After a year of being first burned out, then taking time off to avoid a foot infection, crashing hard and remodeling my kitchen, I have finallyh found my climbing legs and the love of up again.
Today, I took Jessica J, my custom road fixie. for a spin on Skyline Blvd of Portland's West Hills. Put the climbing bars, levers and brake calipers on. Left the house in 42-16. Flipped it to the 22 to get to the elevation of the start of Skyline. Back to the 16 for the near flat mile to Skyline and the next several climbs of Skyline (to the Skyline Pub above Germantown Road). Turned around and did the climb from Cornell Road and Skyline to the radio towers before Burnside. None of these climbs took me anywhere near my limit and all were fun. At Barnes and Skyline, I stopped and swapped the 22 for a 12. The next two descents were fun!
This was possibly the first time I have set Jessica J up for climbing since the 4 hilly days of Cycle Oregon last year. (Almost 24,000 feet in four days in nothing lower than a 42-23.) I had almost forgotten what a great setup I had. (Fairly deep, really wide pista bars and levers set in the middle of the bar curve and horizontal. The levers are no-name V-brake levers with really long hoods, Nicely rounded underside of body body and lever. Great climbing handles! And seated riding the tops of track bars? Doesn't get any better! Downhill, the wide bars may not be aero and "fast" but on a fixie, really wide means more control and therefore in real terms - fast. And those V-brake levers paired with Shimano dual-pivots give less braking power than standard setups which at speed and pedalling 150+ is really confidence inspiring.
I'm in love again - with the hills and with my sweet Jessica J.