I couldn’t decide if I should ride to the start or drive to somewhere along the route. The start of the climb is in Boulder Creek, and usually, when I do a ride through Boulder Creek, it is the far end of the ride. In order to ride there, I would get in about 35 miles and 3000+ feet of climbing, before actually doing the climb.
I decided to drive, and park at the finish of the climb. I rode down to the start (not too difficult, a mostly downhill descent to the start). I didn’t realize that they posted each rider’s start time online. It’s a good thing I got there a half hour before the start … it turned out my start time was 10:18, so nothing to worry about.
I saw my friends Sandra and Mark (they came out from Livermore, on Team Fremont). Funny how Sandra was saying how I would pass her up … Nice … I guess she was overestimating my climbing prowess. It turned out she had a better time than I did, but who’s keeping track?
The start of it wasn’t too steep, just very gradual. Very strange to start off a LKHC in my big chainring, but that’s how it was until just before making the right turn at the Hwy 236 junction. At least it got me into a good rhythm, before the real climbing began.
As I was climbing, I kept thinking about how this is a climbing time trial. What was constantly on my mind was seeing how many I can pass, and more importantly, limiting the number of people who pass me. Much to my dismay, after about 4 miles in, the guy behind me passed me up. He gained 1 minute on me, in about 4 miles. All I can say was, ugh.
I wasn’t keeping track, but I think I was passed by 5 people, and I past 5 people (although two of them were under 18), but I’m still counting that. One that passed me was on a recumbent (don’t see too many of those on LKHC). I could hear his breathing, as he was approaching me from behind, and the next thing I knew, he was passing me up, and there was no way I could reel him back in. I know my limits …
My official time was 70:28 (Strava showed it as 70:10 … pretty close). It was a PR, but I don’t do this climb too often … but I guess that still counts as a PR, no matter how many times I climb it. What’s amazing is I beat my previous time by 23 minutes … but maybe I wasn’t really pushing it the last time.