The Pain Pool: Wading in Above the Waist

The Pain Pool: Wading in Above the Waist

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Posting on the Tour de Blast, Bob asked if any of us were doing the Climb of Death up Cougar Mountain in Issaquah, WA, a climb locals refer to as “Zoo Hill”.  Like an idiot, I registered, and have set about preparing for the event by doing very little training and blocking the event from my consciousness.  My long-term strategy was to forget about it and then call foul later when I “realized” I had missed the event.  Were it not for the fastidious planning by race organizer Joel Blatt, my plan might have worked, too.  Instead, his regular email communications and updates ensured that I was perfectly aware of the fact that the event takes place August 7th, and he even convinced me to lobby for my start position.

I’ve ridden the climb in training on many occasions, and it has never approximated anything resembling “enjoyable”.  It starts off steep and stays steep for the first 1.5 kilometers.  About halfway up, it switches into straight sections of road that, while less steep, are painful reminders of how far you’ve got left to go.  Reflecting on the number of months between me and peaking does little to reassure me that I’m ready for the climb.  I haven’t even managed to reconnoiter the route and establish a race plan.  Thinking about it, though, I realize it’s probably for the best, as recon will likely only result in the realization that having a plan will just make things worse.

I am, however, considering taking my Velomihottie‘s climbing wheels and pumping her 19mm tires to 180psi in the hopes of reducing the amount of friction induced my my too-fat-to-climb ass.  I’ve already removed one bottle cage, and I think I might remove the second; it’s not like I’m going to be taking any fluids on board. Quite the contrary: I’m hoping I don’t expunge a morning’s worth of food during the effort.

I suspect Bob might be an asshole.

// Racing

  1. @frankI’d love to come up for it…will see where things are around that time, but it would be great to have a well-trained velominati “team” placing high in the standings…

  2. @Gary lardizabal
    Gary! Welcome! Saw the pics of you in the race pics (I think they’ll be on pretty soon); you were getting your Rule #5 on as well, my man! I’m sure we’ll put in a bunch of painful k’s here together in Seattle between now and next year. Welcome to the site.

    Brasstown! Brutal! Never did it, but did my time riding in the Blueridge Mountains; brutes, those.

  3. @frank Yay my vaguely scientific approach worked… I’ll now need to go under 6 minutes for 1.5km to prove my worth

  4. @frank: congrats man, that is a killer foto w/Rule #5 implemented to the fullest extent of the law

  5. Good jarb Frank! Nice foto too.

  6. Stickers, decals, whatever. FUCKING. LOVE. THEM. Want some

    Great photo… We share your pain. In two months you will KILL this motherfucker.

  7. @frank
    Sign me up for some dee-kals or deckles. Only in this girly white, though? Would appreciate a black option. Y’know: to go with my Rule #8, black, black, black.

  8. @SteampunkYou could go with the black decals on a black frame and approximate the grandeur of Spinal Tap’s “black album,” eh?

  9. @KitCarson, @Steampunk
    Actually, my guy can make ‘em in a bunch of colors…black for sure, orange, too, I think. I’ll check with him. I probably won’t endorse the orange ones because I have a feeling they are not the “Molteni Orange” hue that KRX-10 and I so carefully chose.

  10. @KitCarson
    Um, no: black, black, black = bars, seat, wheels as per Rule #8. Frame’s gunmetal grey with black accents.

    Even better than the “Black Album”: Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues

    Colors: good. But is it possible to get one that doesn’t say F. Strack? Because that would be weird.

  11. Speakin of F Strack, I noticed there is someone posting on forums (ok, I go there occasionally for a laugh) under the moniker FrankDrack…

  12. @SteampunkYeah, I know, I was just “takin the piss” as they say! sounds like a nice ride…

  13. So do I get a shot glass?

  14. @Nathan
    is not enough to have been right? ;-)

    can I have your Jawbones, as you obviously don’t need them. Taking your post-race de-brief into account, I reckon that in your mind you were riding it as if you were race-fit and not at your current level where obviously you’re aiming to peak in a couple of months. Hence the ultimate 14 rather than the sub-13. Still good aim for next year.

  15. Hey, don’t sell me short… that would be Dutch A-hole! Great run at the ZH TT Frank, the photo is a keeper too. Luckily I have been on vacation. Indeed a healthy observance of Rule #5. Hmmm… but maybe a slight breach on Rule #7 with the arms?

    I perused the musings on “Acceptability of a Method”, hopefully some thoughts will gel.

  16. @Bob
    YOU ARE A FUCKING DUTCHMAN? I knew I liked you. The world owes us Dutch a debt of gratitude, that’s for sure. Absent among them, however, is the recommendation to ride the Zoo Hill TT. A fucking foray into the Pain Cave with no flashlight, that is.

    That said, at the recommendation of various community members, perhaps we shall convene next year for this Rule #5 Fest? I’m all for it. We all have something like 11.932344 months to peak for it. There’s no excuse to miss it, really.

    If nothing else has come of this, at least our mates at BigRingRiding have recongnized the effort.

  17. That is pretty select company you’re keeping there on BIGRINGRIDING’s blog

  18. This mountain time trial stuff is a different bird. Last minute preparation probably should have excluded the hot dog, cheeseburger, potato salad, and numerous Newcastles at last nights bbq. Held my own anyhow this morning and had Rule #5, a Velominati jersey, and a mental image of Frank from his TT to pull me through. Climbing on a group ride is one thing when you have others to share the pace, but TT climbing is a sick head game as those of you who have done so might agree, and I think I like it. It pretty much requires a heavy dose of Rule #5. Hopefully a decent cadre of Velominati will make it for next years Climb of Death.

  19. The British Universities Hill Climb is coming up this weekend… Here… I will be riding, and hoping to take at least 30 seconds off last years time (if I do, that will be top 20ish). Of course it all depends on how well the taper from this gruelling training schedule goes…

  20. @Nathan
    Good luck, mate! I assume that by “grueling training schedule” you mean “drinking 7 pints a day” and by “tapering” you mean “I stopped drinking full stop and now I’m spending 3 hours a day on the turbo trainer”?

  21. @Nathan
    The British Universities Hill Climb is coming up this weekend…

    Report! Report!

  22. @frank
    7 pints of water maybe… actually no… I haven’t drunk a “pint” for a long time, don’t really drink… anyway, gruelling training schedule is 15 hours a week of hard riding.


    Some kinda report on Durham Uni Cycling Club

    I did ok, can blame the car that stopped in front of me for messing up my run into the finish… I wasted too much energy screaming “MOVE” at it, and tied up in the last 100m.

  23. @Nathan
    Nice look there young chap. Very classy, full Rule compliance, and wasp inhalation. Chapeau. Good choice on the Molteni cap as well. Looks like a nice late fall day in Jolly Olde England. Did you get new pedals?

  24. @Marko
    I did, Outland Look Delta compatibles…
    The weather was better than last year, when it was damp so out of the saddle climb meant losing energy in slipping the rear tyre, which suits me, because I clip up climbs better in the saddle with a high cadence.
    One thing I did forget here, was to put my track mitts on… getting off the turbo to the start was a slick manoeuvre in which I forgot to put them on, but was there exactly 1 minute before my start… perfect :)

  25. @frank
    How is the training going to break 13 minutes this year?

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