Climbing in Central Florida; Single-ride elevation PR to fall.
I’ve come to realize that I love climbing on my bike. I know, I know…
“You live in Florida, dude. You don’t even know what real climbing is!”
I can’t argue that point. The longest single sustained climb I’ve ever done was just shy of 1,000 feet–and that was on my mountain bike in Tennessee (at the Black Bear Rampage MTB race).
There are a few Categorized (Cat 4 and Cat 5) climbs around here, but they are pretty mild compared to the big stuff. I’m not even sure what the longest and steepest Central Florida rated climb is, anyone know? Sugarloaf is pretty steep, but it’s not long enough to be rated.
While we may not have any huge sustained climbs here in Central Florida, we certainly have elevation in some areas. The trick is to create a route that hits the hills in fairly rapid succession. For example, a recent ride I did netted 4,600 feet of elevation over just 90 kilometers/56 miles.
The “Horrible Hundred” ride, which I did this past November, included about 5,200 feet of elevation over its 161 kilometers/100 mile course. That was a single ride elevation personal record for me, and it still stands.
It’s time for me to break that record.
Tomorrow’s ride is going to be a hot and hilly. The goal is to not only smash my Horrible Hundred elevation record, but also to pack that elevation as tightly and relentlessly as possible. The planned route should give me more than 6,000 feet spread over 120 kilometers/75 miles. The high temperature is going to be over 90°, so it should be a pretty tough ride.
I’ll sign off with a cycling/climbing quote that my friend and JSF member Devery passed on to me recently:
“Be a hill seeker!
Most of us try to avoid hills, but what’s so good about flat?
Think about it: flat tires, flat hair, flat returns and — the ultimate — flatlining!
Life happens on the hills!
There are opportunities to prove to yourself that you’re stronger than you ever imagined.
If you never attempt the ascent, you’ll never know the thrill of swooshing down the other side!”
Well said. Except the part about the flat hair. That was just weird. Anyway, I’m looking forward to a hilly and challenging ride tomorrow!