30 Days of Writing: Day 8, An Inhuman Climb

Today, I rode a climb up Tagaytay, Sungay In the Philippines. It’s an inhuman climb, with gradients at 15% in the straighter sections and up to 25% in the corners. It’s a climb that is difficult to walk on, never mind riding a bike though.

It’s often at the edge of our ability that every thing we put in matters. While I’ve been religiously training on the bike for the past few months, and I’ve been using a road bike for two years, the Sungay climb’s ridiculous gradients exposed me.

It’s all the little things - me not having cleats means I couldn’t do a “pull” action with my hamstrings, me having a backpack means it’s harder for me to sit up straight, me having brought a camera means I have more weight which gravity likes.

While I was able to get away with all of those things at 10% to 12%, when it comes the highest level, I floundered.

This is what I love about cycling and generally being in the mountains: you’ll get exposed if you didn’t squeeze the juice from the stone.

I can say that from a technical standpoint, I failed in that climb. I wasn’t able to one-shot it and I dismounted and walked multiple times.

What I did get was valuable feedback and learnings. I’ll be back, Sungay.