Friday, May 3

Dying in the Orchard

In Colorado I had a testpiece MTB hillclimb: the gravel road on North Table Mountain I called The Mordwand. I found other respectable and harder climbs in the area, but The Mordwand became my benchmark. I'd planned on being KOM on it as part of my Leadville training this year. Well, obviously I can't incorporate it into my daily commutes anymore.

The good/bad news is that recently I've remembered a gravel road climb in my hometown that will serve as a suitable and not so comparable benchmark: Hart's Orchard.

The Mordwand is 0.78 miles in length with 428 feet of gain: a 10% average grade. The crux section of the climb is 0.2 miles long with 226 feet of gain for a whopping 20% average grade!

Hold on to your hemorrhoids kids! Hart's Orchard is 0.34 miles in length and gains 469 feet, 41 feet more than Mordwand, in less than half the distance of the Colorado testpiece. 26%!!!


The good news? Yes, I promise there is good news. It's not the pack of dogs that dwell in wait at the base of Hart's. The good news is this: 2 miles.

The base of Hart's Orchard Hill is 2 miles from my driveway. So when I expire in the shade of one of the few apple trees that remain in the ridge top orchard they won't have far to haul my dead carcass.

Once we get moved back to our house it will be easier to go throw myself at Hart's Orchard for a quick self-destructive workout. Stay tuned True Believers!

[One last addition, the map above shows the crux climb but unless you turn around and head down from the highpoint shown--which I DON'T recommend--there is still a bit of climbing to get to your highpoint: here is the complete climb]

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