Hells 500 ticket
At the end of 2013 Hells 500 were offering memberships. In order to apply you had to do a ride over 5,000 vertical which would then give you an invitation to the 2014 Hells 500 epic. I decided to do my 5,000 in a Dandython, and crazily decided to do it on the steepest climbs I could find. 4,300 vm was my previous record, so this was quite a big one for me to do.
I started on the Beast (aka Kia Ora Parade), which is one of my favourite backstreet climbs:
I spent the next 35 km’s going up & down the backstreets next to Forest Road. Amassing 2,000 vertical just in there. I was pacing myself really well, and taking all of the climbs at a snails pace. Needing to, as all of them had over 10% pinches in them, and were all hard. I moved onto all of the monsters. Hitting Mast Gully Road, Hughes Street, & worked my way around the Dirty Dozen climbs in Upwey. As I was approaching 100 km’s & 4,000 vertical I was working my way up Sandells Avenue, followed by Serpentine.
I was planning on moving onto Terry’s Avenue next until my legs told me to f#%k off.
My body cracked on the Serpentine. I probably could have kept hitting the steep stuff, but mentally I cracked and just couldn’t see myself grinding any more. With plenty of time to ride, I just couldn’t keep going up gradients over 10%. Finishing wasn’t a certainty, and I revised my plans. I figured that if I picked easy climbs that I could easily ride exhausted. These climbs included The Crescent, Perrins Creek Road & the 1:20, then I know I should be fine.
My mate Sambo joined me, and slowly grinded the hills with me. My Garmin failed on me, and the elevation froze so I had to manually guess how much I’d climbed. Ending up doing 400 vm too much. Of course when I saw that I was kicking myself for not going for the 6,000 vm at the time.
I sent my Strava link of to Hells 500, and was presented with an email with an invitation to the Hells 500 epic…..