So my silly friends convinced me to get back into shape and re-challenge the Mt. Washington hill Climb
race. It's a bitch. My goal is to climb the mountain in under 1:20. : )
11.7km (7.3 miles)
1430m (4700ft) elevation gain
12% average gradient over the climb.mi0.14 21%
0.28 22%0.9 First recovery section1.08-1.42 19-22% x51.42 Recover and pick up speed for the kicker1.51 30% Sprint up this one and don't suffer too long1.63-1.72 22% x31.9 Recover - Enjoy this one2.21-2.68 18-19% x72.7-2.9 Recover - Spin here, it's all high gradient2.99-3.31 18-20% x33.4-3.6 Recover - Spin here, it's all high gradient3.71-4.60 18-23% x94.9 Recover before hell5.06-5.79 20%-25% x6 This section is hard. In and out of the saddle.5.8-6.0 Recover - Spin here, it's all high gradient6.03-6.13 22-23% x36.3-6.5 Recover6.96 20% Sprint7.1 Recover, gain speed for double kickers7.24 23%Gain speed on the flat to attack the final kicker 7.37.39 30% Final push before the finish
Here's a write up of my strategy to climb the mountain.
Goal: Break the mountain into 4 parts, know where your breaks are, and when to put the hammer down.Section 1 Start-1.9 - Momentum for the kickers, low gear around the corners, don't get surprised, speed up on the straight sprint over the 30% wall.
Most people sprint the opening 1mi and the speed is generally pretty high. No need to go all out here.
The first two kickers are tease for the rest of the race. You think, "This won't be so bad, that's it?"
From 1.1 - 1.4mi into the race you get the first set of kickers. These kickers are on two curves so you don't see them, when you take the corner you see more of the gradient. Don't get demoralized. After the bends, the road opens up like Moses parting the Red Sea and you have a small straight away to gain speed up a 30% gradient.
Right after the 30% kicker, you get 3 switch backs in quick succession. The gradient is about 22% in the corners, approach them wisely. Section 2 Mile 1.9-4.9 - Stay in a low gear and spin.
At the 1.9mi mark you get your first and probably your last actual recovery until the latter half of the race. Pick up speed and carry it as long as possible.
The next 3 miles are all very high gradient. It's a series of twenty 18-23% kickers
There's a spot just before a single switchback at 2.9mi that 'flattens' to 8.4%. That's really your only recovery before it immediately picks up again. Section 3 Mile 4.9-6.0 In and out of the saddle kickers. Process the lactate out after the switchbacks.
By mile 4.9 you get a small recovery, it's your first real break.
5.0-5.8 is just a series of in and out of the saddles.
Stay in a big gear here... the gradient is consistent but it doesn't ease off at all.
The 6.0 mile marker is significant because you see a big switchback and some tough 22-23% gradients ahead. Tackle them and enjoy the 0.2mi recovery.
The gradient eases off just a bit where you can pick up some speed. This is really your last actual recovery. Section 4 6.0-Finish Three major kickers, attack them all and carry momentum through the high speed section to the finsih.
The rest is just trying to survive for the final pushes.
By mile 6.5 you can see the peak of the mountain. There's one kicker at mile 7 exactly -- it's not so bad but it feels worse than it is, sprint up this one don't spin it. Keep your speed into the flat and use the momentum to get you over the double kickers to the finish line.
The first kicker at 7.25 you'll hear the crowd cheering you on. Burn the last of your matches for the final 30% sprint to the finish and enjoy a beer at the top. The adrenaline really pushes you through to the finish line.Bike Set Up
You need at least 1:1 Gearing. The average speed for much of the race is 5.0mph. I'll be using:
- Sram 1x11 X01 Groupset.
- 32T 175mm Crankset and 10-42T Cassette
- Powermeter will be Garmin Vector (so I can still use 175mm Cranks)
- I leave my DuraAce brake lever and front caliper on the left half of the bike. You want a brake incase you're in a group and you need control.
- The right side has a trigger shifter on the hoods, you spend most of the time here. No rear brake or lever. Not needed.
- Lightest Saddle you got. You stand a lot and it's a short race.
- Shotblocks and Two Gatorades for fueling. It's only 90 minutes long. Toss the bottles save weight.
Thoughts, extra information, why my strategy sucks, and suggestions for hill climb wheels are appreciated. I'm not sure about what wheelset I'm going to run yet and whether I should run Clincher, Tubular, or Tubeless.