Hill repeats …

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I couldn’t wait to get back on the full carbon bike with the new compact crankset.

One of my favourite workouts is to do repeat climbs up and down the Spanish Banks hill. It is a 2.5 climb and a 2.5 km descent on a newly surfaced road that winds its way up to UBC along the shore of English Bay. It is a road cyclist’s mecca. It’s scenic, perfectly surfaced, relatively quiet, and a challenge. The hill averages a 5% grade with steeper sections.

The hill is not far from the house, a 35-40 minute ride. However, I prefer to transport the bike there and concentrate on climbing. The trip there is through the city on several very rough surfaces.

I remember the time when this was a difficult climb for me. It was partly the bike but mostly me. The engine. These days, like many of the local cyclists, I use this as a workout. Today, I did 7 repetitions. 7 times up, and 7 times down with speeds ranging from 10 – 50 kph. I also did a lap around the perimeter of the university property which includes a 5 km fast straight away and a 5 km steep climb, for a total of 45 km equally divided between climbing and descending.

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This is the view half way up looking out onto Georgia Straight. I stopped on one of the descents to take this picture.

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This is the view from the same vantage point on the way up.

The compact crankset helps a lot and performed flawlessly. And, the engine is finely tuned after all that effort in the gym this winter. I am better prepared for the cycling season than ever before.

This hill is humbling. It is not an easy climb. It’s not the most difficult in the area, but it isn’t easy either. I am passed frequently on the way up. And, on the descent. There are a lot of fast cyclists out there. Both men and women. And, children. Yes, children. Today, there was a group of 12-15 year olds out there with their coaches doing repeat climbs and descents. All I can say is that they did fewer repetitions than me. They sprinted effortlessly up and down that hill like it was a 1% grade. They were fun to watch. I didn’t have this opportunity when I was their age, and wasn’t aware of youth teams like this when my boys were that age.

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16 thoughts on “Hill repeats …

  1. I HATE riding the flats. You have to pedal EVERY. STINKING. MILE. I love where I live with our constant, relentless undulations. I’ve hit 67 kph down a couple hills and that was pulling Beast! FUN!!!

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