I had my baptism into what Dan calls “Climb Brutal“, one of the shorter routes to get from the El Cerrito to Tilden Park.
Climb Brutal kicks off with a pleasantly winding route through the Sunset View Cemetery, which I didn’t even know existed.
Once you pass the eastern gate of the cemetery, you’re on to Sunset Drive, a fairly mild incline at 11.2%, which will take you to Arlington.
On Arlington, you have make a u-turn to get to the heart of Climb Brutal, Wellesley Drive, which kicks up to a gut-wrenching 17% grade for .2 miles, which doesn’t seem that long, but go climb it and it will seem like forever. I couldn’t make it and had to stop half-way.
After Wellesley, there’s a short chance to recover on Cambridge, but when you start climbing again after a left on Beloit and even though the grade is shy of 9%, I didn’t have anything left in the tank and I crawled up to Grizzly Peak.
Somehow I managed to recover from Climb Brutal and work my way around the Three Bears and then back home.
It was a shortish ride, but I felt I’d been through the ringer when it was over.