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By the time I get to the starting line...

...I've ridden about a mile and a half. (I live near Shattuck and Ashby.) At that point, I'm pretty warmed up. The start point is what it is just because the handrail gives me something to hold on to while I'm clipping into my pedals. Standing start.
 

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Point of reference

Okay, so I haven't really gone hard on this thing for over a year, but todays time was 13:56 from the fire hydrant to the intersection, under light wind conditions. Add 10-15 sec to that if you're timing from somewhere lower down. I could easily have lowered the time by 30-45 seconds if I had a wheel to follow.

As a point of reference for riders who are looking to see where they stand, that 13:56 is about the time of a slightly above average cat 3 racer or masters rider or an average elite non-climber.

Other times of note: My best on Wildcat was ten years ago, 9:13 from speed limit to speed limit sign. Anytime I was under 9:30 I was pretty happy because I was getting in decent shape. Rumor has it that the fastest riders can turn a low 8, but the fastest confirmed record I think is 8:35.
 

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Mtn bike attempt with only "caffeine patch" to help

tobu said:
Okay, so I haven't really gone hard on this thing for over a year, but todays time was 13:56 from the fire hydrant to the intersection, under light wind conditions. Add 10-15 sec to that if you're timing from somewhere lower down. I could easily have lowered the time by 30-45 seconds if I had a wheel to follow.

As a point of reference for riders who are looking to see where they stand, that 13:56 is about the time of a slightly above average cat 3 racer or masters rider or an average elite non-climber.
OK, after seeing the "official" starting points (1. lower hand rail 2. fire hydrant) I decided to go up for the first time in about 2 months.
From the lower handrail 14:58 and from the fire hydrant 14:38.
Fairly hard effort, but not "drop dead at the top" hard. Could have used some close competition on the upper part.
Played catch up to a guy for the first 6 minutes and then was kind of close to his wheel for about 4 minutes (catching my breath) then did the last 4 to 5 minutes on my own. Not too windy. Had about 17 miles of fairly easy Pinehurst+ miles on my ride prior to this attempt, but rested well at the bottom before starting the climb.
Details....bike- 22 pound front suspension hardtail mt bike with slicks.
Handicap....born prior to 1950.
Advantage....BMI under 20

Thinking on a great day and with a near-death effort, plus a wheel to follow almost all the way, that I could crack 14:00 from the hydrant.... but perhaps not?
Possibly with different bike or a different skin patch :p

PS, What age "masters rider" are you talking about?
Also, what is a "elite non-climber"? I know what cat 3 means, but never have been sure what "elite" means.
 

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Whenever I'm in Berkeley, I always ride up Old Tunnel and this last weekend I wanted to see how fast I can ride up to the intersection. Standing start from the fire hydrant (Firestorm Memorial) to Grizzly/Skyline 15:54. Pretty good I thought. My girlfriend on her 18lb road bike was under 25min. She did great! My time of sub 16 will be my baseline time and to shoot for sub 15 is realistic with more hill climb training. (I did however 50+ hard miles in the Montrose ride Saturday morning and finished top 10 so my legs were a little fatigued but felt good.) My warmup was riding from Ashby/Deacon to the Memorial. Bike is 25+lb MTB hardtail. Age is 41. Weigh is 148lbs. I don't race but think I'm good enough for Cat 5 (and maybe Cat 4). I'm from SoCal and if I had my race bike (sub 15lb road bike), I know I can break that time easily.

Would be great if other posters kept this tread updated with their improvements. Try to keep it honest though. I think my times are kind of conservative. :)
 

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Nice report with essential details.

gremelm said:
Whenever I'm in Berkeley, I always ride up Old Tunnel and this last weekend I wanted to see how fast I can ride up to the intersection. Standing start from the fire hydrant (Firestorm Memorial) to Grizzly/Skyline 15:54. Pretty good I thought. My girlfriend on her 18lb road bike was under 25min. She did great! My time of sub 16 will be my baseline time and to shoot for sub 15 is realistic with more hill climb training. (I did however 50+ hard miles in the Montrose ride Saturday morning and finished top 10 so my legs were a little fatigued but felt good.) My warmup was riding from Ashby/Deacon to the Memorial. Bike is 25+lb MTB hardtail. Age is 41. Weigh is 148lbs. I don't race but think I'm good enough for Cat 5 (and maybe Cat 4). I'm from SoCal and if I had my race bike (sub 15lb road bike), I know I can break that time easily.

Would be great if other posters kept this tread updated with their improvements. Try to keep it honest though. I think my times are kind of conservative. :)
Good reporting with details which are important for comparisons-(age, weight, bike setup, warmup). Certainly you've got some extra weight on that HT MTB. And more important I think would be the 50 hard miles on Saturday. I know personally I need about one, or better yet 2, days off prior to a very fast run. Competition also helps even if you don't get to draft much of the distance. Just having a rider 30 or 40 seconds up ahead and closing the gap seems to help my mental effort.
Few points you didn't mention, what kind of tires did you have on that mtn bike and did it have a front suspension that could be locked out? I have a 1.25 inch slick on the front and a 1.0 inch slick on the rear of my HT MTB.
Every little feature makes a difference. Weight, rolling resistance, wind resistance, and perhaps most important of all, just feeling great on a particular day.

BTW, you state "Standing start from the fire hydrant (Firestorm Memorial)".....
Am I correct in thinking that the fire hydrant in question is about 15 to 25 seconds (depending on speed) above the steps/hand rail to the Memorial?
I'm just wondering if I missed some other fire hydrant that is right next to the Memorial rather than the one about 15 to 20+ seconds up the road (depending on speed)
 

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Cool, a reply...yes...there is a fire hydrant just right of the trees along the K rails after the small dirt parking area (well it's more of a pull off area, I think, 20-30' from the Memorial.) I think that hydrant would be a better place to start since you get the benefit of a slightly more leveled ground than the handrails to do a standing start. Not hard to do for a split second. :)

The HT MTB's got Conti Town/Country frnt/rear tires...they roll very well. This bike is pretty heavy--rims/tires/frame, but it's a great training bike. No front suspension fork. I don't mind the extra weight on the bike. (eg. H2O bottle, small saddle pack with 2lbs of stuff., extra tube, GU gels and energy bars) It's definitely contributed to the strength in my legs these last 2 years. You're asking...why carry all this stuff if you're attempting to get a personal best up Old T? Well, considering it's the first leg of a longer ride (Pinehurst loop), I need extra stuff to bring. :) GU/energy bars mainly for my gf. Yes, if I was really serious about cutting 30-50+secs off my personal best, I'd dump all that stuff (except for the H20 bottle). But, to me it's great training. Besides, when I ride my usual Tues/Thur Rose Bowl rides, that Old T training really comes into play because I seem to have an edge over the Cat 4/5s.

I agree, it's better to have fresh legs and always a good idea to warmup (2-3miles of small climbs)...I definitely don't like cramps. :mad: I too...like using other riders as motivation to catch and pass and certainly that Sunday there were quite a few cyclists making the ascent up Old T. My gf being one of the riders. (Hope most didn't consider me rude for not saying hello/g'morning but most of the time I do.) I guess the mental effort is focusing on the ride and nothing else but still being aware of cars/motorcycles passing you. It was great that Sunday morning hardly any traffic but a little wind. Temps were ideal about 70-75 I think. Frame of mind: focused. I'm looking forward at doing it again 2 weekends from now. :D
 

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Wow... I just read all the replies... you guys are FAST!

I did it the other day:

-18 minutes, 10 mph average (it could be wrong, my computer is on the fritz).
-17yrs of age
-3rd year riding
-junior racer
-160lbs, 5'9''
-I'm a strong sprinter and a bad climber.

Tomorrow my coach as me doing intervals up tunnel and I'll have to be doing 17-20mph for 8 minutes... fun

8 minutes for the whole time is bloody fast.. as in 20mph average
 
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