I decided to ride over to the start of the LKHC on Quimby. I decided to use ridewithgps, and plot a route to the start. I then exported it to my Garmin. I figured I would follow the course on my Garmin. Great idea, right? Well, it got me lost. I probably should experiment with this a bit more before trying this the next time.
I finally got my way to Tully, and I hooked up with Ben. Nice way to meet, eh? Well, this stretch of Tully was horrendous. Traffic was awful, even at 9 am on a Saturday morning. But I guess this is normal for Tully.
The start of the LKHC was up the road from the school, where we all checked in. It was about a 8% climb just to the start.
I wasn’t sure how well I would do on this ride. I don’t do this climb very much, plus I’ve been suffering through some pains in the lower back, so I’m trying to not strain it too much … Well, I say that now, but once I got to the climbs, I threw caution to the wind.
It was a mass start, and I started out near the back. Most of the riders I talked to, who were around me, were of the sentiment of wanting to finish, and not too concerned about placing, or even placing in their own age category. Since I had done this climb at least once before, I did have confidence that I could complete it … I just wasn’t sure how slow I’d be.
There were two runners on this climb … kinda weird to see two runners in a sea of cyclists going up this epic climb. In fact, you might be able to see them in the video.
I ended up riding with about 3 other riders who were in my same ability. We kept trading leads throughout the climb. There was also a tandem out on this ride, and I used them to help me pace myself up the hill, before I just went ahead of them.
Probably the hardest part was the last two switchbacks, with grades in double digits. It was just tough, and I could just hear my breathing, which kind of served as a metronome, to pace my way up. I ended up passing the rest of the riders I was climbing with, and when I saw the big crowd hanging around at the top of the hill, I knew that was the finish … so I shifted up a couple of gears, and turned my body inside and out.
I later found out I got a personal best out of this, by 4 minutes. Official time was 35:34. I’m pretty with this result, even though I was last in my age group (45+). The important thing is I had fun.