The Pain Pool: Wading in Above the Waist
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.