Monday, March 21, 2011

Love To Hate Hills - Flamingo Drive

With the exception of the Fall River hill and the entire length of Purcell`s Cove road Flamingo Drive is my favorite  love to hate training hill. Close to home it offers me the opportunity to sneak in some hill repeats at the tail end of a club ride or if my window of ride(time) opportunity is small or closing.

Last summer I did some calculations on the gradient of the climb based upon an equation I found on Google. Cannot guarantee it is exact but it sure feels right when you are on the climb.

Flamingo Drive.Description - 4 semi switchbacks and steep 1km climb till false flat for last.22km. Climb length - 1.22 km.Gradient@.25 km = 7.3%,gradient@.50 km = 12.6% and slope at.75km = 6.8%.

At the start of the second switcback is where the hill really bites with the gradient spiking until you reach the stop sign.That middle section definitely tests your meddle. It is this section that is adjacent to Pioneer - the difference being is that Pioneer has no switchback. It is straight up so mentally it plays on your head as well as your legs.

A lovely early Spring day I commuted home via the hills of Fairview then opted to tackle Flamingo to gauge my early season fitness and set a benchmark for this season`s hill training.On my(heavier) Devinci road bike using MTB shoes and vintage Ritchie Logic pedals( I apologize for the squeeking pedals) I was pleasantly surprised on the climb. Aparently my winter fitness plan has worked.....I felt strong on Saturday`s club ride and Flamingo did not hurt like I remembered. Don`t get me wrong. The legs were burning and my breathing was ragged but not nearly as bad as previous years.






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