All this talk about the USA Cycling Professional Championships got me looking back at some old posts I have about the course. I found the following video of the climb up Altamont Road on Paris Mountain. It was my very first video to post to YouTube.com (and you can tell it). Still, if you are not familiar with the climb, this gives you a blow by blow view.
I did make it on my bike yesterday. First, it was the mountain bike. Much of my afternoon was spent trying to mark out a course for a 5K run. I kept trying different configurations to come up with the proper distance. It was pretty frustrating and I was dripping with sweat. So, when I got home I figured I would just jump on the road bike and cool down.
Okay, I admit, I was kind of hoping to run across some pros. I heard that Ted King was in town and had been riding with George earlier. One guy mentioned how as he as going up Paris Mountain a rider in a Cervelo kit came flying around him on the way to the top.
I did see a couple of riders as I was making my way through downtown. However, once I got on Old Buncombe (following the USPros course), I didn’t see another cyclist – on a bike at least – for the rest of the ride. There was one time just before turning up Altamont Road that a truck slowed beside me and kept pace with me. “What’s up with that?” I thought and looked over. It was a local rider with a phone camera. He snapped the picture and said, “Gotcha’ Pait!”
This time I was saving my legs. I eased my way to the top with a 16 minute time. The pros are going to come pretty close to halving that on Saturday. Word is that George Hincapie just recently had his best time up the hill. That would be somewhere around 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Even the pros getting shelled out the back on the climb are going to be putting out times around 10 minutes.
The human body is pretty amazing. I try to imagine having the power to do what those guys do. To me it would be almost like sprinting up the road!