Friday, March 14, 2008

Long Island Alps

Great day to put in some substantial time on the bike. Upper 40's, no wind, big sun. I put in a solid 2 1/2 hours as part of my basebuilding plan for the spring.

All things considered I'm fortunate to live along the north shore of Long Island where we not only have some very scenic and quiet roads for training, but also some hills. Yes, I know...snickers of laughter coming from those in the north. Big rolling guffaws coming from Heywood out in Cali. But at least this aint Florida or Kansas.

One town to the east is Port Jefferson which sits in a bowl surrounded on three sides by some steep pitches. Climbing up East Broadway from the ferry dock is a classic destination for a big burn. It's not long (.35 mi), but it's a mild 10% to killer 18% all the way up. There are several other pitches in PJ that equal or come close to Broadway, too. A few years ago a couple of locals mapped out a loop route in town that repeats the steepest roads over and over. They used the route on a regular basis to train for a summer tour of the famous climbs in France. Although they couldn't come close to matching the length of those climbs, they did say that a dedicated regime in Port Jeff got them in good shape to handle those French mountains.

Here's a link to some of the short climbs around my home:

Hills of Long Island

Those steep, short pitches are cool, but my fav small climb is just a short ride up the road from my house:

Old Town Road meanders slowly up from the intersection above for just short of 1.5 miles, making it one of the more sustained ups in the area. So what it lacks in rise it, for this flat spit of sand we live on, makes up for in run. I'd estimate the road to be about 3-5%, but it is always going up for its 1.5 mile length and if you shift into the big ring and do it enough times it hurts.

So that's what I did today for the first time in the new season--put in a few modest hill repeats on Old Town. I got in three today, and my habit has been to build to ten for my hardest summer training days.

Good to be back on the hill in the sun.


solobreak said...


Looks like it climbs 160 feet in 1.5 miles (2% average grade). From the RR tracks to the dip just before Sheep Pasture Road indeed appears to be almost a 4% average. You are a regular Pantani!

Moveitfred said...

OK, well then only 2% or so. Yes, it ain't much, but it is 1.5 mi. That's as long as it gets around here. 53X14 starts to hurt for me after about 5 trips up....

solobreak said...

You must name all the climbs in your area. This one is now the Mur de Freddy. The Alp d Al is a no-brainer. Of course the Col d' Wood and Mount Meg might work, the latter perhaps on the other blog...

Moveitfred said...

Alp d Al will be the pitch to get into the parking lot at Country Corner across the street.