Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Poor Moutain Hillclimb recon

Last week I hit the Poor Mountain Hill climb to check out the course.

The only other time I've ridden this climb was in the race last year. That ride was one of my finest races ever.

Last time I did it on a rigid hardtail. The course was pretty darn rough for a fire road and my thinking was that the dually would be an even better choice for powering through the rough sections. So this time I took the dually to the climb.

It was hot. 90s hot and humid. The road start felt as slow as usual. But the really rough sections never materialized. They had filled in the rocky sections with pea gravel and rolled it firm. There might have been some rougher sections but the dually probably smoothed them out to me.

I actually was looking forward to these rocky sections. I think they actually helped me to go faster in the race. Now going through this crushed gravelly stuff I feel slower. In addition, those sections gave a little advantage to mountain bikes. Now the advantage may go to cross bikes (if they have the gearing)

By the time the final turn came around I was cooked. The final section is the worst by far. Deeper gravel with braking bumps it just slowed to me to an utter crawl. The sun was beating down and the goal was to just ride from tree shade to tree shade.

In the end I was 7 or 8 minutes slower than last year. Many factors at play here. Nutrition, hydration, different bike, different course and the heat for sure. I'm going to try again with the hardtail next week and see how much of difference that makes.

Ironically I wish the course was harder in terms of technical features but regardless of rough sections or not this is one tough nut.

You have no idea how steep the road sections actually are until you come down them. One area where the dually did shine was the way down. Much more fun than it was coming down on the rigid fork last year.


At 10:20 AM, Anonymous apad 2 said...

Thank you for this post, really worthwhile info.


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