Seven Hills For Sister Bacchetta

I fitted a new pair of tires on the Bacchetta this morning from my race team sponsor Schwalbe.  The Ultremos were 100 times easier to get on the rims than the previous Michelin pro race 3’s and I didn’t even need to use a tire lever.  My first impressions are very good. They have the same ride comfort as the Michelins but seem to roll even better. It was damp roads today so I didn’t push the cornering aspects.

I picked up a sore throat and cold on my trip to Australia so have been unable to do any sort of quality training this week.  I have still ridden each day but haven’t really felt all that good. This morning I decided to have a lie in and missed the team ride but I felt a lot better for a good long sleep.

I needed to get some hill work in on my Bacchetta for the thanksgiving low key hill climb and there was a very real threat of rain so I devised a cunning route taking in most of my local hills and the seven hills ride was born.

Seven Hills:

I wasn’t planning on hammering any of the climbs today but I felt pretty good on the Delvalle climb and kept it in the middle ring all the way up at a good brisk pace. I was actually a bit disappointed in how slow my time was as it felt like I was actually fairly quick. The second climb, up from the Del Valle rangers hut, is always a bit more of a challenge and I tackled this one by dropping down into the little ring and spinning. I was a bit down on my normal recumbent pace for this climb too.

For climb number 3 ,the climb up Mines road, I was fortunate to have a carrot in the shape of four riders also doing the climb.  Two of the riders dropped off near the base of the climb but the remaining two set a really good pace that made me push pretty hard just to remain in contact. I felt  OK apart from on the steeper bits where I struggled a bit and lost some real estate to the riders in front. I managed to get back in contact before the top and did the climb about a minute slower than my Strava personal best.

Climb number 4, Tesla road, was much harder than normal as there was a nagging headwind. My legs were also starting to feel the amount of climbing I had already done and as such I was well off my normal Bacchetta pace up there.   I was 6 minutes slower than my Strava personal best and felt a few twinges of cramp on the steeper bits.

Climb 5, Cross Road, is the easiest climb of the seven but also suffered from having a nasty head/cross wind and as such my time was over 3 minutes slower than my best. My legs were really starting to feel fatigued and I was dreading the next climb up which was up Patterson Pass.

Climb 6 was the hardest of all the climbs with the longest steepest sustained gradients. On the >15% gradient sections I felt very uncomfortable but I was determined not to be beaten by the climb.  I got into my Bacchetta uncomfortable speed/gradient zone where I felt like I was going to fall off. Its amazing how a 30×28 can feel over geared on a recumbent when I can easily climb the same hill on a 34×25 on a normal bike. Not being able to get out of the saddle for the steep bits is a big disadvantage in my mind. I set a very slow time on this climb.

The final climb also had a headwind and I was feeling a bit sluggish. I knew I was well off my normal pace but I felt good that I had managed so much climbing in such a short route.  I was over 7 minutes slower than my personal best  and the steep section was a real challenge.

It turned out to be a great ride without a drop of rain. Total climbing was over 4,800ft  in 55 miles which is a pretty good base for my Mount Hamilton training.
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