Man, I meant to do this on Sunday, but just never got around to it. There's just too many things to do these days and time is just going to get shorter and shorter in supply as this month goes on.
Sunday I thought about doing the Sunrise Climb, but decided against it and hit the road. I've heard a lot about the Hidden Hills climb at the end of Via Linda, so after doing some of the climbs around Fountain Hills on the way over there, I hit it up. Frankly, I was a little disappointed. It did kick up to around 6% in a few places, but compared to how I do my hill play, that's just a nice warm up.
On the way back out though, I found a climb I like. As you're headed east on Shea, you've probably notice the houses that seem to be half way up the mountain at N. 136th St - yup, they really are. From Via Linda you cover over 550 vertical feet in just over a mile! There's a few hundred yards up to the gated community's gate at around 5%; after the gate it kicks up to 7% and doesn't relent. You climb between 7% - 8% for all but the last 300 - 400 yards which kicks up to over 16%. My computer showed it as 18.2%! I know by the time I got to the top I was wiped. It was literally all I could do to turn the pedals overs.
Tomorrow night I'm going to head down to the Tempe/Phoenix border and check out the Phoenix Consumers Crit Series. It's been over a year and a half since I've raced on the road. The last stage race I was in I DNF'd and before that by a few weeks was a short crit that I won. It'll be interesting to see how the Phoenix Cat 4/5 racers are compared to Kansas City and El Paso. With any luck, I'll be able to make enough of these over the next month to get in the races I need for my upgrade to Cat 4. I hate racing as an Expert off-road, but a Cat 5 (beginner basically) on-road.
Just two and a half weeks left to the National Marathon opener!