Recently, I’ve been concentrating on being a bit more aggressive on my hill climbing. I’m getting tired of getting dropped way behind on the long hill climbs, so I started sprinting more on the flats, especially with my fixie … I also decided to start time trialing it up Montebello. Coincidentally, at the same time, I had new wheels put on my bike. They are more aero, and may be a little lighter, but not sure. I decided to color match my rims with my tires.
After doing a fixie ride from SF to Tiburon, I found that my hill climbing is getting better. I was able to climb with a tough 43×16 gearing. I was surprisingly passing many others that I thought would be passing me up with no problems. I just attributed this to me feeling better.
For the next couple of weeks, I continued climbing up Montebello about 2-3 times a week, and mixing it up a bit by throwing in Mora and Moody. Then, my time going up Montebello kept improving with each outing. My last outing was remarkable … I made it in 44:59. Damn, I can remember when I used to struggle just making it under 51:00. What the heck happened to me? No, I’m not taking steroids … and no, I’m not doping my blood. Then, out of a whim, I weighed myself … holy crap … I’ve lost weight. I was hovering around 170-175 … now, I’m down to 162 lb!
What did it? Well, I have been bringing lunch to work lately, and cut down on the huge lunches at work. I’ve also been limiting my portions based on the size of the plate I’ve been using, and sticking with it (bringing the leftovers into work for lunch the next day). This, plus the nightly hill climbs, sprints to and from work on my fixie … maybe it does all make a difference. I think the weight has a lot to do with it. That definitely helps in my fitness, and overall performance up the hill. But I can’t explain how every time I go up Montebello, I get a new personal best. At some point, I’m going to not beat that personal best, and will suffer a bit of depression … not sure how I’ll handle that … maybe I just won’t time myself?
I haven’t ridden with the rest of the gladiators since my newfound hill climbing performances. I’m pretty sure they’ll put me back in my place … in the back of the pack, but we’ll have to wait and see.