2015 Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hill Climb

Yesterday’s Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hill Climb was a fun event. It was the sixth time that I’ve ridden the race. I returned in 2014 after a 13 year hiatus, and wanted to do it again this year. Two weeks after I rode the race last August, I crashed and fractured my scapula. It took a while to heal, but figured this race would be part of my comeback. I’ve now raced it in 2015, 2014, 2001, 2000, 1999, and 1997. My best time was 15 years ago in 2000. I was in my late 20’s and at the peak of my road cycling fitness. My 2015 time was almost the same as my 2014 time, though I don’t know the exact time because the official results have not been posted. I rode 1:17 or so for the second year in a row, which is not bad considering I rode my commuter bike, worked all day on Friday, and we drove up late, arriving around 11:00 P.M. My Seven Axiom SL is my favorite bike, a great bike, and my best option with  a 39 x 27 gear ratio. I rode within my limits for the entire 7.6 miles, choosing not to throttle myself. The race is hard enough without blowing a gasket. Before the start, I knew I was going to hike the mountain again on Sunday with  my son, and that the final Winding Trails Summer Tri Series race is Tuesday. I couldn’t afford to be hammered for the last race of the season because I’ve got a lot on the line.

2015_Mt. Washington Bicycle Hill Climb 5

In the end, the few images that professional photographer, Joe Viger, captured say it all. The race is sheer suffering and the final 22% pitch is one of my favorite stretches of road on Earth. I was happy to pay for a few of Joe’s photos. He was in the right spot at the right time and I couldn’t take pictures of myself. I had this idea that I was going to ring my handlebar bell on that final pitch, but with the noise from the assembled crowd, no one would hear a thing. Plus, I was pulling on the bars so hard, they could have snapped right off. I totally forgot to try. I’m not sure if I could have even got my thumb into position. The road is that steep.

We had the best weather of my six races on the rock pile. It was mild and partly sunny on the summit, which was a far cry from last year’s cold and damp weather. There was a light breeze and that cooled things off a bit, but it was very tolerable. On the lower slopes, it was warm. Debbie and the kids opted to stay in the valley. I got a ride down from Bill Houle, a fellow I met at the “need a ride” board before the race. After the finish, I hung out on the summit, remaining in my shorts and short sleeves for quite some time. I didn’t even bother going in to the visitors center. I carried my vest and arm warmers up with me, but after the finish, I only put them on to be a bit more comfortable. My teammate, Tim Wern, had a fine ride. We were briefly together after a mile or so, and then he was gone. I also saw Bolton friends, Kevin Glenn and Andy Chambers. They had their own Bolton fan club, including: Laurie Brooks, Bruce Christensen, and the rest of the Chambers Family. Laurie was joined by her sister, Jane Chauvin, and her husband Marc. I saw a bunch of other friends from the New England cycling community.

2015_Mt. Washington Bicycle Hill Climb 1

After we drove down, I rode the 3.5 miles back to our campsite at Dolly Copp. I had ridden to the start early in the morning. The whole round trip with the hill climb sandwiched in the middle of my warmup and warm down was loads of fun. I’ll have to think about returning in 2016. It’s hard to imagine not doing it. I love the road. Maybe I’ll have to get a larger contingent of Horst Engineering Cycling Team mates to join me. Of course, I’ve always wanted to do the Wildman Biathlon, and I think it is the week before Mt. Washington. If I don’t return for the bicycle hill climb next year, I’ll do it again in the future.

I missed having Debbie and the kids on the top this year, but it was great to have the support from these friends. Bruce was particularly fun to be with. About two turns before the finish, he ran alongside me screaming encouragement at the top of his lungs. I felt like a pro for a moment. Of course, that is the point of riding Mt. Washington. It is a glorious hill and an amazing road. Proceeds benefit Tin Mountain Conservation Center, which is a noble cause.

Race Results

6 Responses to “2015 Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hill Climb”


  1. 1 Dani Kennedy 18 August 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Rachel Chambers, Andy’s daughter, also raced up the hill and I believe she won her age group (she’s probably 20 by now). Bolton had a great showing on the “pile of rocks!”

  2. 2 Melina Arzenda 28 August 2015 at 4:57 am

    This kind of bike is obviously the quickest option for road bike cycling as well as may be the bike of preference for racing & most skilled road bike cycling enthusiasts. Whichever design you select, when road bicycle cycling always consider making yourself apparent to other motorists by wearing reflective products and using lights. That is imperative for the safety on the highway, whatever the type of bike you select. They will get authentic information from this site. http://empireroadbikes.com/


  1. 1 2015 Winding Trails Off-Road Summer Tri Series | Life Adventures Trackback on 18 August 2015 at 11:24 pm
  2. 2 Glastenbury/West Ridge Loop & Berkshire Hills Cycling | Life Adventures Trackback on 1 May 2016 at 7:31 pm
  3. 3 Vermont Six Gaps Ride | Life Adventures Trackback on 29 May 2016 at 2:17 pm
  4. 4 2016 Wildman Biathlon | Life Adventures Trackback on 13 August 2016 at 7:10 pm

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Horst Engineering

Thread Rolling Inc.

Sterling Machine

Horst Spikes

Instagram

Start of the @root66raceseries Junior Cat 3 #FatTireClassic #mountainbike #root66 Our kids have some classmates earning #taekwondo #tkd #blackbelt #bling at today's belt test. 🇰🇷🇺🇸 Small goalie. Big goal. #soccer #futbol in the cold rain. #carfreecommute to @newburycomicsmanchester for @recordstoredayus #recordstoreday #rsd17 & #earthday Scored some rare #vinyl from #gratefuldead #pattismith #santana #brucespringsteen #pearljam & #u2 @newburycomics @linnproducts #linnsondek @seven_cycles #sevencycles #bicycle @thecubscouts #cubscouts Pack 157 #raingutterregatta @thecubscouts #cubscouts Pack 157 #raingutterregatta @thecubscouts #cubscouts Pack 157 #raingutterregatta It's nice to have someone to draft behind, even if he is only 4 feet 4 inches tall. #cycling #bicycle #teamhorstsports #horstspikes #teamhorstjuniorsquad @mikewardian just under 2:20 at the 40 kilometer mark outside Kenmore Square. Looking good. @bostonmarathon #bostonmarathon

Follow me on Twitter

Categories

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 267 other followers


%d bloggers like this: