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Kennedy - August 14, 2009

Distance: 7.67 miles Ascent: 1986 feet Moving time: 1:10 hours

I have been feeling a bit faster lately, so it was time to check this out again. I selected Kennedy, a long unrelenting climb that I have done several times in the past, as a reasonable and useful metric. I started at the trailhead and rode to the top where it flattens out.

I have done this climb several times starting with the Turkey Ride on Thanksgiving day 2002. This has always been a challenge to just make it to the top in any fashion, but I have finally started to show some serious improvement. I remember all of the places on the trail where I "normally" took a short break to catch my breath. This includes the psychological half-way point where the oak tree is in the middle of the trail (this point is actually a bit over halfway up). I have finally gotten to the point where I can ride past all of these. I can almost made to the top, but I broke traction in the soft dust at two places very near the top on a steep climb.

While the clock says I am riding much faster and I don't need the breaks I used to, I certainly don't feel like I am flying up the hill. There are lots of times I look at the speedometer to discover I am only holding a 3 mph speed. This is still a lot faster that I used to ride (or at least maintain balance), but it still seems so slow. It is very humbling to realize that some people are going twice as fast and summit in half the time it takes me. Still, I am improving and setting a personal best each time I go there lately, so I should savor my small successes.

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