I had been toying with idea of riding the Thanksgiving day Mount Hamilton hill climb on my Bacchetta as a bit of fun. I decided to do a ride this morning with some steeper climbs just to see how I felt. I felt really bad on the climbs especially as there was a strong headwind and I have decided to rethink my attempt on Hamilton. My time round the circuit was only 40 seconds quicker than my best on the Catrike 700 so my form must be really bad.
I know there is a school of thought that recumbents cant climb. I scoff at this for many climbs where I can blow away regular road bike riders and even though I am not as quick as I am on my road bike I can still turn in a good speed. There is a threshold for me where the “recumbents cant climb” statement starts to become true. Once the gradient gets above 12% I feel less and less stable when climbing and struggle to hold a line. On climbs with 15% gradients and hairpin turns I go past my comfort threshold all together and the ride turns into abject fear. For this reason I havent yet managed to conquer Diablo or Mount Hamilton.
Although Hamilton isn’t really that steep there are a few steeper sections near the top where the road narrows and there are hairpin turns. I don’t want to hit these sections for the first time in a race so I have decided not to ride it.
Course : Flynn Anti Clockwise
Course Record : 58m (7/1/2004) Trek 5500
Course Record (Recumbent): 1h06m48s (11/24/2009) Corsa SS
Distance: 17.8 miles
MPH: Av= 15.9, Max= 45.1
BPM: Av= 137, Max= 166