Category Archives: LKHC

Tearing Myself Inside and Out up Mt. Umunhum to the White Line of Death

Profile for Mt. Umunhum LKHC Week 6,

I’ve done Mt. Umunhum many times before, so this LKHC shouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary. When I read the LKHC web site, it was claiming that this is the highest rated climb of any of the LKHC. Now I know it is tough, but I still think it’s doable … so reading that it is the toughest came as a real surprise to me. It is true that in the past, I usually take a rest after taking the right turn onto Mt. Umunhum, and in this ride there was no stopping … but damn!

Courtesy William von Kaenel

There was roughly 128 riders, and taking a look at all the riders, I thought “What have I gotten myself into?” Plus, when I stepped up to register, I saw this really young looking chap in USA jersey … I wasn’t sure if this was something someone had just bought at a bike shop … and then when he announced his name, Adrien … everyone then said “Oh, that Adrien” … for those that don’t know, this is Adrien Costa. Ok, we all know he will be the first one to finish.

Registration was at Venture Christian Church, which was 4 miles from the start of the climb.  The plan was to ride over to the start, and then start the climb.  But I know this road, and the run up to the start is not flat at all … there are rolling hills, and one section that is a bit steep, and it’s not even part of the LKHC.  So Sandra and I decided to just ride up ahead.  Never before did I ride this stretch of Hicks, just for a warm up ride.

When we did start, I made sure I was off the back.  This was a mass start, and eventually, everyone spread out after about 1/4 mile up the climb … and it was a steep climb.  I mean, 20 yards into it, we’re grinding it up a 15% grade.

As long as I had someone in my sights, it still gave me motivation to continue pushing up the hill.  In the 1.2+ mile section of Hicks, I was still in contact with the riders ahead of me.  We make the right turn on Mt. Umunhum, and then it continues on some more.  At this point, I usually stop off at the bathroom, and take a little breather, but not today.  I didn’t feel dead at this point, so I felt confident enough to continue up the hill.

Courtesy Mark King

Photo coutesy Bill Bushnell

Photo coutesy Bill Bushnell

After about a mile of 15%+, this was just the start, and more 15% climbs up ahead.  The fact that we’re able to sustain the steep part of Hicks seems to make the Umunhum part of the climb not so bad.  I figure, if I could make it up Hicks, my body is already used to the pain, so just continue it for another couple more miles! I guess that’s why stating this is the most difficult climb of the LKHC season seemed a little odd. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.

As soon as I started thinking about how it’s not the most difficult, I sense others starting to pass me. I was thinking I was alone on the climb, and then I hear someone else’s gear grinding … Damn, I’m losing ground, and then I start ending up in the back.

I start seeing fast riders heading down the hill, and normally that would demoralize any rider, but on this ride, it’s expected. I just have to make sure I stay on my side of the road. Passing the gate at Bald Mountain, people are cheering us on, ringing their cowbells, it’s very motivating. I only wish I had a line of people ringing cowbells all the way to the end.

Courtesy Ryan PC Gibson

Courtesy Ryan PC Gibson

White Line of Death Courtesy Rich Hill

I finally made it to the finish, and I was sure I was the last one … But I forgot there was one other behind, who I saw as I descended down the hill. Major kudos to everyone who finished this epic climb. I can only imagine how epic this will be when it’s officially (and legally) opened to the top of the mountain. It will make other mountain challenges pale in comparison.

Here’s a portion of the climb I recorded on my Shimano Sports Camera

Montebello LKHC 2014

Thanks to Alexander Komlik

It’s that time of year again … start of the Low Key Hill Climb series.  It was a hot one for this ride … usually, you’ll want to carry a jacket for the descent, but not today.  At least I didn’t have to worry about stuffing extra clothes in my pocket.

This year, they’re using EventBrite, so we could sign up, pay donation, all from the comfort of our home and our PC and Internet.  Take care of all of that signing, payment stuff before hand, so that all we need to do is check our name on the sign up sheet.  Much nicer, and smoother.

I was realistic, I’m not going to be able to keep up with most of the climbers here, so I deliberately positioned myself in the back.  I also didn’t get too much climbing in before this weekend, so I wasn’t expecting too much.

Pretty quickly, the pack separated, and I was riding solo most of the way, which is fine by me.  However, I still had the edge in me, to avoid being the last person to finish the climb.  I think that kept motivating me to push forward.  What’s great about LKHC is that even though faster climbers will finish must sooner than me, I would see them come down the mountain, encouraging those still coming up the hill.  I heard a bunch of “you got it” and “good job, almost there”.  That did help.

The combination of the heat and the climb took a lot out of me, and by the time I got to the top, I just wanted to curl up.  I wasn’t expecting any water at the top, and there wasn’t.  Usually, on these climbs, when it’s hot, water is usually gone (mostly because some are filling up both water bottles).  But really, for this ride, it’s not really needed too much.  We’re completely descending from here anyways (no uphill climb, like on Hamilton).  However, it would have been nice to be able to top off my water bottle.  At least they had bananas, and peanut butter filled pretzels .. mmm

The shots from my Shimano Sports Camera came out pretty well.  I think it’s because I’m climbing, and not really going at any real pace, while if I was descending, I think these images would have been more blurry.

I looked at my Strava data, and found I did better than I thought I did.  My time was 49 minutes … although not my best, but at least I made it under that 50 minute mark.  I’m pretty happy with that.


Bohlman LKHC, a Must Do Climbfest


This week’s LKHC was epic.  This is one of the most popular, and arguably most painful hill in the area (only Welch Creek may top it).  As a result, there were s lot of late RSVP and check in which made it extra difficult for the volunteers.  My hats go off to the volunteers … they are the ones who make these LKHC so successful.


The start was at the Saratoga Elementary school on Oak, with less than a mile lead up to the climb.  It’s an excellent staging area, with a Starbucks down the street, and a few other cafes in downtown Saratoga.



My friend Bogdan came on the ride with not over, not two, but at least 5 cameras, with one of them being a DSLR.  And yes, he did finish ahead of me.  In fact, 10 minutes ahead of me.  What a beast!

We took off right at 10:10 as scheduled, and positioned myself near the back, as that was where I was expecting to finish. Right away, I saw a bunch of people race in front of me, but I knew what is on this hill … pain! There were a number of riders who I knew I could stay with, and I maintain my pace with them.

We turn on Norton, which then goes on Kittridge, then Quickert, then On Orbit. This is an alternative to taking Bohlman straight on. I wonder which is tougher?

When it turns into Quickert, that’s where the climbs get tough, into the 17% range. Then onto On Orbit, which kicks it up even tougher. I saw a section of 25% on Strava. I saw a few poor souls stopped, by I had to avoid stopping at all costs, and keep going, even if it did mean sustaining 183 bpm heartrate. I spent a lot of time in zone 5.

Photo courtesy Tom Everman

Photo courtesy Tom Everman

I heard encouragement from Dan at the top of On Orbit, and that drove me to push even harder, and grunt even louder from my gut. I passed about 5 guys at this point, and I never looked back, and wasn’t passed at that point.

Whew, the hard part was done, but after a short descent, it’s a left turn to do yet more climbing. The ringing of cowbells was my sign for the left turn and off I go.

Photo courtesy Bill Bushnell

Photo courtesy Bill Bushnell

The rest of the climb wasn’t bad, but it’s all that climbing that was in my legs to this point which made it challenging. There were still a few 12% grades, but nothing like what we did with On Orbit.


I got to the top, and yelled my number out, but not knowing if it was recorded. Some people were on the climb that didn’t report a number, so who knows what the results were. I’ll have to wait later today for official results, but at least Strava says I got a time of 45:16, which was 45 seconds slower than my previous LKHC. I’m just happy I finished this.

wpid-20131019_111117.jpgI’m really anxious to see the suffer photos from this ride. After the climb, a bunch of us were comparing this to the toughest climbs in the Bay Area. Welch Creek seems to be tougher, with Bohlman being punchy-er, if that makes sense. Funny, I knew exactly what they mean.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have many pictures. I thought I had my GoPro set for time lapse, but I guess it wasn’t on. I was hoping to capture the suffering on On Orbit, but nothing. Damn.


Montebello LKHC 2013 and My CX Excursion Across Montebello Trail


Montebello is the beginning of the LKHC season.  This is a series of hill climbs that begin in October, and goes on for 2 months on successive Saturdays.  It’s a great series, and is completely volunteer driven.  This is the 3rd year in a row doing this, and I just love it.


Got to see my friend Mark, who I haven’t seen in a while.  In fact I think the last time I saw him was on the Hwy 9 LKHC Time Trial.


I also spotted Gregory Smith, who I interact with in G+.  Good to finally meet someone in my social media outlets in person.

Montebello is my local hill, and usually when I climb it, there’s maybe 3 or 4 cyclist I see on the road, so it’s cool to see the road suddenly filled with a line of 70-80 cyclists.  Awesome!!!!

Photo courtesy Gregory Smith

As usual, people are passing me at will, and that’s fine … I’m in it to finish it … and hopefully I won’t be the Lantern Rouge.  Eventually, I found myself in the same level as a group of others, and I used their pace to maintain my pace up the rest of the hill.  One of them is a tandem, and it’s awesome for them to climb this massive hill on a tandem.


Photo courtesy Alexander Komlik


Photo courtesy Garrett Lau

I had no clue where the photographers were on the route, which was probably a good thing … get more candid shots that way. It also have more suffer shots as well.

Got up to the top, and Strava tuned this at 49 minutes, while the LKHC has this at 45 minutes.  Obviously, different start time for that segment.  It’s not my best, but I’m still pretty happy with it, considering last week, I could only muster 55 minutes up this hill.

The paved road ends here, but I decided to continue on the unpaved dirt and sometimes loose gravel section of the Montebello Trail.  Some spots are hard on a road bike, due to traction, it lack of it.  However,  I know others have done it, so let’s give it a try.



The view is spectacular, and since there are no cars, I don’t have to worry about cars.  Most of the bikes I saw on here were in Mountain Bikes.  I wonder how many thought “what’s that idiot going here on a road bike?”


This is a view I wouldn’t have seen in a paved road.  There were a few seconds where I was fishtailing, but I got used to it and was able to recover.

I finally got to the paved section, but by the time I got to Page Mill, I was stuck inside a gate. There was no outlet. Was I riding inside someone’s backyard? Luckily, I could put my bike over the other side of the fence, and crawl though it to get to the other side on Page Mill. Hopefully no one saw me.

On my way back, I’m not sure what it was, but I started sneezing and had a runny nose. This also fatigued me, and I was barely inching my way back home. It’s this an allergy attack, or did my cold re-surface? Luckily I got the LKHC in before this thing hit started. Is this another day I’m stuck indoors while it’s gloriously sunny outside? This just sucks.

Strava stats: 38.5 miles, 3406 feet climbing.

LKHC Hwy 9 Time Trial Boulder Creek to Saratoga Gap

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?


Photo courtesy of Ron Brunner

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 …

Photo courtesy Dick Brown

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.

Quimby LKHC and the Adventures Getting There

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.

Photo courtesy Josh and Erica Hadley

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.

Montebello LKHC 2012

It’s October, and that means it’s Low Key Hill Climb season.  The first one of the year, as with every year, is Montebello Road, which is right in my backyard.

I got to the staging area in what I thought was ample time.  What I thought was strange was I couldn’t find the person who was taking check-ins, giving me my number, etc.  After waiting around a while, I got to talking with one rider, and thought it strange … where do we check in.  He then told me it’s 1/2 mile down the road in the parking lot.  Damn, they changed the check-in location.  Gotta high tail it down.  I was one of the last few riders to check in, but at least I got everything all squared away.  Now to sprint back to the staging area (along with some short steep climb to get out of the parking lot).

Photo courtesy Christine Holmes

There was a good number of riders, as usual, for the first LKHC of the year.  It’s an exciting time, where everyone gets together, reminisce about the season, and kind of a reunion of sorts.  This is a mass start, so they wanted the faster riders up front, and slower riders near the back (I ventured towards the back).  It was funny, Dan mentioned if you could do OLH in 16 minutes, then you may want to be near the front … uh yeah, right … I can do that in a car.

It was a mass start, and we had a short 1/4 mile flat stretch before hitting the climb.  Right at the right turn onto Montebello, two riders collided with each other and went down … not even on Montebello yet.  I think it was a matter of the inside rider making a move to the left, or something like that.  Not serious … they just had to untangle each other.  Wow, what a way to start the event.

I took comfort in knowing I wouldn’t be the absolute last in the group, as I was able to pass a few riders.  I did pass one family, where a guy on a tandem, with his daughter as a stoker, who couldn’t even reach the pedal.  They had a contraption on the tandem to allow a kid to pedal along.  He also had his older son, who was probably around 10 or so … it’s great to see a family outing on one of these hill climbs, which are not easy.

There was one guy I was targeting, that as long as I stay close to him, it should give me a pretty good pace.  I wanted to pass him on so many occasions, but just couldn’t.  Finally, at the last steep section, I feel like I have my chance.  I got a burst of energy, knowing that it’s only 200 more feet of climbing.  I was able to wizz past him, and ready to finish the climb strong.  One problem … there was this truck and it slowed down, and he was in my way … Nooooo!!!!!  I lost my momentum there, but it was only about 100 feet more.  Oh well, I think I lost 5-10 seconds from that.

Photo courtesy of Bryn Dole

All in all, it was a great day, despite the mishaps in the beginning and the end.  It did get cold up on top … clouds were hovering, keeping the temps down.  After getting off the mountain, I went to do Mt. Eden, and then Saratoga Summit.  I don’t know what it is, but my legs were thrashed at this point.  All I knew was I wanted to find the quickest way home.  I was going to Los Gatos and do Kennedy/Shannon loop, or maybe even Hicks … but those plans were dashed, seeing how thrashed I was.

I guess I’ll make it a short day, and rest my legs, and watch football like the rest of the arm chair quarterbacks out there.

Welch Creek LKHC … Brutal, as advertised


I signed up, came, and conquered Welch Creek …. well, maybe not conquered, but it sure was a fun ride.  I guess I’d have to define what fun is, shouldn’t I?

I parked at Fremont Bart and rode over to the registration area.  This gives me a good 8 mile warmup (in addition to the 5 extra miles from the registration area to the real start).  Of course, riding with Bogdan and Ramon, that just meant one thing … brisk riding, with a fast pace.  But at least it loosened me up for the climb.

This was a mass start, so I decided to move towards the back.  I’m not going to make the same mistake as on Portola State Park, where I was in the front, and having people pass me left and right.  It’s pretty amazing to see such a large mass of riders, climbing this road that gets pretty narrow in spots.

This was a tough climb the beat up just about everyone who rode it.  It starts out with a brutal 16% climb, then levels off to a mere 10% for a while.  The grade then fluctuates for a while, varying between 14% to 18%.  During this time, I know I am stuck in the back.  There were only 3 or 4 people close to me, but I did take a few glances, and I did see there were a couple of people also behind me.  I just wanted to get the 3 or 4 people ahead of me within sight, so that we providing me with motivation.

I did get to one point, where the pitch was so steep, and had to tack the hill.  However, when I was doing that, my toe got in the way of the tire, and I lost balance and had to dismount.  This was all right in the middle of climbing the 18-22% section of the climb.  It’s not easy to get back on the bike at such a steep grade, but I continued on.

Approaching the finish line

It’s a good thing I rode this about a month ago.   This way, I knew when the tough part was over, and when to exert more energy.  I didn’t have the painful expression on my face like the last time, so I have a normal picture this time around.  I knew the top was a bit flatter, so I can upshift at 200 paces to go.  The strava time was 42:35, while the LKHC timer had it at 42:50.  Either way, it was still a personal best for me, by about 5 minutes.  There is just something about LKHC, that gives you that extra adrenaline.  It’s that target that you have in front of you, and the concentration of not letting the guy behind you overtake you.

On the way back, Ramon and I hooked up with Laura from Western Wheelers, who now rides with San Jose Bike Racing club.  She’s consistently near the top on the LKHC results, so she’s gotten really strong.  On the way back, we did an extra climb up Palomares, and that was fun.  Got to catch up on old times.  Not many times where I would be chatting while climbing.  It’s always great to hook up with someone you haven’t seen in a while, and have them complement you on how strong you have become.  Nice way to pat myself on the back.

Bogdan actually had a video camera strapped under the saddle of his bike, and got a video up the climb facing backwards.  Of course, he was much faster than me, but at least you get a sense of the climb.

Portola State Park LKHC – Not For the Weak and Timid


Start of LKHC ... Also entrance to the state park


This week’s LKHC was interesting.  It starts out at the entrance to Portola State Park, and it climbs up to West Alpine, and continues there to the summit.  They had us all check in at Montebello Open Space Preserve, just below the summit at Skyline on Page Mill.  Then, we rode down 2000 feet at the entrance of the state park, where we waited, and waited, and waited.

I decided to ride over, via Moody then Page Mill.  Just so that I would still have legs, I took it easy going up, and left really early (around 7:30 am from my house).  It was really foggy, but the sun was starting to come out.


View from Page Mill overlooking Silicon Valley


Once I got to some decent elevation (~ 1800 feet), I climbed above the clouds, and got some spectacular views.  Leaving so early, I could tell I would be a little early to registration, so that did give me some opportunity to take some pictures.

Knowing that everyone would want to hit the bathroom, as soon as I got myself registered, I immediately headed for Russian Ridge, where they have a bathroom.  Ahhh, that felt good.  Went back to meet up with Chris, Donald, Marco, Ruth, just to head back where I was, then head down to the start at the entrance of the park.  This was a long way down, and it takes a little while to get to.  We had pretty good representation of bikeforums on this LKHC.  We had 6 members of our team, pretty good representation.  It remains to be seen how high we place as a team.

They told us it would start around 10:15 am, but by that time, we still could only see a handful of cyclists.  My bet was they were waiting above the start, so they could get some sun (it was a bit cool in the shade where we were).  Some of the cyclists were hovering in front of the state park sign, so some of the cars who wanted to enter the park didn’t know if they were at the right place.  Ooops.


Pack of cyclists arriving at the start of the LKHC


From the start, we immediately have to climb, about a 15% grade.  So already, we have to make sure we are in our granny gear.  That caused a lot of cyclists to not being able to clip in, and not go off to the greatest starts (um, like me).

I was positioned near the front, which was not the best place, since I know people will be passing my left and right, and they were.  I was just fearing I would be DFL (dead fucking last).  But there were a few people I was able to pass, so that helped build my confidence a little bit.  Marco and Ruth were still just ahead of me, and they were in my sights, so that also helped me out a little bit.

Climbing out of the park would have to be the toughest part.  It had 15% stretches then down to 8 then back up to 15%.  But at least I descended this hill first, so I know what to expect and when the climbing gets easier … did I say climbing gets easier???


Climbing out of Portola State Park

Now that we’re out of the park, at least we will be a little warmed up by the sun.  I’m working really hard to close the gap with Marco and Ruth, but they are still at least 1000 yards ahead of me.  I gotta somehow dig down deeper, in the pit of my gut, to get those extra watts of power to get up this hill.  I guess that’s where the face of agony comes in as evidence in the picture below.


Face of Agony

Showing this agony seemed to have helped.  I could see my gap shorting now to Marco and Ruth.  I finally was able to catch them, but I was really dying.  There’s only so much energy a man can muster and only so hard he can be inhaling and exhaling our out of his lungs.

I finally am able to pass them, then eventually I pass another rider.  I’m very close to the finish, as I can see with the “200 paces to go” sign.  I have just enough energy to up shift a couple of gears, and gut it all out.


Approaching the summit/finish


Coming around the corner, one of the riders off to the side was yelling words of encouragement and motivation, and that really did help a lot.  It’s amazing how much support you’ll get from your fellow riders.  Finally, I see the finish, but stupid me … I let up just before the actual line, so I actually coasted the last 100 feet.  Doh!  Well, it probably didn’t lose too much time .. maybe 5 seconds or so.  I wound up in 101st place, with a time of 40:07 (which is still a little longer than what strava is saying … it indicates 39:53).  As a team, came in 6th place (just 2 points behind Penn Velo … damn, it’s that last 100 feet of coasting that probably did it).

For the whole ride, I ended up with 53.3 miles, 5067 feet climbing.  It was a great day for this ride … not too hot, not cold, and no rain … plus, I got to finish my ride by 1 pm.  Woohoo!!!!

Low Key Hill Climb Motivates Personal Best Time

This is the third year I’ve done the Low Key Hill Climb series.  First one was the Thanksgiving Day climb up Mt. Hamilton, which was a blast.

From OLH LKHC 2009

Last year I did OLH, and that was exhilarating.  I got my personal best time there, 24:51.  I’ve tried many times to beat that on my own, but could never get anywhere near that.

Then Saturday, there was the Montebello road LKHC.  The best time I had up to this point was 47 minutes, but after I got to the finish, my time was clocked at 44:53, over 2 minutes faster than I had ever gotten.  What is going on here?

Montebello LKHC 2010

I guess part of it is the adrenaline of being timed, but I have another theory … with a mass start, and large masses of riders climbing to the same destination you are, it gives you that extra push, that extra adrenaline that pumps you up.  Now, granted, I was climbing along side a couple of cuties, that may have played a part in it (oh, btw, that cutie beat my time by 1 minute).  It probably got me going at a pace much higher than I normally would.

I think these hill climb series are great.  It gives you that extra adrenaline push.  That’s the only explanation for the increased performance over my normal hill climbing rides.  Anyone have any other theories?