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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
That Chabot-Brandon Hill Climb TT idea-wkly, bi-monthly, mthly?

I started this new thread because the other one was getting long and began on another subject....
Anyway in that other thread on Lake Chabot.....D.Ambrose proposed the following in his post...
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Subject- Here's a thought...
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"Maybe we should have a hillclimb race up the Brandon Grade (first or second bench)."

"Not to see whose a faster climber that day, but mostly just to push ourselves. With a few others there doing the same thing, I'm thinking we'd all have a little more incentive to push ourselves to a faster pace than normal."

"Afterwards we can do a Lake Chabot weekday evening ride or something. I know several decent loops of varying length and difficulty through the area. (One of my favorites is combining Lake Chabot, Redwood Park and Joaquin Miller - about 35 miles.)"
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While some people may have reservations about doing 35 miles after 6:00 PM, or anytime for that matter, it sounds as though several people have expressed some interest in the idea of a small group-personal TT (time trial) on some kind of weekly or bi-monthly or monthly basis.

I think it was well put when he stated......." mostly just to push ourselves. With a few others there doing the same thing, I'm thinking we'd all have a little more incentive to push ourselves to a faster pace than normal."

I think its a good idea, that could give everyone some mini fitness goal, no matter what their age or fitness level..... New riders and those who have been climbing that grade for years would get an incentive with a group involved.
Every week might be too often, but perhaps twice a month might gather some interest from lots of riders aside from the 4 or 5 that have already expressed some interest and are already clocking themselves up that grade. I think interest could grow and who knows, it could attract a dozen or more....
It could be an interesting reason to meet, do the climb, rest a few minutes and then anyone intested in doing a 15 or 35 mile loop could do so with others so inclined and who had the time........realizing that riders of all sizes, shapes, ages and fitness levels may be able to do the climb at their own pace but may not be able to ride longer loops.

If it caught on, people could even handicap the climb like the golfers do down below....
With 15 min climbers taking off 2 minutes prior to the 13 min climbers and those 2 minutes ahead of the 11 min climbers... That way everyone (except the first guy) would have someone up ahead to psychologically "pull" them up the hill as they tried to close the gap. And the first guy could recruit a new 16 min climber to go ahead of him.
Done correctly, after everyone honed their times,.....it could make for everyone finishing within 30 to 60 seconds of each other at the top....
And everyone who did well on their own personal time-scale would be a winner. A real incentive for getting in better shape.

As to the starting and stopping point on that climb....
I always begin my time just as my wheel clears the entry posts at the edge of the paved golf parking lot........and then, though I check my progress at that first bench a little past the mid point, I don't click my stopwatch until I pass the last tree on the left right at the top. Actually that "last tree on the left" is about 10 to 12 seconds short of the bench at the top but is used by many riders since it is a well defined point right next to the trail....
But using the bench at the top could also be good since everyone is aware of it and may not have noticed the last tree on the left. Either one is OK.

The only trouble if this group climb became popular, is that there is only so much space on that bench at the top for people to collapse on, gasping for air, after riding to the edge of death and exhaustion :)

I begin my riding around 5:00 from the Oakand end of the park but could ride over to show up at the bottom of the hill around 6:00 PM on Wednesdays.........
Anything from every Wednesday to a couple times a month, perhaps the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month would be OK for me. Even once a month, like on the 1st Wednesday of every month could be fun.....

What works for everyone else?

And give us some thoughts about who would be willing to show up. Include some of your friends if you think they would come along....
Lets see if the responses indicate that we might get 5 or more particpants......

But please, remember, there will be random drug tests administered at the top, so no THG or EPO allowed. Jolt soda is OK
 

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Sounds like a good idea to me!

Wednesdays or Thursdays would work for me. Twice a month sounds good too. I normally start my rides between 5/5:30-6pm (I get off work at 4:30pm). I could be at the golf course by 6(ish... give or take a few minutes. I ride there from home).

I have at least one friend who would definitely be interested (he's challenged me to the same exact thing in the past), and possibly a few others.

There's lots of options for loops to ride afterwards. You're right, after a hill climb/dirt time trial a 35 miler may not be ideal (at least not a fast one).

Of course, it won't be much longer before we'll need to start bringing lights regardless of the loop length. :)

So anyway, count me in!
 

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If you do it on Wed, I'd try to join in. I get to the Nike classroom before 6pm, and reach the Golf course gate to Brandon by 6:15pm roughly.

Either way, let us know when you plan on setting it up.
 

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I'll try it

I've been up that hill but never timed it. Wednesdays would work for me. Let me know.

The only TT thing I've ever done is the East Ridge/West Ridge loop (counterclockwise). It's a great workout if you push yourself. I always thought it would be fun to try that with other riders ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Chabot this Wed. sounds like its OK for most people

No day, date or time is going to be perfect for everyone but we've got to pick one to start the ball rolling.

It sounds as though most people can do it on this Wednesday at 6:00 PM. This is the first Wednesday of the month and could be a regular thing. We could also add the 3rd Wednesday of every month if enough people want to show up.
After people make their wishes known the time could be adjusted earlier or later in the afternoon, although as Fall approaches, any later will become a problem.

Meet at the bottom of the hill in the golf course parking lot. After a few minutes people could start taking off on their runs. There could be a semi staggered start so that less experienced folks could end up at the top about the same time as the more experienced riders.
Finish line can be either the bench at the top (not the midpoint bench) or the last tree on the left just prior to the bench. Most people are more familiar with the bench.

A note of caution here......
This is a self timed ride up the hill. Everyone is on their own pace and should only go as fast as their health and previous riding allows. From reading some of the posts on this and the other Lake Chabot thread, we can see that several riders may have only been riding a few months. Others have been riding longer but have seldom pushed themselves far outside their comfort zone. This climb is not the place to suddenly, for the first time, find out where your absolute maximum limits are. A gradual lowering of your time over months is much safer.
Also those over 40, or anyone with high blood pressure, or excessive weight, or any family history of cardiovascular problems, or any other medical conditions should take care to follow their own doctors medical advice regarding strenous activity.
I'm just giving out the same advice I use with my less active friends when I take them for a ride. We're all in our mid 50's and many of them have one of the above conditions...mostly weight, and high blood pressure. In fact I wouldn't take any of them up this climb even at a slow pace because just this one climb would be all they could do for the day. Seriously.....
This is just meant to be a fun, self paced, climb like any other group ride.

Of course for all those for whom the above advice doesn't apply and who regularly push themselves hard.............feel free to.....Go for it! :)

Let us know who's showing up and if the time works OK.... Bring along a few friends... The more the better
 

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Sounds great. I'll try my best to get there by 6pm. I timed myself Sunday morning, and it takes me 10 mn from the Rangers station to the Golf course gate so that'll probably be doable. I also finally broke 15mns (by a few seconds) yesterday huffing and puffing all the way up.
 

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I'm in Sunnyvale and normally don't finish early enough to make it over there by 6pm, but I'll see if I can make it either this time or next.

I've done the hill twice, never timed, probably not that fast. First time was solo, second time was with two other friends, one of which I was able to catch and pass 2/3rds of the way up. Of course, I don't think he was racing and neither was I, at least until I saw him start to fade ;)
 

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Chabot tomorrow? (Wed 8/4)

6pm at the bottom of Brandon. I'll be there (unless I get caught at work late).

I rode at the lake tonight and saw a surprising number of other mtb'rs out on the trails. I passed 9 total (4 of them on Brandon).

I also timed myself going up Brandon. I pushed, but didn't go all out. I was surprised. I did better than I expected. Then I took Redtail into Bort Meadow, wandered around a bit and made my way to Golden Rod. 23 miles total from my door and back. It was a good ride.

Also, my buddy is leading a Lake Chabot BTCEB ride on Wednesday now. So if you can't make the tt/hc by 6pm, give his ride a try if you can:

WED AUG 4th
Ride Rating: T3/S6/O6 (intermediate)
WEEKLY WEDNESDAY RIDE AT LAKE CHABOT
13 to 20 mi w/1,500' to 2,000' of climbing. Meet at 6:15 p.m. in the parking lot across from the public safety offices at Lake Chabot in Castro Valley (up the long driveway to the right of the main marina entrance - 17930 Lake Chabot Road). We leave by 6.30 p.m. to ride. Join us for a casual, no drop ride as we explore the trails around Lake Chabot most every Wednesday evening. The ride may vary from week to week and based upon the desire of those who show. Please RSVP if you plan to show up, else ride may change w/o notice. Contact Ride Leader: Email: Paul Oellerich or (510) 727-0613
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Today...Chabot Climb...Everyone welcome

D.Ambrose said:
6pm at the bottom of Brandon. I'll be there (unless I get caught at work late).
I also timed myself going up Brandon. I pushed, but didn't go all out. I was surprised. I did better than I expected.
Looks nice and sunny today but not HOT. I'll rider over from Oakland in time to give myself a little rest prior to the "climb".

I rode up it twice on Sunday. A little slower track than in the fall after the rain hardens up the dust areas, but not that bad for this time of the year. Certainly better than right after the tractor-grader guy goes over it. Nothing like what they did to Redtail this year.....cough, cough!!

" I pushed, but didn't go all out. I was surprised. I did better than I expected. "

Sounds ominous. Just in case, I'll wear my AARP jersey to provide solace for my potentially bruised ego :)

Anyway......Everyone bring along anyone who might like to join in.... Would especially like to see some others in the 50+ age group.... Even 40+
Today could provide a good bench mark for future improvement if this turns into a regular meeting.
 

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This may be a little late

This may be a little late, but it looks like I'm stuck at work for a bit.

Hope to still make it, but don't wait up!
 

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D.Ambrose said:
This may be a little late, but it looks like I'm stuck at work for a bit.

Hope to still make it, but don't wait up!
Too bad, you missed out. We had a good turnout tonight (5 of us were there), and somehow the trails were full. There was a group of about 10 riders that went right before us. The best part is that most of us set personal best up Brandon. Hopefully, we can do it again in 2 weeks. Overall, it was a great ride.
 

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Great ride

Thanks for setting this up! Couldn't believe how many riders there were at Chabot today. Zorg, Mike, and I did a nice loop around the lake after the TT. I'm already wondering how hard it will be to beat today's time. TT #2 on Aug 18 would work for me.
 

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Awesome you guys! Glad to hear you had a good ride, and sorry I missed ya.

I ended up working late and didn't hit the trails until about 7-7:30pm, and took my lights with me.

I hope to make the next one!
 

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You guys going to post some times? There's no way I'm going to make a 6:00 start, but that doesn't mean I can't chase the clock.

I hit 13:27 last week (to the bench), with intermediate times of ~5:30 cresting the trail (when you switch from the west facing side of the hill to the east facing side of the hill) and somewhere shy of 9:00 to the bench at the reflective "No Bikes" sign (just before the big rain rut).

I think 13:00 won't be too much of a problem for me, but I'm curious if I'll ever see a sub-12:00 time.
 

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Speedüb Nate said:
You guys going to post some times? There's no way I'm going to make a 6:00 start, but that doesn't mean I can't chase the clock.

I hit 13:27 last week (to the bench), with intermediate times of ~5:30 cresting the trail (when you switch from the west facing side of the hill to the east facing side of the hill) and somewhere shy of 9:00 to the bench at the reflective "No Bikes" sign (just before the big rain rut).

I think 13:00 won't be too much of a problem for me, but I'm curious if I'll ever see a sub-12:00 time.
Did 13'40" last night, and I probably won't be able to go much faster. BigTrees and another guy did about the same if I remember correctly, but Chester kicked everybody's butt at 10'10". He was flying up the hill! Furthermore, last night's conditions were near perfect. It was probably in the low 70s and there was a group of 7-8 slower riders that went before us, so that we always had to somebody in our line of sight to catch up. You should really consider taking off from work early one of these days. That was a lot of fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK, here's more analysis than you probably need :)

Speedüb Nate said:
You guys going to post some times? There's no way I'm going to make a 6:00 start, but that doesn't mean I can't chase the clock.

I hit 13:27 last week (to the bench), with intermediate times of ~5:30 cresting the trail (when you switch from the west facing side of the hill to the east facing side of the hill) and somewhere shy of 9:00 to the bench at the reflective "No Bikes" sign (just before the big rain rut).

I think 13:00 won't be too much of a problem for me, but I'm curious if I'll ever see a sub-12:00 time.
Too bad you couldn't make it. With the group motivation and nice conditions, I'm sure you would have had a good chance to go under 13:00 on Wednesday night. Everyone did better than expected. Zorg was about a full minute faster! Certainly he gets the prize for the greatest improvement. And with slightly better "track" conditions in the early Fall, less dust powder and loose dirt after the first hopefully mild rain dries to a hard smooth harder surface, you could expect another ? 10 or even 15 ? seconds off.. Actually this Summer's track is better than most Summers. Some years when the tractor/grader guy gets too agressive in May and churns up more soil, then around August and September all the loose stuff turns into deep powder. This year there are some sections of not too deep powder which almost unnoticed steal a bit of speed, but they are minimal for this time of year and on the positive side there are several sections of smooth real-hard surface, especially on that long flat section up near the top.

Oh, about your time and the splits.... If you did 13:27 and were almost at 9:00 at the first bench, then I'd say you are saving too much for the last section.
In the past, I've normally timed myself to the last tree on the left about, which is about 10 to 14 seconds prior to the top bench, depending on the riders speed, but using the ratios I had for Wednesdays climb, I can give you some idea about ratios that seem to produce good results for me.
On this climb from the gate at the bottom to the bench at the top my first section was 6:16 to 6:17 and the top section was therefore 3:53 or 3:54
The total was 10:10 with my normal timing point at the last tree on the left being 9:59

So my approximate ratios were 61.8% and 38.2%
For your 13:27 that would mean about 8:19 at the first bench turn and finishing up with about 5:08 for the second section. I usually think of it in terms of 5/8 +3/8..= 8/8= 1
I've found if I go too fast on the lower section up to the first bench, and then need to expend energy right after that up that steeper "rain-rut" section, that by the time I get to that long almost flat section, I don't have the "snap" in my legs to take advantage of the speedy section. If you can get speed going on that section, you can really take off some time prior to hitting that last climb to the end.
A few times when I went too fast down below, I've just died on the top section adding as much as 20 extra seconds to a fast time for that section, far outweighing anything I had gained by going faster on the lower section.

And if you go too slow up to the first bench at the 5/8s mark, then no matter how fresh you are, you have too little distance to make up time you lost below.
So it is a balancing act.....
Obviously I've thought about this climb a bit TOO much over the past Fall and Spring when the track is especially fast..... :)
Experiment with what ratio works best for you.
BTW......I only take one interim time at that first bench, and I don't look at my time on my watch until that point, otherwise it plays havoc with my brain and motivation causing premature tiredness.....and perceived fatigue (when it isn't real)

So thats my analysis......Keep us updated on your progress even if you can't make one of our meetings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Was a good first time for this event

zorg said:
Did 13'40" last night, and I probably won't be able to go much faster. BigTrees and another guy did about the same if I remember correctly, but Chester kicked everybody's butt at 10'10". He was flying up the hill! Furthermore, last night's conditions were near perfect. It was probably in the low 70s and there was a group of 7-8 slower riders that went before us, so that we always had to somebody in our line of sight to catch up. You should really consider taking off from work early one of these days. That was a lot of fun.
I have to agree with you about last night's conditions... Temperature was ideal, very little wind if any, and as you noted we had unbelieveable luck in having 8 to 10 "rabbits" go just ahead of us.
Of course, they didn't realize they were rabbits, (and certainly weren't racing up the hill) but nevertheless it provided a real psychological benefit to have someone always just up ahead to catch. I began catching some of these unwitting rabbits about half way up the hill and from then onward, I don't remember feeling so tired.. Its like magic how someone up ahead takes away the soreness.
Along with Dwight, Big Trees, Mike, yourself and me, there were more riders on the climb last night than I've ever seen on that hill before.

I did think afterwards that those group riders must have wondered who these "nuts" were, completely exhausting themselves, as we gasped for air while passing them.
Speaking to one of them later, I explained that we were doing a time-trial and don't normally go up climbs with such effort expended.
They were a nice local group who normally do road rides, but decided to do some trails for a change of pace. They're the Cherry City Cyclists Bicycle Club.
A very nice group with riders of all ages, shapes, genders, and conditioning.
Since they do almost all road riding, I'd never heard of them before, but they are mostly from right here in Castro Valley, San Leandro, and Hayward.
You can Google "Cherry City Cyclists" and check them out. Lots of group rides and they welcome everyone on most of the rides....Members and non-members.

Like you said, given the conditions we had last night, both physical and psychological, we'll all be hard pressed to top our times......but lets try anyway....
You really smashed your previous best with about a full minute drop in time if I remember correctly....so perhaps next time you can look for another 10 or 15 seconds.....
Drain that water bottle for less ballast :)
I think even without the added "rabbits" we encountered last night, that the staggered start works well, as it allows for everyone to finish within one minute of each other at the top......all equally exhausted and prepared to rest for a bit.
If we can all show up again, with perhaps another one or two new folks, and D.Ambrose & friends, we could have perhaps 7 or 8+ riders next time.
That would be fun.....
Looking forward to the next time.....
 
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