Another Vertical Camp has come and gone. This year was one of the biggest and best camps to date. The sun came out on day 1 and a great mix of 23 Human Powered Racing and B78 athletes were ready to tackle 4 big days of training.
Day 1 – Vertical Camp
Day 1 started off with a trip along the Pacific Coast Highway and up the newly paved Yerba Buena climb before descending down into Westlake and along our usual route back to Thousand Oaks through Hidden Valley and up the dreaded “Tom Selleck” hill. The afternoon of Day 1 was a 48 minute (a certain someone’s birthday) run through the rolling Santa Monica Hills.
Day 2 – Vertical Camp
Day 2 was a shorter ride day, but featured one of the steepest and hardest climbs of the camp. This route took us up Westlake (steep and short), along Mullholland and down Encinal Canyon Road before climbing the very steep early slopes of the Decker Road climb. This one finished with our usual return route through the horse farms. After a short rest it was off to the community pool at CLU for a 60 minute recovery swim under sunny skies.
Vertical Camp – Day 3
Day 3 was the “Big Ride” day featuring two great climbs. The ride starts out nice and flat through the town of Thousand Oaks, but before long riders are at the base of Piuma road and the climb from the valley side up to the summit and it’s sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Malibu below. After a hair raising descent on Las Flores it was time for a relaxed coffee stop in Malibu. The next climb of the day is the longest and many would argue their favourite of the camp; Latigo Road. This climb, with it’s gentler slopes and sweeping views all the way up is one of the best and most ridden in the Santa Monica Mountains. After the 100km of riding it was time to put on the shoes and go for a short 15 minute transition run to remember that feeling of running on dead legs.
Vertical Camp – Day 4
Day 4 is when the fatigue has really kicked in for most riders, but much to their surprise, legs and pedal strokes actually start to feel better and better. This ride starts out with another climb up the short steep Westlake Road and then people get a chance to see just how steep Decker was as they descend back down to the PCH and where they began the major climb on Saturday. After a good long flat stretch along the ocean it was the final climb of the day and a chance for everyone to see what they had left in their legs on the extremely short steep (15%) Potrero Road Climb. Once back to our hotel, that was it for the bikes, but there was still one workout left; a 60 minute run that in keeping with the theme of the camp was vertical. 35 minutes up and about 20 minutes back down. The views and knowing it was the last workout of the camp made it all worth it.