West Hills Challenge 2011: The Beautiful Climb

Wow, still not the Red Lantern, 53rd out of 59.  I eased by Sarah so that was fun.  No, she has no idea who I am or that I am climbing the hills around about her time.

The really fun part of today was that this was an absolutely beautiful hill to climb.  Vistas, houses, trees, fun switchbacks, it had it all.

Technical details, well, I ate a little at the top, a bit late.  My legs came back half way home, these jaunts are getting me out there and I will have a day off this weekend to recuperate and then it is off to Climb #5 the last one.

West Hills Challenge #3, Almost the Red Lantern, Still Faster Than a Chicken

I am 60 out of 62, according to the Strava logs, riders who have recorded this climb this year.  In the competition I am 38th of 39 and Sarah has recorded a time faster than I did.  Sure Sarah is faster than I am, and undoubtedly sweeter and nicer, and I have no idea who Sarah is, but I was just faster than her in an earlier climb and as she is with Green Submarine Racing  I held out hope I wasn’t hopeless.

And then there was the chicken.  I am not the Red Lantern, escaping that distinction by one place, although I am not embarrassed if I end up there.  I am competing and that is enough, and who knows what might happen.  I believe the chicken was befriended by Sarah earlier and chased me as a result of my closing on Sarah’s time OR it chased me because I was turning the cranks over so slowly it thought it could catch me.  I flat outran the chicken and so leave this ride with my dignity intact.


Today I learned to use my Strava Android App correctly.  I recorded my whole ride for this first time and allowed Strava to cut out the competition part automatically.  I am really liking how this app works although I think for the love I am giving it I should get a 10 second time bonus.

Ride #2 West Hills Challenge 2011

I finally figured out how to add myself to the Strava West Hills Challenge 2011.

From the Peloton: today’s excuse is that I haven’t ridden a bike in a week and haven’t trained all summer.  And the Rivendell Atlantis failed me, it refused to shift into the low range of the triple.  I am sure that it remains spiritually one with me as I believe it is out of adjustment from when I caught the chain in between the gears and the frame.  No “Check Engine” light here.

Reality: I was lucky to get home on the 35 Mile Loop as I had a slow leak and even slower legs.

How am I doing?  I am 41st of 44 on this Category 3 climb, yes, it was shorter yet steeper than the last climb.  And for those who simply are recording it and not in the competition, I am 94th out of 110.  And the hills are getting farther from Portland.  Pedal On!

Ride #1 West Hills Challenge 2011

This morning I rode the first of the five West Hills Challenge Rides for 2011, a Category 2 climb.


  1. I was already going to do the last climb up from the level Hwy 30 because in addition to the climb I get the ups and downs of Skyline Blvd on the way home.
  2. I am not built as a hill climber but I learned touring that hills are what are always there, so I no longer avoid them, and having a goal to try some hills gets me right up and out there.
  3. I want to do some long distance rides before the end of summer, Mt. Hood/Hood River, Salem, Seattle and while I won’t train enough to justify trying these, I might as well do something to get ready.
  4. Did somebody say competition against myself?

Only two rides under my belt this summer (not going to get my bike dirty,  tired of always cleaning it with everyday commuting, I rode both dry days) I placed 72nd out of 92.

I don’t care, I got out, I rode the hill, I am active in a competition, at the end of the summer I hope to have them done.  If you are out there, let’s meet for a beer at the end of August and recount all of them. My current excuses include the dog, the branch, the dirt on my bike, my current shoulder injury, my lack of training time, the cold and my weight being the highest it has been in over three years.

West Hills Challenge 2011

This from Portland Velo:

West Hills Challenge 2011

Upper Echelon is happy to announce The West Hills Challenge 2011. This is a an event using Strava.com to record times for climbing the popular training routes in the West hills of Portland.  The competition is now open and the climbs must be completed before the end of August 2011.

How? You only need a GPS device (Garmin, iPhone, etc) to record your climbing performance. Upload your ride data to Strava and your climbing time will be recorded and added to your results sheet on the events page.  Easy!  You have over two months to complete the 5 hills.  If you have questions, contact us and we will help.
Prizes: Awards for top GC (combined times for each climb) and for Stage Wins. Prize info coming soon!

When: Now until August 31st, 2011

Who: Open to anyone!  Competition is FREE.  Register here:  http://app.strava.com/events/147/news

Questions? Contact Russell at Upper Echelon.   Russell@upperechelonfitness.com

If you are interested in purchasing a Garmin, we have special pricing available if you mention this event!

Stages (no need to complete them any a particular order):

Stage 1:  NW Saltzman Road: strava.com/segments/254905/
Stage 2:  NW Newberry Road:  strava.com/segments/626980/
Stage 3:  NW McNamee Road:  strava.com/segments/624499/
Stage 4:  NW Logie Trail:  strava.com/segments/625695/
Stage 5:  Rocky Point:  strava.com/segments/634058/

If you have questions about how this works, let me know.  Thank you!