Sunday, March 22, 2009


And no, I don't mean the song by Celldweller (though it does rock mightily). I mean that thing you do going up a hill where you work your way up by going across.

I did my usual 29-mile ride today but also included another assault on "Big Woodley" (I really need to take a picture--next time). I start heading up and I think I'm farther than before but I know I'm not going to make it to the top so I'm thinking about how I want to bail. I turn to the left and go across to see if I really want to bail now or what. At some point I decide to switchback and go back to the right. I quickly find The Secret to Uphill Switchbacks(tm), which I will share with you. First, I'd like to mention that I did try switchbacks last week but they weren't as good as The Secret to Uphill Switchbacks(tm).

Okay, the way switchbacks are usually done is you ride across the hill, angling up slightly so you slowly make your way up. You can even ride straight across one way, then angle up coming back, then ride straight across again, etc. Slower but it works. However, none of that is The Secret to Uphill Switchbacks(tm). The secret is this: as you ride across, when you get near the end angle your bike down so you catch a bit of speed. Use that momentum as you turn up to get up the hill just a bit and even angling up. That's it: head down to go up. Sounds dumb, doesn't it? However, I made such progress and saved so much energy that as I got near the top of the hill I stopped switching back and rode straight up. I still want to ride "Big Woodley" straight up all the way but The Secret to Uphill Switchbacks(tm) will help me as I get stronger.

So I woke up this morning to rainfall, which meant I was going to get soaked. As you might imagine, rains in L.A. are usually not that big of a deal so this was going to be a fun ride. However, as I started the ride the rain had gone. About 2/3 of the way through the ride, though, the rain came back so I pulled over and put my rain jacket on. What fun! By the time I reached home I was completely soaked and didn't think I wanted to do my run in such soggy weather.

I fuel up, warm up, and shower off. Then I made breakfast for my daughter and notice that it's now sunny outside. Crazy spring weather. I decide that I will do a run so after serving breakfast I get my running gear on and head outside. Hey, where did my sun go? Dark clouds were working their way across the sky but I run anyway. A half-mile into the run and the rain starts again. This can only mean one thing: when I finish my run the sun is going to come back out. I get nice and soaked but I do finish my 3.5-mile run without stopping and, yes, when I get in the house the sun comes back out. Today, I was a rain magnet.

Next weekend is my 46-mile ride into Santa Clarita but this time I want to do it in under three hours. Not as easy as it sounds with the reasonably big hills so we'll see.

No comments: