I wanted to get a little bit of climbing in, (even though I'm a lousy climber). I foolishly signed up for the Strava climbing challenge currently ongoing. My goal is to finish in the top half. So, yesterday I rode a metric century from Palmdale to Big Pines/Mountain High. The extra 5,353 climbing feet took me from the bottom quarter to the top third in the challenge.
Usually, when I know I'm going to be doing some climbing, I'll take my Madone with a triple crank. Before I left, I mapped out my route on MapMyRide, printed out a little turn here/turn there chart to tape to my top tube. The route didn't look too awful, so I took my compact double. After I got back and uploaded the ride, I noticed that the last climb is classified as a Hors Catégorie climb, (at least on Strava). I thought there was a lot of 10% grades showing up on the computer. Made it okay, which surprised me. It took me awhile, but there was plenty of daylight, so I didn't really feel like turning around. Coming back down, I could see how very steep some of the grades are. Didn't look so steep on the way up. I'll no longer be afraid of a HC climb anymore, and just maybe I should dump the triple since it doesn't look like I really need it.
route on Strava
route on Garmin Connect