In every day there must be a little up.
On Gran Fondo day, there will be a whole lot of up; 2400 meters worth, to be exact.
Not that I’m scared of climbing. In fact, I kind of enjoy it, mostly for the down reward that comes along with a good ascent.
To prepare for the climbs on the route to Whistler, I’ve been ascending Burnaby Mountain with regularity. Last weekend I climbed to Grouse.
But some idle googling has now filled me with self-doubt.
It seems there’s some riders out there taking the up very seriously. They’re training by riding the route to Whistler. Or tackling Cypress or Seymour multiple times on the same day!
Have I done enough to prepare?
What if I’ve underestimated the ride and overestimated by conditioning?
This weekend I rode almost 170 kms over two consecutive days, including 1300 m of climbing and my legs still felt fresh. Well, mostly. “Killer Hill” almost lived up to its name.
Katie’s parents were hosting a family dinner on Sunday, so I decided I would ride out, the same route I took on our wedding day, 50 weeks ago. They live in Bradner, at the top of “Killer Hill.”
Killer Hill is a three kilometer ascent of Lefeuvre Rd. to Graham Cr., an 18.1% gradient up from the Fraser River flood plain to the top of the ridge at Bradner. The first two kilometers are thigh-burningly steep, like a wall. So steep, in fact, that I was afraid to look down at my Garmin out of fear it would tell me I was actually standing still. Even weaving back and forth across the lane to create little switchbacks didn’t do much to soften the vertical torture.
But at least I had enough wind to good-naturely chide a woman on the other side of the road who was walking her bike down Killer Hill…