Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cycling Corsica Day 4: Hors Categorie Fun and Done (23 miles, 3.6k ft climbing)

Day 4 - Hors Categorie Fun and Done (23 miles, 3.6k ft climbing)

On Day 4 of my Corsican cycling adventure, my time was pretty limited -- the gang was taking a boat to a legendary beach for the afternoon and I'd committed to joining them, meaning that I only had a couple of hours to ride before everyone was up and about.  Fortunately, I knew just the thing to do for the most bang-for-buck: go for gold up the hors categorie climb I'd ridden at the beginning of my loop of Cap Corse two days before.  And heck, my Garmin had died at the finish of that climb last time, so I wanted proof I'd actually done it.

This was the only ride in Corsica that I actually treated as a workout -- warmup, hard effort, cool down, and done -- as opposed to a way to explore the island by bicycle.  The challenge is evident from the elevation profile:

It doesn't look like much, but that's a 7.7-mile, 3,000-foot climb with final 2.5 miles at a 10% grade.

In fact, those last 2.5 miles are, by themselves, a Cat 2 climb:

In all, I was pleased to push 270+ watts for nearly an hour on legs that were pretty fried from three huge rides in the six previous days.   Climbing 3600 feet in 23 miles from your doorstep, all in under 2 hours, is an incredible luxury.  I returned home soaked with sweat, grinning like a fool, and ready for a day in the sunshine.

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