Welch Creek is a famous climb in Northern California and one of the hardest. I have only ever ridden it once before and that was on my mountain bike for a Low Key Hill Climb back in 2007. I remember it being hard but not that much worse than Sierra Road. I wasn’t in great shape and came in in a lowly 55/60.
Welch Creek is back into the LKHC series for 2014 so I thought I had better go check it out. Today was supposed to be a recovery day so I chose my hard tail 29’er mountain bike for it’s low gearing. It turned out that no matter how low your gearing is you cant do a recovery ride on that hill. It is an absolute monster and well deserves it’s fearsome reputation. I went up it 5m47s quicker today than I did in 2007 with an average heart rate of 154 (2014) vs 178 (2007). I do OK on climbs up to 6% but beasts like this one do not suit me.