Another go at the Mt. Ascutney climb.
Picked up Phil in South Deerfield, his training for Mt. Washington being the motivation for this outing, and headed north. Lovely day, sunny, light breeze, low 70s, though I would have been happier with 10 degrees cooler. He was running, I was biking, not clear who had the advantage. Generally the steeper it gets, the more it favors him. He can beat me on the B-17 climb on Mt. Tom (15%??), but I think I could dust him on South Sugarloaf (10%). Ascutney is about 12%.
A bit of warm-up and then at some point you can't put it off any longer, so off we went. For the first 2.5 miles (of 3.6 total) I don't think we were ever more than 50 yards apart. He'd gradually gain on me on the steeper sections, I'd gain on him a little when it was a little more gradual. Not that we were racing, just doing our own thing, rather nice to see how the other was making out.
Someplace around 2.5 miles was the first of the "flat" sections. This got me from 50 yards behind to 50 yards ahead. The next at 2.8 got me outside of sight on the curvy road. And the last one, this one actually flat -- I upshifted about 5 gears -- must have saved me a minute.
Then the last steep pitch. Very surprised to see the finish as soon as I did, also surprised to see the time (54:42), a little over a minute faster than last year. I think this was a day when I happened to have better legs. Phil came in at 56:4x, also very glad to be done.
Just to keep things in perspective, the bike record as far as I know is 24:44. Don't know what the running record is.
Overall, very pleased. And especially pleased for the outing as a whole, excellent company not just up the hill, but also on the ride up and back. That matters.
Note: This site
has a bunch of interesting stuff about climbs in the Northeast.