KOM chat time? Being a slacker and riding in a place where my road times are against semi-pro / pro-am riders much younger, much lighter, and much stronger than me, and riding my gravel bike were I’m against serious mtb racers who are also much younger, much lighter, and much stronger than me means I my KOMs are longer segments that bridge between trail sections. For example, one local segment I have the KOM on is 3.49 miles with 1129’ of ascent that starts with two steep (18-25%) climbs, gets onto pavement, has a long pavement climb of 10-15% before returning to rocky double-track with a 25% kicker to end. Funny enough, Strava shows only three other people have done this segment
Another KOM I have is 9.12 miles with 2505’ of ascent. This is mostly trail with a few miles of rocky & rooty single- / double-track (that mtb’s love to descend), and includes about 2mi of paved climbing. Strava shows I’m the only person who’s done this, and variations of it (a 9.66mi / 2541’ segment). Although, a subsection (5.5 miles / 1412’), that’s includes all of the pavement, shows six riders.
I’m the guy, it seems, who creates their own segments no one will do so he can have the KOM
Somehow I’ve managed a lot of Top 10s, a lot more than I thought I had on the bike and a few on the run. My favorite Top 10 is a running segment I came across in my curiosity to sparked by the KOM discussion. It is called “Italian Beer Loop” for some reason. Part of a slightly longer run that was my usual training route, it starts and finishes in Chiswick (West London, where we lived before Switzerland), goes to the Thames and then along the Thames to Hammersmith Bridge, cross to the other side, down the towpath to the Barnes bridge, but up the riverside to return to Chiswick. The two path is hardpack dirt but everything else is paved. The segment is 4.97 miles and is basically flat at 47’ of ascent and my PR / Top 8 that still stands is a time of 37:43, or 7:35/mi. That was in July 2016 when I was a bit more fit (I did a 69mile ultra 5wks prior).
Later that day when I got run into that Top 8 position (actually, looking, I was Top 4 then), my daughter and I went riding, me on my fixed gear and she on her new mtb (she was clearly disappointed with my directions at the end):
Two days earlier, we were riding near the Hammersmith Bridge.
Returning to the present, this morning’s run (at a much slower pace than for the Italian Beer Loop) was in a light rain and included ducks. I walked by them to not scare them. The one didn’t seem to understand English, so I switched to German, and it picked up its pace!
And brief commentary by me this morning on running trails…