then you start back down, dropping into the valley where the Greenway is located. Yesterday I entered the Greenway by the Montessouri school and rode from there to my normal entry point. From there I make - you guessed it - yet another 1 mile climb back to the top of the ridge I live on and back home.
The Brad Run is about 18 miles start to finish and you don't break any speed records because of all the climbing. Yesterday, though, buoyed by the confidence from my cardiologist's report I did it without stopping, except for traffic signals.
I used to hate climbing and you know what? I still do. :-)