Sugarloaf Mountain Bike Ride

I started biking again this week. I went out for a short yesterday to make sure the ankle would feel alright it has been pain free. This morning I decided to use a bike ride I found on the Potomac Pedlers web page. It started at Poolesville high school and went out towards Frederick Maryland then around and up Sugarloaf Mountain and back to Poolesville.

Sugarloaf mountain is really not much of a mountain it’s only 800 feet higher then the surrounding area. I ran up the trail earlier this year and figured it was about time I biked up it.

The route was ~45 miles including the climb. A really neat thing with my triathlon bike is you can tape the cue sheet (directions) right between the aerobars and not have to worrying about looking for it when turns are coming up.

This was a really tough ride it was about 2000 feet total of climbing. On one of the downhills I hit 40 mph which was the fastest I have gone on my bike. On a couple of other occasions today I hit 30-35 mph while riding in the aerobars which means no access to the brakes, it was a very weird feeling to know I’m not slowing down going down the hill.

I was actually really surprised with the effort to get up Sugarloaf mountain. I think it was a mental thing because I was prepared to grind my way up there and knew I was going to have to work hard. So it turned out not to be that bad. The other thing that helped is it was a really winding road which the grade a lot lower then I was expecting. It ranged from 5% to 13% with about 7-8% for the average.

The hardest part of the ride for me was at about mile 15. I hadn’t really read the directions that well before I went out and I turned on to Park Mills Road. I kinda zoned out for a while going down a hill until I realized I was on the road tat heads to one of the golf courses that I play at when I get to the bottom of the hill there is going to be a very steep climb coming up. I put a little arrow on the picture for this part part. It was about a 15% grade the entire way up for 1/2-3/4 of a mile. It sucked.

Overall this was a great ride, the weather was about 65 and sunny and I can feel myself getting stronger at climbing and building up my leg strength. I really enjoy biking around the roads near Poolesville and can see why people come up here to bike.



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