COVID-19 Fund Ride

When the COVID-19 Fund run was announced I was originally going to try to do all three distances at once and complete my first ultra. Unfortunately that plan was not to be as I’ve found myself on injured reserve with a badly bruised heel. Not wanting to risk re-injuring my foot I’ve been cycling over the last week and decided to come up with cycling 19-themed challenge. So over two rides yesterday and today I decided to complete 19 hill repeats on Kline Road. Initially I thought about trying to do them all at once, but given that my riding over the last week has been my only riding in the last two years it was clear after the first few trips up the hill that wasn’t going to happen. Now that I’m finished I’m trying to decide whether this would have been more miserable running; I know I have no desire to find out anytime in the near future. Hopefully I can get back to running and complete my original goal sometime in the near future. In the meantime I think I’ll be sticking to some flatter roads.

I hope your foot recover soon. Nice work on the cycling!

When I was an undergrad at Cornell in the late 80s, I lived at 505 Wyckoff, just up the hill from Kline. I would sometimes run or bike up from downtown, and although I’ve always been a stronger runner than biker (by a lot), I felt that biking was way harder than running up so steep of an incline. This was back in the days of Usenet newsgroups, and there was a discussion on the rec.biking group about how biking was always easier than running. I gave Kline as an counter-example, noting that my bike stopped at the top of every pedal stroke. All the biking geeks told me I was wrong, until a physics grad student at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications who had done his undergrad work at Cornell (and thus knew how steep Kline was) worked out the physics of. I don’t remember the exact numbers but at some inline that was less than Kline, he showed that biking became harder than running.

So, a long and convoluted way of saying, props to you! 19 repeats up Kline on a bike is a huge accomplishment, and more difficult than running.

That’s an impressive feat to bike up Kline 19 times. Your hands must have gotten fatigued from braking down the hill too! I agree that biking up steep hills is much harder than running, and I’m glad that a Cornell physicist confirmed it.

When we lived in Seattle, our house was at the top of a road that climbed 800 feet in 1 mile, with five switchbacks. I never managed to bike down it because it was so steep at the top that I couldn’t get my weight over the back wheel enough to engage the rear brake effectively, and the front brake threatened to lock the wheel and throw me over the handlebars. Scared me silly. I don’t think Kline was quite that steep, but it isn’t far off.