My Assault on the Col De Lystra on 6-30-12. It all started with a search of cycling places in the Raleigh- Durham, NC area. I kept seeing people reference this hill climb in the area. So I researched, located it, and planned my assault.
Before my assault on the Col De Lystra I needed supplies. See I have a Cannondale CAADX (cyclecross) not the best suited steed. I had an easy fix in mind, some decent road tires. Also, it is triple digit weather this weekend so I needed an extra water bottle holder. The Friday before, I installed the extra bottle holder and tires, 125psi, this should roll smoother than the knobbies at 80psi. Went for a quick test spin, nice, this baby just wants to roll now.
The day of the assault is here, I am psyched, and couldn't sleep much due to the excitement. I loaded up the truck and headed over to my start point, a place I park often when I run, a parking area for the American Tobacco Trial. I get there and it was packed, great, hope there is a parking space. I find one! Guess these cats want to beat the heat, they were calling for 106 degrees. I pulled the bike out of the truck, put on the helmet, took a swig of water, started STRAVA (track the details), I'm off!
The Col De Lystra is about 8 miles or so away so I have a bit of peddling to reach the beast. I was going pretty good for awhile and was averaging around 20mph. As I neared the beast I slowed to 15mph to conserve what little peddling engine I have. The turn onto Lystra, another mile and the beast appears, I'm here, let me stop and take a picture of the very start. Not good to stop at the base but this was my first time here.
Turning onto the famed road:
The hill coming into view, it real pitches up around the bend at the far end of view:
The hill itself. As I get going again the hill starts to rise but I don't fully see what I'm up against until I fully get around the bend. This sucker goes up and up fast. My GPS has the grade at 12%, it goes like this for about .3 miles then levels off, maybe even downhill for a couple of ticks, but it's hard to tell after going straight up. There is a second part, great. It might be steeper, I push ahead, gasping for air like there is no oxygen left on earth. I make it to the top. Average grade for the hard part (including the flat part) was 4.6% and I achieved an average speed of 8.7mph. I continued all the way to 15-501 and turned around, the climb up the Col De Lystra was complete! All the uphill of Lystra was 3.2 miles at 11.4mph, now for the ride back down.
Back down the hill was fun and fast. The steep parts I hit 44mph with little effort other than gravity. It was like a free fall and I kept a finger on the breaks just incase, but doubt they would of slowed me up.
Eventually, I made it back near my truck and the Peloton cought me after my epic solo up the Col De Lystra. I have never ridden in a Peloton and with the same effort I gained like 5mph, guess I need to find a group to ride with in the near future. Overall, my ride was 26 miles with a 15.7mph average on a 93 degree morning. NICE!
The profile from STRAVA, the spike in the middle is the Col De Lystra: