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Hitting the wall

So I haven’t done a lot of climbing but I love seeing the riders duke it out in any of the major races and especially the tours. With hills few and far between around where I live I do try to add climbs when I can during my travels.

So when I found out I had to go to Philadelphia for a couple of days for work wondered if there was a place that had some nice climbing that also made a bit of sense.

And that’s how I ended up in Scranton!

Now Scranton usually isn’t high on a lot of folks visit list (although the area is very pretty and there is a wicked train museum there!) for me it was nicely about 1/2 way down so I could stay both there and back.

Just north of Scranton is Salem Mountain which is more of a large hill but it has a very steep road leading to the top. I headed there and after some unpleasant city riding hit the lower slopes.

Not sure what the incline was but looking it it looked steep, really steep. However I think in the end mostly around 10-12% so how steep are some of those 20%+ climbs in the tours!!! I started inching my way up. The 1st 1/2 kilometer in particular was brutal and had to stop after a while as walking seemed it it would be faster. But I regained some energy, remounted about 100 meter or so and continued to the top.

It was unrelenting and there were no switch backs so it was just up and up for about 8 kilometers.  I did feel like I wanted a compact. My pace was slow, about 13-14kph. Finally the Cell tower loomed and I hit the turn around.

Profile below, I don’t think this is to scale but it seems about right, that puppy was straight up for about 500m of climbing.


But what goes up must come down and I hit over 68 kph on the decline and was a bit worried so bleed off some speed but I could have gone a lot faster. Gave me some insight into how scary 90-100kph must be!!

My Heart Rate was also quite high during the climb which I liked. Later in the day while having lunch my leg cramped up. The next day although I was in Scranton again I just couldn’t get my mind behind doing it again two days in a row, but I may return! Also really enjoyed it so will continue to look for these!!

Full details here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/218624321

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