Plains Rd Climbing Society

This is a self-nomination for membership in the Plains Rd Climbing Society.

I started the ride today with no particular route in mind, just needed to get out and enjoy a beautiful day. The ride started with a warm up climb on Minor Hill Rd (not so much). It’s a half-mile climb that gets the blood pumping with a 16% grade near the top, but it’s over before the pain hits. That was all it took to awaken the KOM voice in my head that quickly convinced the voice-of-reason that I should try Plains Rd today. Knowing that I’m not going to get much riding in this week I give in. Plus, current Society members said it’s not that bad. I made sure I had plenty of time to warm-up and I made the turn onto Plains Rd from Rt 32. The sight alone is enough to scare most people before the climb even starts. The approach was like the feeling you get on a roller coaster just before a large drop, you know it’s going to be scary but it’s a great feeling when you make it through. The good news is that you can see most of the hill from the bottom so there’s no surprises, just a wall to conquer. Luckily I still have my triple crank and immediately dropped to the granny ring. There’s no easing into this hill, right away I’m at 13% and trying to keep the front wheel on the ground, staying in the saddle as long as I could. Then only a tenth of a mile in the slope increases to 20% and there’s no more sitting. Luckily I forgot my HRM strap or I would have panicked at the numbers and found a pile of leaves to dive into. I could almost see the wheels stop in the fraction of a second between down-strokes, computer says I bottomed out at 2.7 mph, yikes. The worst is over within in a third of a mile, so it was only 4 minutes of torture. I just remember how good 10% felt and was able to sit again. The best part was seeing a couple of cars descending, even if they aren’t cyclists, they must know this is nuts.

Now that I’ve done it, I can admit it’s not as bad as I thought, but it still sucks. I’ll add it to my list of climbs to try every so often and track my progress (maybe even break the 3 mph barrier). Interval training doesn’t get much better that this.
Lisa, tag you’re it.

— John R.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s