Sunday, March 15, 2009

Discovering Charles Road

I've been sort of thinking about climbs and hills lately. My thinking started off this year as, "which local climb is the hardest?"  Now, I'm starting to think more about the different kinds of climbs. 

One climb that always comes up when I talk to other cyclists about hills is Charles Road. I finally rode it today. It's a mile-and-a-half of pretty steep stuff. I had over built it in my mind so I climbed slowly with the expectation that the hidden portion of the hill over the horizon would give way into the "really steep part." But it didn't, so it wasn't such a bad climb. 

Next time, I'll attempt it at a slightly quicker pace and see how that feels. The Charles climb makes for a nice 50 mile loop, and according to Jake, there is a dirt option to get up to the Four Mounds plateau. So there's some good potential out there.

Today's ride was wet. It was rainy-snowy the whole time. The ride took me just under 3 hours and I was never too cold or too warm. Actually, I was never very comfortable, but I didn't suffer at the hands of the elements at all. I guess that's the point of figuring out how to suit up. 


Spokane Al said...

I have enjoyed climbing Charles Road in that the rest of the ride home more than makes up for that hill and tends to be flat or downhill.

When the weather gets a bit nicer I like to ride the Lilac Century 50 mile course backwards, which includes going up vs. down Charles Road.

Pat S said...

Did you ride down??? IMHO, the noteriety of this hill is all about the descent, not the climb. It's where you test the size of your balls. It's where I hit 58 mph and started to feel like the tubes of my bike were made of pasta instead of steel and I had to grab the brakes. No way I would push it on a wet day on that hill, though.

David Blaine said...

My need for a high mineral diet has me prefering Carlson road over Charles.

Team Rider 1 said...

Charles is definitely fun. In both directions. A month or so ago on an exceptionally windy day I had an interesting experience heading down the hill.

If you're interested in reading about it, here's a link: