Thursday, February 12, 2009
Riding in SoCal
Eugena, Fisher and I came down to San Diego to hang out with Tim and Charlotte, and naturally we brought our road bikes. In honor of the upcoming Tour of California finishing outside of San Diego this year we opted to ride the major climb in the last stage, Mt. Palomar.
This climb is awesome, it has over 21 switchbacks and is almost 7 miles in length. Eugena rocked the climb first while I hung out with the Fish boy. When Eugie was done tearing it up I went for it. This climb was totally awesome. It starts with a 5ish mile warm-up climb up a valley to reach the base of South Grade road. Once you turn onto South Grade it is all uphill and the switchbacks hit you immediately.
I wanted to use the first part of this climb as a field test to see where my fitness is. So I went all out for the first 20 minutes to see where my Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is. Field tests never, never are easy. They are always tough both mentally and physically. During the test I kept glancing at my average power to see how I was doing and unfortunately I was a little lower than where I wanted to be. After 20 minutes I just rode the rest of the climb at a nice tempo pace and ended up finishing the climb in just over 40 minutes. I bet the pros in the Tour of California this year will bust this climb out in under 30 minutes.....crazy fast. When I got back home I plugged the iBike in and did a power analysis of my ride to get the official word (the iBike software looks at all the little factors effecting the unit like slope and wind, and adjusts the power accordingly). After the file analysis I ended up pleasantly suprise with my FTP at this time of the year. Below is the clip from my iBike. The highlited portion in blue is the Mt Palomar climb (with the stats on the left). I put together a little video from the day on my mobileme gallery. All in all it was a superb climb and it is going to be sweet to see the pros duke it out on this climb in a week.