Hills, some people love them, others hate them. If you live in New England you can’t avoid them. Hills challenge us, they make our lungs and legs burn. Some hills are deceptive, they start with a nice ascent then a false descent. After that false descent it you go around a curve and it kicks you in the ass and face at the same time. After that it grabs you and says: “Hey sucker, you going to be a little wimp and get off and push?” Well in western New England on the D2R2 there is one hill that really kicked me and I will save that for some other time. The hill I want to talk about is Green Street Hill between Northborough and Berlin, Massachusetts.
As I said in the title this hill is my bitch, but I have conquered it several times now. But on some days it is still waiting lurking calling to me. It teases me when I think I need to do some hill work. What is tough about this hill? Well it starts out gentle enough then it makes an nice little descent after about 1/4 mile going around a curve to your left. At 1/2 mile it turns to the right and gives you the face slap and butt kick. I even heard three women cyclists, in their late 30’s early 40’s, refer to this hill as “that fuckin’ hill!” At 1/2 mile until you crest one mile later it is all pain, very little shade as you work your way up this hill. You climb from 363 feet to 636 feet, that is 273 feet. That’s right, in one mile you climb the equivalent of a 27 story building. The grades on this hill vary, but there is one stretch of over 9%. This means for every 100 ft you go forward, you have gone up 9 vertical feet.
Why do I ride this hill? It is good practice, it’s there and there are sadists ride leaders in my club (Charles River Wheel-men) that get their kicks out of putting this hill on their routes. But, I can’t blame them. Once you are up there you can ride places with nice views. Here is a link to that hill. http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/313422997
Until next time – A.J.