Just Get Out and Do It! | Finding the Right Balance-
Probably the most important part of cycling as an older cyclist, or anyone really, is to just get out and do it. While PJAMM Cycling was originally created as a place to document the hardest cycling climbs in the world, it has now expanded to offer all levels of climbs for all levels of cyclists. Climbing Mauna Kea, or even the most difficult climb within my region, is not realistic for me for an everyday ride. I truly enjoy searching and finding climbs that are challenging to me that I can accomplish.
The biggest challenge for me is the gradient of the ride, which is why I use the PJAMM Cycling Profile Tool. The details of the profile tool are significantly superior to anything else available. This tool has the ability to view the gradient and distance for any segment of the climb or the entire climb itself. There is also an interactive view of the climb on a map that includes photos and Google street views, if they are available for that area. This tool helps me visualize the climb before I set out on my ride to ensure my ability matches the ride.
For instance, my most recent ride was only 12.5 miles but it included about 1,500 feet of climbing and had grades that were physically challenging for me. On this particular route the challenge for me was a climb of about 1.5 miles on Valley Ford Franklin School Road, with an average grade of 7.2% and a maximum grade of 9.3%. Having limited time that day, my assessment was this ride was a perfect balance of distance and climbing...and it was well worth it, for the workout and the scenery!
I encourage everyone to research and find climbs that are appropriately challenging and just get out and do it!