At 163, I doubt you had much in reserve.
I've been wanting to go up it. I'll see if I can beat your time -- on foot :-)
Ah, it may not seem like it, but there's a big difference between 163 and 166-167. And 168-169 would mean that I'd about had it. Never felt like the legs were going wobbly on me. Though no denying that I was glad when the final steep pitch moderated.
It's funny, you do the first couple of quick turns, which themselves are steep, and then it's moderate for a little while, maybe 8-10%, but you can see it ramping up ahead of you, way up. It wasn't until I'd actually gotten on the (first) steep section that I realized that what I was looking at was only the first half of the route. There is another moderate pitch just past halfway, again felt like 8-10%, easy, then the second steep one. Each of the two steep sections were about 5 minutes. A lengthy 5 minutes... :-)
I don't think the climb makes it in the book because it's not a public road.
Still on the list of climbs to do, and maybe next, is X gaps up in VT, where X could be 2 (Lincoln and App Gaps, ought to be pretty straightforward, though Lincoln would not be easy), or 4 (a long tough day, 110 miles and 8,500'), or 6 (don't think it's possible for me this time of year, 130/11,500'), would need a cool day in June, longer daylight). Need to make some sort of attempt one of these days.
Phil's challenge is interesting. I've long reckoned that there's some point of steepness where the advantages of a bicycle are offset by the fact that you're dragging that much extra weight up the hill. Not sure if that's before or after the point where it simply becomes too steep to ride (what you were dancing with when your front wheel got light, though if you get out of that saddle that particular issue goes away). I used to think that Mt. Washington was about that point, back when the cycling record and the running record were trading off, but then some better cyclists showed up and put the time out of reach of runners.
I've only ever done that road at Mt. Tom going downhill, carrying a hang glider, which wasn't a lot of fun, and which may have resulted in injury.
Downhill, carrying a hang glider -- on foot or on a bike? If the latter, that's insane (even for you), so I'll assume the former.
I think, given Phil's apparent current condition, that if he raced himself, up once on foot, up once on bike, it would be a tie. Or can one DNF outrank another?
I don't have much useful data. The only steepish hills I've done both ways are Sugarloaf, Mt. Holyoke, and Ascutney, but in each case the attempts were years apart. But given my condition right now (and especially how my butt hurts with just walking uphill), I'd be lucky to hike up yesterday's climb in 30 minutes, if I could do it at all.
Down on foot with the glider. The gate was open that day, so we drove up and dropped off our stuff, and the guy I was with hiked back up. He had to leave because he got a call that he was needed at home, and the flying... didn't work out for me. So I carried everything back down to the bottom of the B-17 road, walked back to my car that was parked at the I-91 overpass, got my little two-wheel cart (a converted firewood cart), went back to the B-17 road, and brought the gear the rest of the way back on wheels.
My guess is that 16:30 is about what I can do on foot with a hard effort. But I really don't know.
I certainly have no bike with gears that would allow me to ride up that hill. And I would be too scared to go down it on any bike I have; I am supposing that disk brakes are a must.
If you go slowly enough, probably any brakes will do. I wouldn't want to try it with a fixed gear, like on my unicycle.
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