Cyclist Ollie Bridgewood, inspired by @100climbs, decided to create the hardest possible 100 kilometer (about 62 mile) bike ride for himself in his latest video for the Global Cycling Network.
He set out a few guidelines for the ride ahead of time. The route must have the same start and finish, it must be a continuous loop, and there can be no U-turns, dead ends, or uphill repeats. Bridgewood sets out to create his route to cramming as much elevation as possible in Bath, England. The route has a maximum elevation of 2,800 meters and includes 20 climbs.
For the ride, he’s using a new bike from Van Rysel, an EDR CF road bike, a carbon fiber bike that weighs just 7.5 kilograms (about 16.5 pounds).
A post shared by Oliver Bridgewood (@dr_oliverb)
He starts his ride, and hits his first climb, which has an 8.3 percent gradient. “I’m going to go as hard as I can and push myself,” says Bridgewood. “I’m going to go at a comfortable pace and try to leave everything out on the road today.”
“It’s basically either up or down,” laughs Bridgewood as he descends the first climb.
His second hill is a 10.02 percent gradient with a distance of 6.1 kilometers.
“All the climbs around here are difficult,” says Bridgewood. “There’s a lot of double digit gradients on this route. But if you want to maximize your elevation on the 100km, it’s what you’ve got to do. Steep climbs. No rest for the wicked on this one,” he says before going into another hill. His fifth hill is an 11.4 percent gradient, a 20.7 kilometers total distance that has taken him to 710 meters of elevation gain. “It’s absolutely savage,” says Bridgewood.
By hill 10, he has hit the halfway point of 50.1 kilometers, and an elevation gain of 1,418 kilometers.
“I am feeling it,” says Bridgewood. “I basically feel like I’ve got café legs, even though I haven’t stopped at a café. It never ends!” He continues to hydrate and suck down energy gels.
He hits hill 16, the hardest hill on the route, that has a “wall” of 25 percent-plus of gradient.
“Oh god…on a climb like this, everything hurts,” says Bridgewood. “Arms, shoulders back…and my rear wheel keeps slipping.”
But he knocks it out, and by hill 17, he’s really starting to feel it. The hill puts him at 85.1 kilometers, and a total elevation of 2,595 meters. After three more climbs and descents, he’s finished for a total of 99.4 kilometers and 2,878 meters of elevation.
“Time for some cake,” says Bridgewood.
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