Walker Grade

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Walker Grade Empty Walker Grade

Post  Mark Berry on Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:29 am

It was 98 degrees at 2:35 when I started the 15 mile ride from O'Neals to North Fork. I had spent the entire morning hydrating by drinking plenty of water and a Gatorade, so I wasn't too concerned. The ride started at O'Neals, a quaint little hamlet in the Sierra Nevada foothills. It's literally a side street with a post office.
There was no time for warming up as the hill started right from where Mary Kay dropped me off. About a mile or two later there was a slight downhill but by then I was "warm".

The first hill is a bit of a teaser in that it's only about 3/4 of a mile but it slowed me down from 17mph to 7mph. My goal for the ride was 7mph as I hoped to finish in less than 2 hours.
After the first teaser hill was another downhill and then about 5 miles of "relatively" flat riding; I was back up to 16-17mph. But at the 6.5 mile mark, I had already seen on Google maps what lie ahead. The next 7 miles are basically straight up! Ride time was just over 2 hours at an average pace of 7.4mph; there were times where I was only moving at 3.5mph!

It's amazing how time flies when you're only moving along at 3.5mph on a bicycle! I would literally pedal one stroke with my left leg, coast 3 feet, let the bike come to a near stop and pedal the next stroke with my right leg. Interesting side note, I noticed about 1/2 up the grade that my left leg was considerably more fatigued than my right. This was because I have a tendency to "limp" on the bike; I ride with more force on my left than my right. I can only assume this is due to the fact that I've only had one knee surgery on my left leg and two on my right!

I wish I could report that I made the entire grade without stopping, but I took at least 5 or 6 rest stops along that 7 mile stretch. I even walked a couple of yards just to crest a couple of hills, only to find that just around the next corner, it just kept going UP!

At 4:00PM, about an hour and a half into the ride, I had crested the summit of Walker grade and was treated to an un-expected rest stop at the Shell station at the turn off to North Fork. I grabbed a much needed Gatorade and downed the second half of my protein bar and was ready for the relatively easy ride on over to North Fork.

MK has spent the afternoon at some friends of ours who live in North Fork so I met up with them and we each put away a Forks Burger over at Bass Lake.
Mark Berry
Mark Berry

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Walker Grade Empty Re: Walker Grade

Post  DebbieH on Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:20 pm

Great job, Mark. Next time you will ride an average of at least 9 mph. When are you doing the next leg of your training? Is that the North Fork to Bass Lake ride? Keep spinning.........Smile


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