Monday, October 29, 2012

Tinney's Tavern Hill Climb

I'm a road racer!

Although I doubt I'm allowed to say that officially with hairy legs.  I'm sure there is a by-law somewhere that prevents that.  It just so happened that a little local hill climb race coincided with our visit to Saratoga for Halloween so Dustin and I decided to try our hand at hurting real bad for 20mins with a bunch of other people.

I didn't have high expectations seeing as I didn't know the climb and going full gas from the gun isn't really my forte.  But I figured I should be mid pack or a bit better depending on the crowd and how I felt.  They run this race twice a year, once in the late Spring / early Summer and again in the Fall.  I think there was a higher turnout in the Spring but we probably had about 20 people on the start line.  Looked like a solid mix of serious individuals along with some weekend warrior types.

There is a short neutral roll out and then once you hit the bridge its game on until you make it up to the Tavern / lake about 4.5mi later.  The grade is pretty reasonable early on and things started off pretty civil.  We were probably rolling along at just better than conversation pace for probably the first 1K or so.  Then 2-3 guys decided it was time to quit screwing around and things got painful.

I tried to hop on the tail end of the move and was moderately successful.  I grabbed a wheel or two and was there or thereabouts to the sharp end of the race for maybe the next 1K or so.  Then I started getting this weird side stitch / cramp that I have never really gotten on the bike before.  I used to get them from time to time when I was running more training for my tri a few years ago but never on the bike.  No real idea why or where that came from but it ended up making things difficult for me.  I had a hard time getting a good lung full of air and getting out of the saddle and staying there was made difficult as well because it was hard to stretch out my right side.  That made it hard to stay on wheels as the pace was increased and they slowly started drifting away.

I was hanging tough with Dustin up until the headwall which required lots of out of the saddle work which wasn't really working for me so I did what I could and settled in.  Got passed late by a women whose kids were cheering for her at the top of the final big pitch.  That probably gave her a surge of motivation and she just spun away from me which in turn gave me a surge of demotivation and I let her go and putz'd into the finish for 10th at 22mins flat.

I'm sure I have a better ride than that in me but its a pretty punchy climb and I'm much more of a tempo guy. It was fun though and I would probably do it again.  Great way to measure your fitness early and late in the season, kinda wish they did something like that around here.  To top it off there was a great little mini buffet at the finish with pulled pork sliders, slaw, potato salad and fruit.  If you live in the Saratoga area and ride road bikes and you don't check this race out you are an idiot.


  1. Anonymous10/30/2012

    hey, i get dropped by moms all the time in mtb races - welcome to the club!


  2. Nice recap and video! You rode real's not the kind of route you wanna race the very first time you ride it!! hahaha


    " If you live in the Saratoga area and ride road bikes and you don't check this race out you are an idiot."

    well put......excellent.