Grant 1, Hill of Doom 0
I managed my first summiting of the dreaded Hill of Doom last evening. That's it, above. Have you ever seen anything so ugly? I can't stand to look at it, frankly.
And yes, to answer my own question, it's a hell of a lot easier on a mountain bike than on my old trekking bike. That's me, at left, taking a breather afterward. (The sign commemorates the number of attempts I made before I actually made it to the top the first time.)
I always had to stand up on my old bike to get up the hill, and the size of my tires and my gear ratio would mean I would fly ahead of my mountain-biking compatriots. But it wasn't of my choosing or because I was a great hill climber. My bike couldn't do it any other way. And I can honestly say it took every ounce of energy and muscle and breath to finally make it to the top.
I had to try many times with my old bike before I could finally do it.
I made it to the top last night sitting down the whole way.
The Hill of Doom is almost 1 kilometer long. It begins on the road V Šáreckém údolí and connects to Hanspaulka. It twists and turns. It's semi-paved. There are two or three stretches that must be around 15% gradient. I hate them with all my heart. I wish I had some sort of meter to truly measure their steepness.
The entrance to Hell.
Somehow, the Hill of Doom has became some sort of psychological bogeyman. It taunts me and insults me and dares me to scale it. It probably doesn't look like much to most people, and really good cyclists probably summit it every day without giving it a second thought.
It is a monster. But last night, at least, I slew the beast.
My ride stats:
Distance of ride: 16 kms
Length of ride: 59 min.
Maximum speed: 34.8 kph
Average speed: 16.2 kph
Distance for 2007: 261.25 kms
It was a short ride. I ran out of daylight. Too much time spent at the bike shop.
"Do you know what 'sloppy' means?"
Before my ride last night, I stopped at my local bike shop to complain about the poor work they had done on my bike last week. One of the guys there was very apologetic, said something about one of their regular mechanics being away in New Zealand or something and having to hire inexperienced replacement(s).
He was nice enough to fix my upside-down odometer on the spot, and give me a replacement reflector. He found my old handlebars (or a set pretty similar) and gave them to me. Unfortunately, I didn't have the wrong-size tube they sold me with me, so I'll get that replaced on another day.
Jeez. I'd switch shops if only they weren't so convenient to where I live.
A beautiful little church -- Sv. Matej, or Saint Matthew's -- that looks out over the valley and V Šáreckém údolí that connects Podbaba to Jeneralka.