Last week I was up in Santa Barbara for the "SB Triathlon Training Camp." While the bike course was gorgeous, it was definitely a little harder (and steeper!) than I expected. Time to get some more hills in with just 2 weeks to go until my big race on the summer.
So I've been itching to climb the infamous Latigo Canyon for several months now. I still consider myself a novice cyclist, but I've definitely been getting stronger - I've been curious to see if I could handle it. The closest I've come before today is Encinal Canyon - which is shorter with a little less elevation gain. So here we go!
Anyway, I met up with my friend Jessica (who's weeks away from her first Ironman!) at Malibu Bluffs at around 7:30. We clipped in and headed North just past Zuma (Trancas Cyn Road.) After the warmup, we turned around and hit Latigo Canyon Road. Wow. It's no joke. Pretty steep at first, leveled out a bit, but all in all a pretty tough climb. I'm told it's 7 miles long and has almost 1900 ft of gain. About a half hour in I definitely started to feel it.
There's a nice little decent about 3/4 the way up, but I found that just took away my momentum! At times I was definitely missing the triple chainring which I just recently had swapped out for a more common double. (I basically lost the "easiest" gear, also known as the "granny.") Anyway, finally, almost exactly an hour after starting the climb I submitted. Jess is quite the climber - she finished a minute or two ahead of me and was barely challenged it seems! Plus she ran 20 or so miles yesterday! Bad ass. Talk about no joke - Ironman training = CRAZY.
So we hit Muhullond and eventually made it into Calabasas - tons of rolling hills on the way and it got HOT. A few hours later we took Malibu Canyon Rd back to the bluffs. Not recommended. Way too much traffic (including a tunnel) and extremely windy. Total time from start to finish 5 hours - but just 60 miles covered! The 5 hrs is not counting Jess's TWO flats (poor girl!) and the refilling water bottles at the park...I'd say we only averaged about 15 mph in the end, but TONS of climbing on the day. Next time....maybe...just maybe we'll add Piuma. Also infamous from what I hear.