Just before the turn of the new year, I did this ride from my house. It's about 40 miles, and involves probably 2500-3000 feet of climbing, total (I can't tell exactly because the gmaps pedometer elevation function is non-responsive.) The route involves climbing steep pitches from just above sea level to around 1000 feet twice, in addition to dealing with some fairly good rollers on the ridgeline at the top. It's my secret training weapon -- the best way to get good at hills is to ride hills, and bike races are won and lost on the hills. I attribute all of my success last year to going out and riding up the west hills of Portland at least 3 times per week on my lunch hours.
So, it was good to get back out there. I felt pretty good, not a world beater after all my time off of William Tell,
but not bad. I didn't have any trouble getting up to Skyline on Newberry, and had fun on the second ascent up Barnes. I kept reminding myself that this was my January form, and I'd be in fine shape for racing come May if I kept at it.
I was on my way home, feeling encouraged and satisfied with my endeavor, riding on a mixed-use path, when I overtook a fellow in a wheelchair. He looked up at me on my recumbent and exclaimed, "Awh, dude! Get a real bike! Those things don't climb worth shit!"
A man who did not have use of his legs
was telling me that I would not be able to climb on my bike, after doing a ride that was expressly designed to go up as many hills as I could in a short amount of time. I think that pretty much sums it all up, don't you?