San Bruno Hill Climb
January 1st, 2015
- Amy Cameron
The San Bruno Hill Climb is a New Year's Day tradition I'd never experienced, but it seems like a rite of passage for a climber so this year I was all in. The route heads up Guadalupe Canyon on the east side, then into the San Bruno Mountain park for the last half up Radio Road. Grades on Guadalupe are in the 7-8% range, then there's some 10% pitches once in the park.
All of the women started together, which made things a little confusing but I knew who to watch - Beth Newell, Anne Valta...maybe others. It was just me from the team, so tactics were pretty simple: climb fast, but don't blow up in the first half!
On the way up Guadalupe, it wasn't long before Beth attacked, followed by Larissa Connors, who I didn't know, but had come up from SoCal. I wasn't ready for quite that pace, so just slightly increased my speed to keep those two close and put pressure on any 3s behind me. Anne latched onto my wheel and we left the bigger group behind.
Closer to the turn to the park, Larissa took off, leaving Beth hanging out there in front of me. It definitely helped that I could watch their battle up the road. I was feeling surprisingly good so I made it my goal to reel Beth in over the next couple of miles. At the the turn into the park, Anne wasn't on my wheel anymore, which left me chasing Beth, and Larissa way out front.
With a little more than 1k to go, I went past Beth (trying to look cool and calm:) and hauled it to the line for second overall and first in the 3/4 group. The big takeaway - a good warm-up really helped. That and the Low Key Hill Climbs are excellent preparation for San Bruno.