Climb to Mt. Ampacao 3

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mountain biking

Climb to Mt. Ampacao 3December 23, 2007

NON-STOP CLIMB TO MT. AMPACAO 3

Last 2 days before the Abs Showdown. I had to do major cardio to shed off this fat. Mt. Ampacao has loomed a gloating challenge for me. I've attempted to climb it non-stop twice, and failed twice. Hey, what the heck...I'll give it another try. My bike training lately simply consisted of assaulting climbs and simulating races (instead of attritional epic rides) and I suspect I have become better at it. Time to see how I fare up.

The Climb
I started out strong, going further this time before my first forced dismount. I still had the juice, but traction was sketchy...specially on moss-lined rocks dampened by the morning dew. Of course I try to avoid it, but with the the front wheel lifting up from time to time (because it's too steep!), it just lands wherever it lands and I just deal with it. And as Murphy's Law would have it, the front wheel either lands on slippery rocks or deep ruts. Keeping a line remained a challenge.

A New Climbing Approach
Usually, when I see a steep approach, I'd start attacking, building up momemtum to push me through, sometimes with good results, sometimes, I hurt myself when the tires would skid and I'd hit my knee on the fork crown. This time, I did the exact opposite. One word: finesse. Instead of hammering hard, I tried to climb it as slowly as I possibly could, but being very methodical, ensuring the tires don't slip with my steering still in control. Surprisingly, I nailed a few more technical sections than I normally do. It worked...and I didn't get hurt. I love it when I continue to learn something new.

Exploratory Detour
Going down from the saddle was a downhill thrill. But I still had some juice left. Instead of going home, I went down Suyo where the uphill climb back was sure to sap whatever energy I had left. Surprising even to me, I veered off and followed a different fork on the dirt road. I haven't been there but I remember Aklay once told me that that road presented such a brutal uphill climb, even a motocross rider couldn't climb up. Sure, I went down, but before I could reach the bottom lid, I was lured by a single-track that forked off the trail. It led me to a peaceful spot. I just stayed there soaking the vibe. There's always heightened anticipation when I let go and let spontaneity take over specially when the trails fork, and I take the unknown path. I should devote more rides to that. I climbed back into the main road and resumed heading down to Suyo. Sure enough, the climb back brought me close to bonking. This day-ride was chuck full-of-climbs.

Ending Thoughts
Number of dismounts: 4
Time from Ambasing to saddle: 34 minutes.
Everytime I assault Mt. Ampacao non-stop, I fail, but I always come away either learning something new or doing better than the last time....not bad. Either I'm getting stronger, getting to know the trail a little better or getting more comfortable on my bike. Complemented by cross-training workouts for the abs showdown, I reached the saddle 5 minutes earlier than the last. I also surprised myself when I managed to nail the most brutal switchback...even though that winded me out and forced me to dismount on a lesser climb. That's cool. One day...one day....

--- TheLoneRider

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