Can you see the handrail on the right? Let me show you:
Really now. How many streets do you see with handrails!? There's a handrail on the left side, too:
I looked for a gondola or a tow line. It's steep, and it rises in the last third as you approach the top. It's a gnarly road:
I warmed up for a while. I didn't warm up for a long enough period, though. A mistake I plan not to repeat.
I rode George Street 3 times after warming up for 5 miles. (Now I can say it: I should have ridden 15 miles before attempting George Street. Stupid User.) First time up, I pulled over to the side street conveniently located two-thirds of the way up and just before the steepest section. In this view from the top of George Street, you can see this street on the right:
(You didn't think I was going to WALK up there did you!?) I paused and then knocked off the remaining piece. Steep. Here's what I rode to the top from this point (looking down George Street:)
These are the remaining pieces to the top:
The Stop sign indicates you've reached the top:
This is a pimple compared to the long and steep hills in this area, not to mention those in Western Mass and outside New England. I'm still packing at least 10=15 lbs of F.A.T. that I have to lug up every foot of this hill. I'm happy with my results, as I have LOTS of room for improvement. That's what it's all about - working to improve and to enjoy the experience. (Did I mention that it was a holiday, July 4th, so the meter was free. I enjoyed THAT experience!)
I rode it twice more. On the second attempt, I made it up without stopping. On the third attempt, I stopped at the two-thirds point and plotted my strategy: Don't Fall. Don't Quit. Don't Use Your Real Name. Simple yet effective. I rode to the top for my third attempt and called it quits. I had some good friends and good times ahead of me in Fitchburg, and I still wasn't warmed up enough.
What did I learn?
- Warm up for at least 15 miles before attempting anything like this again (including this, again)
- Ride up the right side of the street when back for the competition. (It felt faster, and the road surface was better. There's a sewer after the half way point you have to avoid, but I know where it is now.)
- Ride in my best Marco Pantani style! Marco (R.I.P.) stands up, grabbing the bottom of the drops and uses his legs to propel his bike up mountain after mountain.
- If I get pissed off, don't do what Cipo did!
- Enjoy myself, too!