Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Harding Time Trial 2013

This past weekend was the 2013 Harding Time Trial put on by Saw Sports Productions and Linked Cycling. In the time trial spirit my goal was to better my time from last year (1:04). The 9.2 mile climb up Harding is one of the popular fire road climbs in the Santa Ana Mountains of Orange County. It starts off with a steep 10% grade for the first mile, drops to an 8% grade through mile 5, and then to a 5% grade for the last half of the climb. Harding's always a tough climb - but doing it at threshold and having come down with a head cold the week before - I knew it was going to be an even tougher one hour suffer fest.

For the first half I was able to match my splits only missing last year's time by 13 seconds (37:15 vs. 37:02) and even beating my mile 1 time by 24 seconds. I felt I was keeping a solid pace continuing into the second half but eventually slowed down on the last section due to snow and ice on certain sections of the trail. My second half of the climb ended up just shy of 3 minutes slower than last year's time resulting in a total time of 1:06:53. The bike that took me up Harding was my trusty MXYBB.

There's always next year...or tomorrow considering you can always test yourself with a time trial - right? I guess the difficult part is making yourself ride hard for an hour straight when you're not in a race environment. The geek in me likes looking at numbers so below is a graph showing elevation, heart rate, power, and speed as well as a chart showing the results of the 8 times I've climbed Harding since I started using Strava in late 2011. The first two on the list are the time trial results from 2012 and 2013.

A section of the course near 4 corners from Thurs, 2/20....a bit of this melted
Friday and the rest turned to mud, ice, and crusty goodness to ride through!

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