Saturday, August 19, 2006

8/18/06 Today's Ride -- A new nemesis

Route: 66.46 miles, Laurel Lake loop with 192 add-on, return via 312.

Weather: partly to mostly cloudy, 84 degrees, 5 mph wind.

Performance: average speed 14.8 mph, time 4:28:44. Average HR 135 bpm. link:

Comment: I traveled into terra incognita with my foray onto 192, a place I had never been even in a car. As i rode through, I happened upon a sign warning trucks to "use low gear, 9% grade next 0.8 miles." Fine with me, I'm going downhill. This hill ended at trail bottom, the Rockcastle River at Bee Rock. Then came the climb out. I can honestly say that Paint Hill has met its match. This hill is just as steep and longer to boot, going pretty much straight up forever.

The tale of the tape: 420 vertical feet gained over about 1.3 miles with an average grade of 10%. That's 32% higher, 44% longer, and 43% steeper than Paint Hill, former titleholder of Monster Hill.

Needless to say, surmounting this beast made my already grumpy legs the equivalent of warm Jello on a hot day. But something in my crazy head made me push on for a while toward Somerset. I made it about halfway there before the continuous onslaught of more hills told me it was time to turn around. Thankfully the ascent out of the river valley going back (all 0.8 miles at 9%) seemed tame compared to what I had been through.

As might be expected, I started to bonk in a major way before I even hit 312. I finished both of my Gatorade bottles, took several rest stops, and ate 3/4 of a Clif Bar to no avail. I think it's time for me to investigate carb gels and endurance drinks for my inevitable century. Either that or meditation.

Redneck heckler sighting: Pretty much nobody lives out there.


A footbridge going across the Rockcastle River, looking west.
Bee Rock does Shinto.

The Rockcastle River, looking north (upstream).

Mass grave for unsuccessful climbers.


(slightly disturbing, by the way)

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