Hey, it’s a climbing challenge! I keep trying, coming up short on mileage challenges, but hills? We have lots of those in our back yard!

So off I went, wondering how I’d fare on my most familiar of climbs, Nichols Canyon. I decided I’d strive for no slower than 7.5 mph, and see what happened.

At the juncture of Nichols and Woodrow Wilson, I turned left, opting for the slower ascent to Mulholland. Even the nasty stretch after the stop at Seattle Drive wasn’t too horrible. It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t slow down too far or fall off my bike. I lingered at the top, with a few minutes to spare.

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Zip, zip, zip, down to the intersection, and decided to try the wall. I had yet to ascend this two-block stretch without falling into a panic and fearing I’d fall over before I could clip out. At the top, I always feel ready to barf.

I started up and realized I couldn’t shift out of the big ring. I headed back down and took the right to continue up Nichols, shift down to the little ring, pull a u-turn, but when I got back to the intersection, there was too much traffic. I started to head down Nichols, and then pulled another u-turn. I was going up.

Up to the intersection, right, and up the wall I went, at an unhurried, unpanicked pace – the only segment of the day on which I didn’t set a new personal record.

At the top, not barfy!

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