I was in Boise today and decided to pay one of my old friends a visit, the Bogus Basin Hill Climb. As a cyclist who lived here for 20 years, I’ve climbed this beast literally hundreds of times. I know every corner and crack!
Since I was riding alone today, I had a chance to reminisce about many of my past climbs, most of which I was soundly dropped by my cycling buddies! One former climbing mate of which I recalled was my good friend Tad.
Although younger than me by a smidge, Tad was truly my road cycling mentor. Much of everything I ever learn about road cycling and racing came from hours and hours of training with Tad. 20 years ago, he was a bad ass semi-pro and I was a strong but raw mountain biker.
On the rare occasion he was rolling easy and I could stay on his wheel, we climbed together. Along the entire stretch of the road he would talk about race tactics for the climb. “Dave, this stretch is a little steeper, press hard to the next sign”. “This section around the switchback, recover and look back at the carnage.” “Around this corner you will get a head wind, find a wheel!” Tad was never blessed with extraordinary genes necessary to race at the highest levels but his constant analytics allowed him to race with some of the very best. I continue to appreciate his mentorship and learn something from him on every ride!
Finally, on the decent, I thought about my friend Remi. Remi is a former US National Road Bike Champion and a 10 year veteran of the pro cycling tour. When racing, he lived in a condo at the top of the climb and every day he would ride down the mountain, train in the valley, then ride back up the climb to his home. No wonder has won more than a couple races! I remembered that since he rode down the climb almost every day that he leaned every corner and turn so well that he literally never used his brakes the entire 17 plus miles. …… did I mention he is great at decenting?
It has been several years since I did this climb and although I suffered a little, I enjoyed all the memories!