On my second attempt, I made it to the top of Lookout Mountain in Golden. This is a 4.5 mile at a 5.4% grade that would be classified as a “category 2” climb. For me, it is a 14.6 mile ride from my house to the “pillars” which mark the start of the climb. Keep in mind, my usual training ride is about 15 miles.
As described by Russell Harding, the climb can be broken up into 3 sections. I had managed the first third of the climb on my last attempt. I also managed part of the second third which heads past the “M” and cruised along for a little ways on the flat sections before doubling back. The final third is what I tackled today. I made it to the parking lot at Windy Saddle and felt reasonably comfortable. Windy Saddle is a point my cycling buddy pointed out as an intermediate goal.
Several riders on the climb were very supportive as they zipped past me, so I decided to go ahead and push on. The hill climb “officially” ends at Buffalo Bill’s gravesite and museum. Had I known this, I probably would have rested there and cruised down back down. As it turns out, I was still looking for a peak and continued on to the entrance of Mount Vernon Country Club. From the pillars to the country club, I marked 7.15 miles in 66 minutes. I guess I will have to go back to determine my pillar to post time.
Past the country club, I headed east on US40 and made my way back to Golden. I took a rest room break and topped off the water bottles in Golden and then headed back to Arvada. Overall, I paced myself and fueled well during the ride. Nearly 4 hours is a long time to be in the saddle, but I really enjoyed being outside and challenging myself.
42.4 miles (3:50)
98 watts average power
126 watts normalized power
135 watts 60 minute peak power