With the Southerly and sometimes Westerly wind today, I thought I would be smart and head into it on my outward ride, to avoid having to fight it on the way home. Anyway, I went from Northfield, through the city, through Unley then ended up on Goodwood Rd, then went up Shepherd's Hill Rd. I found myself at Blackwood and decided to go to Belair with the intention of coming down Belair Rd. but then decided to try riding up to Crafers to come down the bike track along the Freeway.
Anyway, Sheoak Rd. It was so hard for me to get up the 20% incline bit. I didn't walk any of it but I did stop a couple of times. I am nearly 48 and I had thought I was getting fitter, being able to ride up the bike track to Crafers without too much trouble, getting up Norton Summit reasonably easily and same for Montacute Rd.
The lactic acid build up on Sheoak was almost intolerable but I am proud of myself for sticking it out and getting up without walking. I have a Giant Defy II and due to the shape and set up, I just don't seem to be able to stand up and crank very easily. I find it much easier to sit and crank than stand on the pedals but today I stood up and cranked, sometimes impossibly slowly. Can anyone tell me if this is a hill that is commonly ridden up? Do average riders find this as tortuous as I did today?
It was a funny experience, in that I found it grueling but I felt so good getting to the top and screaming down the Bike track from Crafers was fantastic even though the wind was buffeting me all over the place. It was a delight having a tailwind on Portrush on the way home too.
A really great day out, not a single issue with traffic.
I ride it a reasonable amount because it is steep! But if you look at the profile it is only really steep in two parts. On a whole it is not that bad IMHO. You can see people completely psyched out by it by the looks of anguish and pain on their faces. Relax arms, jaw, face, shoulders, sit up a bit and dont slouch. That is physical and mental energy that can go to the legs. It is as much a mental game. In fact I ride steeper getting to it. And I cant climb for shi.................
Great! Can I ride up with you ? .. ;-)
Dstone has it nailed. First couple of times I freaked out, blew all my energy at the start of the first 20% then had nothing. Now just get as good a cadence as I can, don't freak and it hasn't beaten me for the last couple of years. A nice solid climb is to go up Lynton (Caroline path, Belair) then Sheoak and up to Lofty from there. Alternately, dive down into the National Park then up onto Sheoak Rd via Waverley Lodge Rd and on from there. Lynton (Caroline path) has a couple of hundred metres at 23% and the rest 15-18% for about 500m, total about 800-900metres. There's some great climbing practice round there - doing Lynton repeats or Tilley's Hill repeats (Brownhill Creek Rec Park) will get you a good pair of climbing legs Simpson.
I think even cars find it torturous.....