I live right down there. If you look carefully, you can see my house from this lookout.
I have often talked about my ride home. I live atop a mountain. A large hill really. Every ride home ends with a 3 km climb, parts as steep as 9% in some sections depending on the route. There is no question, this regular climb has made me a better, stronger cyclist.
I like to roll out the back gate and head north, west, or south to my favourite routes. The problem is I have to travel 10-15 km on the bikeways before reaching streets with little traffic and no stop lights where I can cycle uninterrupted. Usually, I don’t mind but now the cooler, wetter weather has arrived, I began thinking about alternatives.
On one of the GCN videos about winter cycling, they suggested not cycling as far during the winter, but harder. Get out, even in the bad weather, ride for less time, but harder. This got me thinking.
I’m not quite at the top of this little mountain. Almost, but not quite. Half a kilometre up the road, there is a large park with a paved road that snakes up to the summit pictured above. Despite living in the area for 35 years, I have never cycled in this park. I walk it a lot. But, I have never cycled in it.
Well, I did this week. And, to my surprise, discovered the road in the park is an excellent workout. It snakes up one side, and down the other. One loop is 5 km of either climbing, or descending. There are no flat sections. And there are two steep grades that average about 10%. In 45 minutes, I did 3 laps, and completed a zone 3/4 workout.
So, I have a new winter workout. It is close to the house. The road is smooth with very little, if any, traffic, particularly this time of year. It is all climbing and descending. Two of the climbs, at the beginning and end of the loop, are steep.
It’s a perfect winter cycling workout. It’s difficult, technical, and taxing where I can work on my climbing and descending skills. I plan to make this a weekly workout, regardless of the weather.
Thanks GCN for helping me rethink where, and when, I ride. It’s good to think out-of-the-box sometimes.