Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Unnofficial Berkshire Challenge

Berkshire is a climb that is probably used more than all others for us east siders. It is also a do all training hill. Max efforts, tempo, threshold, over gears, repeats, you name it, they can be done on this hill. Its also the bailout hill for when your coming home tanked, bombed, bonked, etc. I say take Shaker if your dead cause its over before you know it, but Berkshire is not as steep, but much longer.

So anyways, I am reading a blog of a Cleveland cyclist and the blogger has set himself a goal of breaking a personal record up Berkshire Rd. by a certain date. That reminded me of Noel once asking me months ago what I did bottom to top and I didnt know. Then not a week after reading the blog Brett asked me if I have ever timed myself up it. That was last week. This got me thinking about a fun challenge. What if people who ride it from the bottom at Chagrin River Road (where the pavement changes color) all the way to the stop sign (and you must stop) time themselves and post their times here as Comments?

Then I will keep editing the post all throughout the summer. Maybe make it from now till September 30th. Fastest time will win absolutely nothing but the admiration of your peers, or maybe a Cliff bar.

I can think of only three simple safety rules!! Please try and start the climb no faster than 15mph as you roll off of CRR and start your watch right at the pavement color change. I think a rolling start is safer then someone stopped trying to get pumped up for the start.

Next, do not blow by the stop sign at the top. Stop your watch as you come to a complete stop at the stop sign.

And last, but not least take no chances or do anything dumb!! In fact in the spirit of this silly competition (oh-crap-that blows the deal-competition) I think it best if you try and not plan too hard on when to do it. Just do it on the way home from a ride. But, if you must ride there, drop your bottles just to do it go right on ahead.

You can post anonymously and even post details if you care like temperature and wind direction, what bike, tires, tire pressure tried this time, full bottles, your weight, bike weight, etc. Anything you want because this is just for giggles and bragging rights. Its even more fun if you post more than once as you get faster over the summer. And dont be afraid to post if your time isnt close to the top times.

I finally timed myself up it on the way home from doing intervals last week and I went up zone 2 and never broke 215 watts. But if I dont post a time, then who will?

Anyone care to guess what the record will be?


5/25 Ian Hoffman 7:07
5/24 Mark Erdmann 8:10
5/7 Ray Huang 6:11
5/1 Ian Hoffman 7:20
5/1 Steve 6:53
4/24 Ray Huang 7:27
4/07 JC 8:54
4/? Brett Davis 7:25


Feel It: The Factory Rider said...

That's pretty fast!

PolishPostal said...

Do you following stats appear correct?

1.88 miles
340 ft of climb
3.4% avg grade

JimmyNick said...

Can you spot me a slight handicap and let me use my time down the hill instead of up?

Ray Huang said...

jimmynick-anything you want!!

polishpostal-I think thats right. Was that from a Garmin or Polar? Mapmyride isnt super accurate I dont think.

robert-I am hoping people have fun with this and someone sets a ridiculous time one perfect summer day!! One that makes us go....HOLY Crap!!

JC Sell said...

I guess I started this craziness. But, lot's of fun, eh?

Check it out: http://bicyclingbuzz.blogspot.com/2008/04/goals-update-berkshire-road-gettin.html

PS: Careful, oncoming traffic at the first stop sign doesn't stop!


Ray Huang said...

jc sell-yes this is all your fault!! I'll put your time up if you dont mind.

Steve said...

I like the idea! I tried it today, and worked my butt off for a 6:53. I'm just glad you didn't decide to do a Cedar Rd. climb challenge.

Ian Hoffman said...

7:20 last night with the tri bike, though I"m not sure how much that helps uphill.

Investment Biker said...

I did a 7:25, 7:35, 7:30 series a few weeks back. Recovery was down Old Mill and South on River back to Berkshire. Later, Brett

Ray Huang said...

Full bottles, heavy shoes and bad legs and all I did 6:11 last night. I think with a more bonzai late braking stop for the Old Mill Stop sign I could lop off 1 second..hahaha!!

Please keep the times coming in, this is fun!!

JimmyNick said...

4:54 on my old Miyata converted to a fixie with a 53 x 12. And a weight vest. And tires half full. Right after eating chili and doing some peyote. F--kin' beautiful, man.

Ian Hoffman said...

5/25 7:07

Mark Erdmann said...

That's great guys, ok so back to reality. 8:10 after a 50 mile ride Saturday morning.

Ray Huang said...

Repeated my 6:11 today. I was on my road bike with a heavy wheelset and a full bottle of water. I felt good starting and maybe was a bit flat on and after the steep pitch in the middle. 327 ave watts and 19mph ave speed. Hopefully i can hit it again soon.

Kevin said...

This is great. I usually head downhill on Berkshire while doing Old Mill repeats. I'll have to record one of my glacial speed ascents.

Kirtland Chardon Road is my personal fitness gauge hill.

A couple very short pieces of duct tape at the side of the road work pretty well for marking an unofficial course. You can even mark the 200m to go. Amazingly, the duct tape can last for several seasons.

wombatgrrl said...

I broke into the range of the guys on my second attempt! 8:22.... Now I have Mark Erdmann in my sights.

Ray Huang said...

Great job Wombatgrrl. I am going to switch up the finish line by popular request. I may have to go out with a spray paint can and just put a little mark on the side of the road in green or orange by one of the trees that lines the finish area on the right.

JC Sell said...

7:50 on Berksire today!