Friday, December 4, 2009

Low-Key: Bohlman-On Orbit best times

I first discovered the particular joys of Bohlman-On Orbit-Bohlman in 1995 when I rode Bill Bushnell's spectacular "Mr Bill's Nightmare", then part of the Sequoia Century. I don't think there's more than a handful of harder climbs at its distance in the US.

There's three major ways up the hill:
  • Stay on Bohlman: this is clearly the easiest route. Don't take it for granted, however, as it's still brutally steep.
  • Take the On-Orbit "shortcut": a substantially increased dose of pain. On Orbit is truly brutal. 13.2% over 2 km, 14.2% over 1 km, 15.9% over 500 m, 21.8% over 200 m, 24% peak. Which of these numbers speaks more to the pain? I don't know: I think all, actually. 21.8% over 200 meters is a much different experience as part of a longer climb than it would be, for example, as a few steep blocks in San Francisco, although that would also be tough. I rode Filbert Street, which is 32% over 68 meters. I think the two segments may be comparable. Fresh legs are huge.
  • Bohlman-Norton-Kittridge-Quickert-On Orbit-Bohlman: a lot less complicated than it sounds: basically one left turn onto Norton, then keep going up. I've never climbed this route all the way, only previewing the bottom. I missed this year's Low-Key since I was in Colorado at a cousin's wedding. Difficulty-wise, it seems roughly comparable to Bohlman-On Orbit-Bohlman.
Bohlman-Norton-Kittridge-Quickert-On Orbit-Bohlman

Every year I've been directly involved with the climbs we've selected On Orbit. In 1998 when I was in Austin the plan was to stay on Bohlman for variety, but the climb was rained out that year. I view that as On Orbit not at all pleased about being snubbed. It was also canceled in 2006 due to rain the night before.

I've got nice memories of the first time we did this climb in the first year of the series. Tyler Heerwagen, the stronger rider, was burdened in his 39-23. Every time the road would steepen, he'd pull away, only to slump over to scrape what little recovery he could salvage from the reduced grade sections. I, on the other hand had a 39-28, and was able to hold back a bit on the steep sections, then spin up to recatch him on the flatter segments. Finally he succumbed to his repeated intervals, and I was able to spin away.

Since, I've climbed it in a 39-25, and wouldn't want to try a 23. A preferred weapon of choice is a 34-26. That's similar to a 39-29. But really using an MTB-double would be even faster.

Anyway, here's the Low-Key records from the two routes we've used up this one:

Bohlman - On Orbit
Men
rank year(wk) name                 time  %median
1 1997(8) Tracy Colwell 24:56 143.316
2 1997(8) Eric Albrecht 25:58 137.612
3 1996(6) Tracy Colwell 26:13 138.525
4 1997(8) Miguel F. Aznar 26:42 133.833
5 2007(3) Tim Clark 26:51 132.837
6 1997(8) Michael Podgorski 27:24 130.414
7 1995(9) Dan Connelly 27:27 122.713
8 2007(3) Thomas Novikoff 28:04 127.078
9 1997(8) Kevin Fox 28:10 126.864
10 1997(8) Matt Dubbersly 28:16 126.415
11 2007(3) Michael Grundmann 28:26 125.44
12 2007(3) Eric Balfus 28:44 124.13
13 1997(8) Troy Soares 28:49 124.002
14 2007(3) Carl A. Nielson 28:57 123.201
15 1996(6) Daniel Connelly 29:06 124.8
16 1997(8) Dickie Brock 29:09 122.584
17 2007(3) Ammon Skidmore 29:10 122.286
18 2007(3) Greg McQuaid 29:12 122.146
19 1996(6) Jim Johnston 29:14 124.23
19 2007(3) Rupert Brauch 29:14 122.007

Women
rank year(wk) name                 time  %median
1 1995(9) Brenda Heerwagen 33:18 106.747
2 2007(3) Anny Henry 35:03 122.777
3 1996(6) Kristen Neubauer 35:31 115.486
3 1996(6) Holly Harris 35:31 115.486
5 1995(9) Liz Benishin 35:32 100
6 1997(8) Julie Colwell 35:44 127.425
7 1996(6) Liz Benishin 36:36 112.067
8 1997(8) Cornezia Fletcher 36:53 123.452
9 2007(3) Irene Franklin 37:24 115.062
10 1997(8) Mary Caragio 37:28 121.53
11 1997(8) Caroline Stronck 37:51 120.299
12 2007(3) Margie Biddick 39:03 110.201
13 1996(6) Cheryl Herms 41:01 100
14 1996(6) Phyllis Olrich 41:59 97.6975
15 1997(8) Phyllis Olrich 42:26 107.306
16 2007(3) Alison Chaiken 43:02 100
17 1996(6) Pat Baenen 43:32 94.219
18 1997(8) Sherri Mulroe 43:47 103.997
19 1997(8) Joy Shaffer 44:01 103.446
20 1996(6) Julie Colwell 44:40 91.8284

Mixed Tandem
rank year(wk) name                 time  %median
1 1997(8) Liz Borra 41:55 85.2485
1 1997(8) Mike Jensen 41:55 85.2485

Runner
rank year(wk) name                 time  %median
1 1996(6) Gary Gellin 34:53 104.109

Bohlman-Norton-Kittridge-Quickert-On Orbit-Bohlman
Men
rank year(wk) name                 time  %median
1 2009(6) Scott Frake 26:54 129.244
2 2009(6) Carl Nielson 28:05 123.798
3 2009(6) Tim Clark 28:36 121.562
4 2009(6) Tom Gardin 28:42 121.138
5 2009(6) Laurent Pfertzel 29:15 118.86
6 2009(6) Rune Dahl 29:16 118.793
7 2009(6) Rich Hill 29:25 118.187
8 2009(6) Bill Davis 29:36 117.455
9 2009(6) Jacob Berkman 29:37 117.389
10 2009(6) Bruce Gardner 30:08 115.376
11 2009(6) Brian Edwards 30:09 115.312
12 2009(6) Andy Brisnehan 30:19 114.678
13 2009(6) Ron Brunner 30:50 112.757
14 2009(6) John Walker 30:51 112.696
15 2009(6) Christian Paquet 31:15 111.253
15 2009(6) Mike Schuster 31:15 111.253
17 2009(6) Nathan Cauffman 31:33 110.195
18 2009(6) Jeff Farnsworth 31:51 109.158
19 2009(6) Scott Martin 32:03 108.476
19 2009(6) Evan Paull 32:03 108.476

Women
rank year(wk) name                 time  %median
1 2009(6) Christy Cowley 37:06 121.249
2 2009(6) Laura Hipp 39:30 113.882
3 2009(6) Karis McFarlane 44:59 100
4 2009(6) Laura Egley 45:01 99.926
5 2009(6) Lisa Emmerich 50:47 88.5789

1 comment:

Alison Chaiken said...

I've got a 30-27 and I don't want to trade.