|Rocker and I found some good hills to work on |
our climbing skills. This one hit 13% grade/
Here's a rundown of our training rides this week:
Day One (40.88 miles, 2,667 feet of elevation gain) -- Our first ride was a nice loop on back roads paralleling Highway 50 East towards Lake Tahoe, punctuated by a steep climb then descent into Placerville.
Day Two (36.16 miles, 1,949 feet) -- Our second ride took us down the hill to Folsom then around Lake Natoma. The ride around the lake was beautiful but the climb back up the hill is tough, especially the final stretch up Serrano Parkway.
Day Three (27.28 miles, 2,356 feet) -- For our third ride we decided to tackle eight nasty hills around Rocker's house, including a long, very steep (15%) climb up Beatty Hill, followed by lower and upper Serrano Parkway. Check out the profile. Yikes!
Day Four (26.25 miles, 1,575 feet) -- Our fourth consecutive day was a short and fairly easy loop through Rescue and Shingle Springs, letting our legs recover and rest up for a long climb on day five.
Day Five (64.7 miles, 4,626 feet) -- Our longest ride of the week came on day five. It was also the toughest, climbing 4,626 feet to Pollack Pines. The climb from Placerville to Pollack Pines was 13 miles long ascending approximately 2,000 feet but took us through beautiful country and several Apple Hill vineyards.
Day Six (51.99 miles, 518 feet) -- We opted for a flat ride along the American River Bike Trail to historic Old Sacramento on the sixth day, logging enough miles to put us within reach of our goal (300) while saving our legs for the final day.
Day Seven (51.85 miles, 2,589 feet) -- Our final day of riding was a bit of a slog on tired legs (and sore rears). We did get some great views of Folsom Lake and Granite Bay. The final climb back up Serrano Parkway took every last bit of energy and mental will power we had left.
Goal accomplished! 300 miles and 16,280 feet of climbing. Now all we have to do is get ready to ride 420 miles in seven days in September!
|Rocker flashes the "shaka" sign, a common greeting in the Hawaiian culture meaning "hang loose."|
Based on my review of the elevation profiles on the website, I believe Cycle Oregon is guilty of the same hyperbole. For example, here is the elevation profile for day three from Bandon to Gold Beach. I have a hard time believing the estimate of 3,400 to 3,958 feet given that the route is relatively flat and never goes more than 500 feet above sea level. My guess is the total gain for this day is no more than 2,000.
There's also no way the final day, almost entirely downhill, gains 1,650 feet. No way. I'd bet my bike on it!
I'm not sure why but it seems like the elevation gain on these rides is often overestimated. As I documented on Ride the Rockies in 2015, ride organizers missed the mark by about 10,000 feet, over-shooting by more than 25 percent (I'm sorry, but I still think that's inexcusable given today's GPS technology).
I guess time (and my Garmin Edge) will tell. In the meantime, Rocker is a little worried that we only climbed about half the total estimated gain for Cycle Oregon this past week. Hang loose, Jonny, my guess is we climb no more than 25,000 feet. While still formidable, it's doable.