Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Old San Marcos & Gibraltar Road

Since I moved to Santa Barbara 6 years ago, I've been meaning to climb Gibralter Road with my bike. I've avoided it since I don't really bike much anymore. Which would mean there would be a lot of pain & suffering since I'm fatter, slower, less dedicated, more broken-down, and generally a lazier dude these days. Gibralter's a big, grinding 3300 foot slog over 7.7 miles with an average grade of 7.7%. It's not death defying by any means. But it looms ahead because that's after you finally reach the base of it. I've got a few choices on how to get to the beginning of the real climb. To get there, depending on the route I take, I'll add another metric shit-ton of climbing. Either way, the complete route won't be massive miles at 49.72 round trip. Those miles will be quality and I should be a little worked when I'm done. Back in the day I didn't have a sprint and I didn't have the power on the flats, but I had endurance and I could climb all fucking day. At the start of the climbs, I'd patiently let people cruise off the front with heads full of glory. Then I'd get into my rhythmn and pick em off, one by one. I really liked getting them right before the top. As they're completely spent I just cruise right past em. For a couple months now, I've been training half-assd to climb this bitch somewhere around my birthday on Septemeber 11. As a warm-up last sunday I climbed another challenging road, Old San Marcos, just to see how the legs/lungs feel. OSMR is about 1100 feet of climbing in 3 miles with a 7.5% grade. I went into it with ZERO goals and expectations and it went pretty fuckin good. All I wanted to do was see how my peice-of-shit body deals with a massive effort. My gearing needs a little help. I'm rocking a 12/23 so it was mostly an out the saddle grunt. I'd like to get a 12/28 for some seated grinding. The good news is my legs feel awesome today. I haven't felt this good pain for a long time. I'm looking forward to throwing up all over Gibraltar in about 3 short weeks.


  1. It's all about the muscle memory. You've got that in spades. All of us former cyclists do. You've also got heart. That helps. Therefore, you can train a little and ride a lot without much pain.

  2. It's all about pain. Some one told me back in the day..."if you ain't in extreme pain, you ain't goin hard enough"
    Thanks to that son of a bitch stage 20 last month...I'm about to get back in the saddle w/ a new frame set and build for a winter project.
    Good luck come 9/11.

  3. I miss sb and charging down these fuckin roads/trails

  4. Pain is good. The more I talk about this the more committed I am. Thanks for the motivation.