Tag Archives: Lowndes Hill Road

Standing on top of the world for a little while

If you are reading this update about yesterday’s blog post, then you know something good must have happened. Yep, I went out and bested Chris Uberti on the Lowndes Hill Road Climb. However, that was not the best part of the ride.

After posting yesterday, I dropped a gratuitous link onto Uberti’s twitter feed.

Chris saw the tweet and responded…

I knew then that I needed to get out there and give it a try. When Chris got back into town from racing, I figured he’d find his way over there on a training ride and actually attempt the climb at speed. I communicated my intentions.

@cuberti Well, I guess I’d better get out there and grab it before you get back in town. At least I could hold it for a few days.

So I headed out on my ride, but I didn’t ride in the direction of the segment. Instead, I headed toward Paris Mountain. It was such a beautiful day, I didn’t want to spend it slaving over a Strava segment. I’d save that for the way home. I’m glad I did. I got to enjoy this…

Click the image to see the full gallery on Facebook.

Click the image to see the full gallery on Facebook.

Ultimately, that lead me back to Lowndes Hill Road. Since I had ridden at a leisurely pace, I felt I stood a pretty good chance of laying down a good time. It was time to give it a go. I had my doubts as I started getting up to speed.

This was the first time I had turned my legs at this pace since the start of the ride. They didn’t feel very snappy. When I hit the first portion of the climb, I couldn’t quite read my body. I knew I was spinning at a good cadence. It seemed that I was putting out decent power.

Still, I felt kind of bogged down. I found myself dropping into the seat and then telling myself to get back up and keep my momentum. At one point as I was digging toward the top, I could tell there was a car behind me. However, I just held my line and kept plugging. Thankfully, I think the driver could tell I what I was trying to do and they did not crowd me or go into a road rage.

Honestly, when I reached the top, I didn’t know how I might have done. I figured that I had to have improved over my last time, but it could have been by only a fraction. I’d have to get home before I could know the answer.

My Garmin 1000 uploaded my data as soon as I stopped the ride in my driveway. So, by the time I got off my bicycle, the Strava activity was active. I brought it up on my phone. I could see one trophy in the ride summary. That was a good thing.

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I scrolled down to the last listed segment and there is was… the KOM crown! Next I took a look at the time: One minute and twenty-nine seconds. I now held a 2 second lead over Chris.

On my effort 10 days ago, I averaged 22.2 mph over the half mile. It took an average of 539 watts over 1:32 to record that speed. I think a key thing I take from this is that my average cadence for that attempt was 69 rpm with my highest effort being 95 rpm.

I gained 3 seconds on that attempt with yesterday’s effort. I averaged 22.9 mph over the distance with an average of 593 watts. My cadence was definitely a difference maker. I averaged ¬†82 rpm during the effort and got up to 114 rpm at one point.

Could I do it faster? Actually, I think I could. However, I’m not sure how significant it would be. I can just see that I really dropped off toward the end instead of pushing through. Of course, that is the story of my life!

Now it is time to see what Chris can do…

Bridesmaid but never a bride

Yep, I went out yesterday and tried to take back the Woodland Way Sprint Climb segment. As has been the case often recently, I came up just a tad bit short. It was great to get a personal record, but I missed the KOM by 1 measly second.

I’ll come back to that effort in another post. Today I’m going back in time a bit to another time when I was a bridesmaid. Or, I guess I should say a groomsman…

Yes, this time I came up short behind Christopher Uberti. He has raced for several continental pro and elite cycling teams. You may have seen him a few years¬†in the SmartStop colors. Most recently you may have seen him doing yeoman’s work in the Athens Twilight criterium race.

Chris is one of those guys on Strava with a little PRO badge by his name. ¬†You’ll see a few of these on the Strava leaderboards around Greenville, SC. I think it might be time for Mr. Hematocrit to pay this place a visit!

There are a number of professional riders that live in the area. However, Greenville for many years was the location for the USA Cycling Professional Road Racing Championships. Some of the times up and over Paris Mountain still refer back to Strava data uploaded from those races.

This segment isn’t one of those. It is somewhat unique in that it is one of the few segments I created myself. It is long enough, safe enough, and challenging enough to be a segment. It doesn’t hurt that it is relatively close to my home.

I enjoyed the KOM for a bit back in 2013 before Mr. Uberti showed up one day and crushed my time by about 16 seconds. It was just about this time I started seeing his times popping up on other Strava segments I enjoyed. This wasn’t the last one I would see fall to him.

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 8.55.26 AMHere is the thing. I make¬†getting this KOM a goal in my old man cycling world. Chris picks it up just out doing what he does. If you look at the ride where he claimed the top spot you will see he named it, “Tooling around.” On this ride he claimed three KOMs and a number of PRs.

I don’t be grudge these guys their KOMs. Frankly, I am glad there are some times posted by pros. It gives me a chance to see the speeds and efforts it takes to ride at that level.

However, I freely admit that when it comes to pro times on Strava, I feel no shame in cherry picking. I figure it is only fair to level the playing field and give us amateurs a chance on the leaderboard. Sometimes you do what you can to avoid having to catch another bouquet.