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PAA Challenge Winners

Francisco Chamorro  | Published on 9/8/2020

Climbing Challenge

"I chose to attempt the 1-hour climbing challenge on the Rubio Crest/Rubio Vista cul-de-sac loop in Altadena, where the climb is 213 ft in 0.33 mi (per Strava).  Altadena is filled with hills, and if I only have a short time to do a ride I'll just go up and down hills for 45 min or so.  My favorite hilly road in Altadena is Chaney Trail, which leads to the Mt. Lowe Motorway.  It was shut down for a while during the pandemic, and I discovered that Rubio Crest/Rubio Vista had a similar elevation grade and that an hour of hill repeats on that road got me an equivalent elevation gain to climbing to where the pavement ends on Mt. Lowe Motorway.  Anyway, I thought this challenge was creative, and it got me thinking about how I'd like to try it on different hills to see if I could improve my elevation gain.  There's more strategy involved than you'd think!"

-Charlotte Lea

"Sadly I didn’t get any photos, but the Lida climb is part of my regular weekday rides, so I know it like the back of my cycling gloves. I’m not much of a climber normally, so having a less steep ascent was a big plus for me. However, I don’t usually ride back down on Lida, and as you may know there are some large tree root bumps in a few places! I evaded them well on my first laps, but as my mind and body fatigued later on, I forgot about them and took a flying leap on lap #5. Luckily I stuck the landing (unlike most of my mountain biking jump attempts) and kept on grinding. Definitely going to keep this challenge as a regular training ride!" 

-Emily de Jong

"Hooray! That was one of the harder things I’ve done in a while. Legs were dead after ~45 min and it was a struggle to do those last couple laps haha. Your bowl strategy was definitely the way to go."

-Rob Nelson

Century Challenge

"The August century challenge turned into a great lesson for me on the value of groups like PAA and the community they can create. I would not have been able to complete all of the rides I tackled without the support of my "quarantine crew" - including fellow PAA member William Denman. Around mid-August, what would've been my 7th century ended very abruptly after about 80 miles when my drive-side crank arm decided to come undone. Left stranded in the middle of Orange County without the tools to fix my bike, I hopped on my phone and somehow convinced my quarantine crew to drive 90 minutes to come pick me up. The next weekend we returned as a group to complete the ride I had failed the prior weekend. The one thing we hadn't planned for was the 100+ degree temperatures and 90% humidity that had hit the OC that weekend. After losing eight pounds in water weight over the course of six or so hours, we completed the ride. On paper (Strava) the ride is neither the longest nor has the most elevation gain out of the rides I completed last month, but it was the hardest I've worked in a long time and I would not have been able to complete the ride without my crew there to keep me moving. While it did mean the next week had a grand total of zero centuries (and a Whoop recovery score still in the 20s three days post-ride), the ride was the highlight of the month for me because of the company I had. Thanks PAA for creating such a great cycling community in Pasadena!"

-Jayden Patel