I have only ridden Patterson Pass once on my Bacchetta and it was a terrifying experience. The top section is narrow, steep and it has a big drop off on the right. It is also prone to incredibly strong winds. I did that ride about 3 years ago on a pretty calm day and with less than 500 Bacchetta miles in my legs. I climb about 300% better on my Bacchetta nowadays and with the light winds we have been having all week I decided t try it again.
My wife and myself rode out to Pleasanton to meet up with FFBC for their “Massacre at Wounded Knee” ride. There was about 12 riders in our group and the pace was fast and fun on the way back through to Livermore but the wind was picking up. By the time we hit Mines Road I decided to put in an attack on the “North Mines Speed Bump” to show that a recumbent could climb. I got a pretty big gap and bagged a Strava KOM too.
When we hit the Altamont Pass the wind was howling and I was absolutely flying on the recumbent. I rode away from the group with speeds exceeding 50MPH at times. This made me very scared for the Patterson Pass climb.
On the climb itself, the lower section was an absolutely stonking headwind and the group were strung out grovelling into the wind. I sat on the front and rode pretty hard until I was off the front with one other rider. I felt good until we hit the first steep section and a combination of gradient and strong headwind forced me down onto the grannie ring. The rider with me rode away at this point and I battled into the wind on my own.
On the last steep narrow section I was down to second gear on the grannie ring and fighting the gusting head/cross winds. My speed was keeping above 6MPH so balance wasn’t a problem until I hit the steepest 16%+ section when the wind physically almost stopped me in my tracks. I lost momentum and had to unclip. For the first time in many many years I was forced to walk the last 100m of a road climb. I was still third rider up the climb but it was pretty embarrassing. The wind at the top of the pass was absolutely brutal but most of the rest of our group made it up without walking.
I just have to face up to the fact that steep climbs, me and the Bacchetta don’t mix.
I was very very tired when we got home from this ultra windy ride.