Saturday, Bronwen led a meetup to go up Mt. Hamilton. Funny that she thought only 1 or 2 people would show up. We had about 16-20. Uh, hello, this is one of the most iconic climbs, and it’s on a Saturday, and the weather is nice. What were you expecting?
With so many riders, we split up the group into A, B, and C groups (A being the fastest). A group started out first, as they were to do Kincaid option (another hill climb, out and back). I rode with the B riders (because frankly, I cannot keep up with the A group). I think the general criteria was completing the climb in 1:45. I’d be lucky if I can make it in 2:00 (but more on that later).
Bronwen and I have this friendly competitive nature between us. She was commenting that she was looking at Strava, and comparing her time with others, and noted that my personal best was just a hair above hers … but then again, that time was 2 years ago, and I haven’t come close to beating that yet. Hmm, omen of things to come?
We kept leap frogging each other, until about 1/3 of the way, she slowed down, to take her jacket off (most likely while still riding/climbing) … in the meantime, I continued climbing at a good 8-9 mph pace. I got ahead of her, but then I decided to take a quick pit stop a little past halfway, and that’s when she got ahead of me. Damn … so now it’s catch up.
I didn’t try killing myself to catch up, but at least I had some motivation. I remember having a chat with my friend Phoebe, who loves posting her suffer videos (known as freighttraininguphill on youtube). She was saying how slowing her breathing down helped her gain time in hill climbing, so I think subconsciously, I may have been doing the same thing.
About 4 miles from the top, I suddenly see Bronwen, along with another rider, stopped at the side, taking a breather. Ok, here’s my chance … I just needed to maintain my current pace, and just keep motoring. The important thing is to not get overtaken and caught. It’s that fear that kept me going.
Got up to the top, with the A group waiting. I had no idea what my time was, since I didn’t start the timer at the bottom. All I knew was it was 12:15 pm when I reached the observatory, but didn’t know what time we started.
Now it’s just a matter of enjoying the view, and recover before heading down the mountain.
After getting home, I found out I got a PR out of that, and by a whopping 4 minutes. Bronwen was saying I PR’d that, but I don’t know. I didn’t feel it at least. According to Strava, the time was 2:02:41. Sweet!
Check out this segment on Strava: http://app.strava.com/segments/340903 — Mt Hamilton – Official (to Gate)