Yesterday I was feeling my oats so decided to do a shot at my first KOM attempt since turning 70. I tried a short steep climb on West Main on my lightweight Sirrus upright. It was very unpleasant, going that hard uphill causes me to go into severe oxygen debt, and today it also caused a temporary bad headache. I think that is because my sinuses were already congested due to allergy season- the orchards are starting to bloom in these parts, which is beautiful but unfortunately can also be allergy-inducing. So I decided to abandon the attempt. Future KOM attempts need to be less steep and longer. I like the feeling of a bit of burn in my legs during hard efforts, but most decidedly don’t like the lung-searing feeling from steep climbs. Fortunately, the headache cleared up when I switched back to cruise mode.
I then went home and switched bikes to my recumbent, and went on a two-and-a-half-hour cruise to the Southeast along the foothills east of San Marin and Gilroy. I threw some intervals in on the way back and felt fine afterward. I sometimes have to catch myself and remember my main motivation in riding, aside from exercise for good health, is the pleasant “meditation-in-motion” feeling. Competitive goals like KOMs are OK for motivation, but not if it ruins the fun of the ride.