Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Flying Squirrel

Racing the hillclimb, I felt like a flying squirrel... just as I was on the start line, the threatening dark skies had approached and the winds started swirling. I am one of the few riders who attempts this climb in the big chainring 53. COP (Canada Olympic Park) 10% average grade hillclimb for 1.3 km. I was wondering when best to shift down to the small ring for the tough grade to the finish.

Right off the start, it was easier to climb than normal. The pace was fast. I was surprised as my two pre-rides up the climb were hard and I choked for air at the top due to the dryness. I sensed one gal on my wheel as it was a 3-up time trial. I passed one wind devil of sand into the wind. On each westerly turn I flew with the wind up the next stretch. 2nd last corner, Crazy Larry was cheering like a Tour de France hillclimb fan running and waving. After the last corner into the wind, I was literally blown up the hardest 12% grade to the westerly finish, even having to shift into a higher gear! I was shocked how easy the climb was.

The bigger shock was breaking the record by 7 seconds and winning in 4 min 0.4! I attributed it to the wind, yet I realize all the women had the same strong wind too. 2nd place was Nik who was on my wheel the whole way until I sprinted away at the finish. The big chain ring was key this time.

I checked the weather around my start time 7:36 p.m. Here's the graph with the peak wind at 60 kph just around 8 p.m. Wow! Fellow ERTC teammate Cody Canning also broke the men's record.

Unfortunately, this wind caused some havoc in the city with power outages including a death of a child hit by debris blown from a construction site. Crazy strong wind.


Perry L said...

I saw you at the race - that is an impressive time. Almost half mine!! But I have at least - AT LEAST - a hundred pounds on you. I am just getting back in the sport after a decade off the bike, I'm hoping that cycling, running and switching to vegetariansim will get me back to my glory days. A good old fashion HC butt kicking is a great motivator.

Marg Fedyna said...

Awesome you're back into fitness and you faced the COP hillclimb! The change in diet will help get you back. Keep posted as I'll eventually blog more on using raw foods for recovery and nutrition. Yeah, the stormy wind and lightweight were on my side for that climb. Thanks for your post Perry.