Too Many Consecutive 15%+ Grades Took Its Toll on Me

It was an lofty plan.  My climbfest for today was Redwood Gulch, followed by On Orbit, followed by Hicks, then Mt. Umunhum.

Redwood Gulch is fairly short, with 10-15% grades (although Al says he saw some 20% on his Garmin).  It punches you with 12%, then you get a break, before it kicks up again.  It’s a nice first hill for the day.

Then we headed down the hill, destined for Saratoga, where we make the climb up 6th street, to Bohlman.  I took us up some good steep pitches up Norton, then Kittredge, and Quickert.  That was a really tough climb, with sustained 15% grades for a good mile and a half.  There were some 25% grades there.


If that wasn’t bad enough, when we turned onto On Orbit, the grades kicked up even higher.  There were some 35% grades there.

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 10.27.44 PM

When I finally got to the crest, I just had to lie down, in the shade, get my heart rate down just to recuperate.

Descended down the hill from here, which was a challenge in itself, trying not to overheat my disc brakes coming down those steep switchbacks.  That was tough.

When we finally got to the other side of Los Gatos, we got to Hicks, then took a breather, just before the steep climb.  It was also heating up quite a bit, with temps in the upper 90s.  Couple that with climbing Hicks at 15-20% grades, my legs were screaming.  Slowly turning the crank, one by one, with the heat bearing down on me, there was only so much I can handle.  I ended up having to walk one particularly steep section, to a flatter portion, just so I can re-mount back on the bike.  At that point, I made the decision I can’t do Umunhum.  I’m having enough troubles with Hicks.

So unfortunately Umunhum would be a bust, but maybe next time, we’ll just do Umunhum alone, and not pile on On Orbit with its 30% grades.

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