I have raced the ‘Hotter N Hell Mt. Baldy Hill Climb’ twice now, and both times it has lived up to its name. Keeping as cool as possible was essential for a good ride up the twelve mile climb of self-induced torture in 100 degree heat. This year, my preparation leading into the TT was much better as far as utilizing ice and cold water before the start. Adam Mills gave me some great advice to put ice in my pockets and soaking myself with cold water at the start and that really helped a lot.
Also, my coach Jason Siegle competed in the event which was great because that gave me a bit of a psychological boost for the sake of not being beat by him. One very important note I took after my first participation in this event last year was how easy it was to get too excited in the first half of the TT and over cook it before the final few miles. So from the start, I stayed in the small chainring up the initial hill and paced myself well before turning right onto Baldy Mountain. From there, it was a good long stretch of consistent gradient which is my favorite type of climb.
My gearing was good as I was able to keep an optimal cadence until the last few miles where I was really smashing on the 25 in the rear to get over the very steep pitches. This is where I really pushed through the tunnel of extreme pain and persevered. I knew I was doing a good ride and could make a run for the record.
A couple times within the last several miles, I thought I was approaching the finish but the climb was deceitful. As I came around the final switchback and a slight bend, the finish was finally in sight. From there, I accelerated as much as I could until crossing the finish with nothing left to give.
A few minutes later my dad showed me what he timed me at and I was happy with the result putting over three minutes into my time from last year where I had lost by one second. A short time later, the results were finalized and my Coach Jason Siegle put down a very impressive time of 1:00:30, giving him the second fastest time of the day and I had done the fastest time of the day with a 57:18.
It was a great result on a hard TT and a fantastic event put on by Back on Track Productions. Thank you to all who were involved in putting this event together. Also, thanks to my coach Jason for guiding me through training and prep so I can be my best in racing. And a special shoutout to my dad for driving me all the way out there in the morning while I slept in the back.
Thank you to our sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, JLVelo, Serfas, Shimano, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Xpedo Pedals, Kali Protectives, NDXSports, Bike Religion, Bicycle Blue Book, WD-40 BIKE, Chamois Butt’r, Cycling Illustrated, Rennie & Associates, Kramp Krushers, Ultra Cycle, and Q2.
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