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My toughest climb to date-Mix Canyon (pics & video)

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My toughest climb to date-Mix Canyon (pics & video)

Old 10-05-12, 10:49 AM
  #26  
freighttraininguphill
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Originally Posted by Red Rider View Post
I ride a pistachio green and black Orbea Diva, and was sporting a Team Precision jersey. I was riding hill repeats and if we passed I wouldn't know it as we've not met and I don't know what you look like.

Sorry I missed you.
I know you've never seen me. I wasn't expecting you to know what I look like. I was just curious if either of the two women I saw on Cantelow was you. From your description, no.

I will be sure to let you know when I go down there again. Gates Canyon will be the next climb in that area.
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Old 10-05-12, 12:53 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Bostic View Post
I still need to tackle Mix and Gates. It's a long drive up from San Jose though. Congrats on completing such a hard climb!
No problem, just sign up for Knoxville Double next year. Both climbs start a few miles from the start/finish location. Maybe tackle one at the start, the other at the finish
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Old 10-05-12, 04:05 PM
  #28  
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Looks like our ride is now starting at 9 AM (good!), so DiabloScott might have a better chance of seeing us I'll be riding a blue and white Specialized Dolce Triple road bike. I'll be wearing a plain white T-shirt with the GoPro "Chesty" chest strap mount and a ContourHD camera on my helmet.
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Old 10-16-12, 03:11 PM
  #29  
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Freight,

You seem to be in love with the steeps. Here's one for you. It's short - 3 miles, it averages 8% and the last half mile is at 15%.

http://app.strava.com/segments/610501
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Old 10-16-12, 10:08 PM
  #30  
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Awesome! I wanna ride mix canyon now...
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Old 10-19-12, 06:18 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by RoboCheme View Post
Freight,

You seem to be in love with the steeps. Here's one for you. It's short - 3 miles, it averages 8% and the last half mile is at 15%.

http://app.strava.com/segments/610501
Thanks for the link! I will keep that one in mind if I ever end up down there .
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Old 10-19-12, 09:28 PM
  #32  
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Whoops, wrong thread.
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Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.
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Old 11-05-12, 07:26 PM
  #33  
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In 2003 - when we had the Solano Bicycle Classic - there was a 7.7 mile time trial which ended at the top of Mix Canyon. Here's the top two finishers and their time.

1. Jonathan Vaughters, Prime Alliance, at 0:33:27

2. Chris Horner, Saturn, s.t.

Link to Velo News article
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Old 11-05-12, 07:49 PM
  #34  
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http://monticellocycling.org/rides
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Old 11-05-12, 08:13 PM
  #35  
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Where is Mix ?

You folks are impressive and daunting to a new rider. But I like it !!!

FWIW hills start at my gate, but I haven't tackled anything greater that 350 feet.

You go up what, 2,000 ???

Ouch.

Nice shot of the bird also

Mention is made of Iowa Hill and Silver fork.

I used to kayak the North Fork/Iowa Hill etc.

"Different strokes", literally.

Followed the links - now I see. Very impressive. Have you ever been out to Loomis/Newcastle/Auburn ? I checked and my ego - killing climb is mostly 7-9% and tops out at about 11% for under 1/2 mile.

Last edited by Totoboa; 11-05-12 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Duh
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Old 11-06-12, 02:01 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
This weekend, there is a possibility I will be climbing Mix and Gates Canyon. If not, King Ridge is another possibility. The WAV Riders will be riding down there on the 10th.
Gates is not paved for a good section of the road - but becomes paved again and in fact - quite nicely paved as you get higher in elevation. The unpaved sections are rideable but are not in good shape. If you take a MTB - you can climb Gates - then ride the dirt road on the ridge and descend down Mix. Lots of locals do that or the reverse. When you are on the top of Gates - if you look west - that is Suisun/Gordon Valley and to the east - Pleasants Valley.

You do know who Jonathon Vaughters and Chris Horner are - right?
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Old 11-06-12, 05:53 PM
  #37  
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It's no worse than the gravely sections in that video but traction can be tough because its pretty steep in sections. As for descending - depends on how much faith you have in your descending skills.
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Old 11-07-12, 11:15 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post

<snip>

Rule 1: Get on with it.

Climbing mountains on a bike is not fun. So, to do it properly, you need to accept this fact and get on with it. I see so many people looking for that secret technique or training method that will make climbing painless and suffer-free. This will never happen. Training and techniques will make you suffer slightly faster up hills, not suffer any less. Climbing is painful, period. The sooner you just accept that and stop looking for ways around it, the better you will learn how to climb. Let the suffer-meter serve as your internal tachometer, letting you know how close to your limit you are. Accepting and really allowing yourself to feel that pain will make you a better rider. Trying to ignore it will distract you from the task at hand and make you ride slower.

Rule 2: Don’t be self-conscious.

Suffering isn’t pretty. It isn’t meant to be. If you are going about your business of climbing properly, you will be breathing like a water buffalo, sweating like a chain gang, and probably have snot dribbling off your chin. If this is not the case, you aren’t doing this correctly. Over the years I’ve ridden with so many people who are always worrying about breathing too hard in front of their buddy. You’re supposed to be in pain and you’re supposed to be breathing hard, I mean the harder you breath the more o2 you’ll get to your muscles, so let the image thing go, and get down and dirty with the hill. Anyway, if your buddy is two miles behind you, he can’t hear you breathing anymore, can he?
priceless.
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Old 01-27-13, 10:54 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
Well, I finally got around to climbing Mix Canyon. I joined a women's cycling club that just so happened to have a ride up Mix/Cantelow today, so I drove down to Vacaville for some good old fashioned steep hill bliss!
Holy smokes. I'm looking at this on my cell phone, but did I see your HR was pushing 190 for an hour?
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Old 01-27-13, 09:53 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Holy smokes. I'm looking at this on my cell phone, but did I see your HR was pushing 190 for an hour?
Damn, you're right! I didn't notice that when I uploaded the data to Strava and Garmin Connect, but now that you mention it, when I go to the player page on Garmin Connect I can see all the high 180s to low 190s on the steepest part of the climb.
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Old 04-21-13, 02:30 PM
  #41  
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I climbed Mix again yesterday with my riding partner Matthew. This was his first time on this climb. He has a Specialized S-Works with a 34-26 low gear. It is a great bike, but the gears weren't low enough for him to make it up the steepest parts without a bit of walking. This is a rider who loves double centuries with lots of climbing and is in excellent shape, but on Mix he finally met his match. He walked twice on the steepest parts for a few minutes at a time, but he rode the rest of the time.

I was on my usual Specialized Dolce Triple with the mtb gearing (24-34 low gear). I was just as slow on those steep parts as I was last year, but I think I made it a little further this time before I had to shift from my second-lowest to the lowest gear. Even in those two gears I wasn't spinning. My cadence was low, and it reminded me of climbing Park Drive in Rocklin on my Specialized Langster 42x16 singlespeed, which is a beeyotch!

Here's a screenshot from Matthew's camera of me on the lower, easier part of the climb.



Matthew with our bikes at the top of the climb



Somebody dumped 3 or 4 old analog CRT TVs at the top. I guess they didn't realize that e-waste dropoff/pickup is "free" (what do you think that recycling fee on purchases of new TVs/laptops/computer monitors is for?).



We took 40 minutes to descend, as we needed to stop several times to let our rims cool. During those stops we took photos. This was the first view shot. Our rims weren't hot yet, but I couldn't pass this one up.



I told Matthew to follow me down and stop when I did. I'm really glad I did, as his rims were hotter than mine. On the first stop his front rim was so hot it could have burned your hand if you touched it too long. Here he is approaching me on the first cool-down stop.



Here's Matthew standing on the steep switchback with all the graffiti on the guardrails and the road. The graffiti I posted pics of in my OP is gone, but there is more. The climbing after this section is brutal!



There is a bunch of junk dumped over the side on this section. Can you spot the motorcycle?



Here is another cool-down stop. This is the beginning of the prolonged steep climbing.




Last edited by freighttraininguphill; 04-17-17 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 04-22-13, 12:38 PM
  #42  
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Hmmmmm. . . I'm pretty confident you're in better climbing shape than I am, and if you are grinding up stretches of Mix Canyon in 24-34, I'm not sure I can make it up in my 26-34. A lot lower than Matthew's 34-26, but still, I suspect I'd be walking up the steepest stretches like he did. Still, you're making me think that someday I've got to take my bike up to my sister's house in Vacaville and make the attempt.
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Old 04-24-13, 10:41 PM
  #43  
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One of these days I'll make it up to Mix - it does seem to have all the ingredients of an epic. I gotta ask though if your riding partner is OK with being outed as a cycling farter on the Internet?
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Old 04-25-13, 09:43 AM
  #44  
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He doesn't mind at all. In fact, he thinks it's as funny as I do . I used to edit out all my burps on climbs (I can't fart while riding for some reason), but now I don't care, as the posters on another forum find it funny as well. Some of them have also posted videos with a burp or two mid-ride.
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Old 04-25-13, 10:40 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
...
We took 40 minutes to descend, as we needed to stop several times to let our rims cool. During those stops we took photos. This was the first view shot. Our rims weren't hot yet, but I couldn't pass this one up.

...

I told Matthew to follow me down and stop when I did. I'm really glad I did, as his rims were hotter than mine. On the first stop his front rim was so hot it could have burned your hand if you touched it too long. Here he is approaching me on the first cool-down stop...
I'm a wuss on descents, mostly because at my age, (61), I am well aware of my mortality and that it takes a lot longer for the body to heal than when I was much younger.

May I ask? How do you determine when you need to stop to let your rims cool? Do you "ride" your brakes down, or "pulse" them? What are the indicators that the rims are getting too hot?
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Old 04-25-13, 10:57 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
May I ask? How do you determine when you need to stop to let your rims cool? Do you "ride" your brakes down, or "pulse" them? What are the indicators that the rims are getting too hot?
I try to modulate, or "pulse" as you say. If the grade is 15% or more for a prolonged period on the way up, then I know to stop and check my rims after a couple minutes on the way down. I've never experienced a heat-induced blowout, which would be a sign that the rims are too hot. I don't know the other signs. Maybe brake fade?
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Old 04-25-13, 11:09 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
I try to modulate, or "pulse" as you say. If the grade is 15% or more for a prolonged period on the way up, then I know to stop and check my rims after a couple minutes on the way down. I've never experienced a heat-induced blowout, which would be a sign that the rims are too hot. I don't know the other signs. Maybe brake fade?
Thanks, freight. I worry about this often. Then again, rarely am I on 15% grades. I also ride the hoods and "stand" as tall as I can in my seat to catch as much wind as I can. Don't ever ride the drops on descents anymore. Speed is not an attraction. In the past few years, I've actually achieved faster speeds in a powered "time trial" mode on the flats than on freewheel descents. (Myself? I "pulse", unless I can see a clear road at least a half-mile ahead, at which time I'll just let the bike have its head.)

p.s. Beautiful pictures.
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Old 04-25-13, 11:34 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
(Myself? I "pulse", unless I can see a clear road at least a half-mile ahead, at which time I'll just let the bike have its head.)
The worst thing to do is ride the brakes at like half-force... the heat will just keep building up until you blow out. But the rims don't actually have much mass so they cool down pretty quickly when you let go of the brakes. So brake hard when you need to, but pulse on and off, front and back, and just be conscious of the heat factor and you'll probably be fine.

I've only done this once, rear tire blew off with a really loud explosion and left a welt in my leg which just happened to be next to the spot that blew off. As soon as it happened, I knew exactly why it happened and kicked myself, but then without thinking I grabbed the rear wheel to pull it out of the dropouts and burned my fingers on the rim it was that hot.
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Old 04-25-13, 12:33 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
I also ride the hoods and "stand" as tall as I can in my seat to catch as much wind as I can. Don't ever ride the drops on descents anymore.
I highly recommend descending in the drops for safety reasons. It is easier to control the bike over bumps, especially on steep descents.

This is what happened to my riding partner's beautiful Colnago when he crashed while descending the steep Happy Hollow Lane near Newcastle. He was descending on the hoods. Luckily he wasn't hurt badly (bruised ribs, nothing broken).



Here's his helmet, which was cracked in the front from the impact. No, there wasn't any crash footage from the GoPro you see in the picture. Only the climb was recorded. He now records climbs and descents

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Old 04-25-13, 01:54 PM
  #50  
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Shame about that beautiful seductress. Glad your riding mate wasn't hurt too bad. It is actually more difficult for me to reach the brakes than when on top, (don't use any shims in the STI levers). When on the hoods, I've noticed that it is possible for my hands to "bounce off" when going over a particularly nasty bump. That's a bit disconcerting, and have learned that my fingers are long enough to wrap two of them under the hoods, usually the ring finger and the little finger - sometimes the ring and middle fingers. That's pretty secure, and my hand strength is such that enough force can be applied to slow down pretty quickly, using the index and middle/bird fingers. I'm going slow enough that I'm not too worried about stopping and more concerned about over-heating the rims. I'm so slow going down GMR that I think my time shows up on the last or next to last page of over a thousand riders who've made the ride. My downhill speeds for shorter descents are probably close to 30 mph, unless I can really see far ahead where I'll "open it up" to the mid 40s. Thanks for the warning. I appreciate it.

- - - - -

Just looked it up. I'm 1719 out of 1991. That's pretty sad for a clyde. KOM time is 12:26 at 37.4 mph. My time is 20:17 averaging at 22.9 mph. (Pretty consistent. Of the five times I've made that descent, they all have been between 21.9 mph and 22.9 mph, (20:17 to 21:17 minutes). Guess we all know where I'm most comfortable. I have definitely done faster on flat TTs.)

p.s. Page 69 of 80.

- - - - -

Didn't mean to hijack the thread. Back to our regularly scheduled programming - Riding Mix Canyon.

Last edited by volosong; 04-25-13 at 02:13 PM.
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