I joined the 250K club

By Michael Collier

Today I set a Personal Best for cycling. I surpassed my goal of reaching 250,000 feet of climbing on my bike this year.That’s more than eight times the elevation of Mount Everest.

Here it is:

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I had fun setting my record, rolling off more than 5,000 feet of climbing in the East Bay Hills on a moderately warm afternoon, including a very steep Claremont Canyon in Berkeley. Worried that I’d need a wild card hill to get me over the top, I added Claremont on the spur of the moment.

It was a good instinct on my part. My total for the day put me about 500 feet above my goal.

Elevation gain is just one measure of cycling success — along with distance and speed. I chose to focus on hills this year because they had been one of my weaknesses over the years.

If you’re wondering how 250,000 feet stacks up, well here is some context. My hill-climbing numbers exceed those of most of my cycling pals following me on Strava, the cycling app based in San Francisco.

But a couple of my buddies have stacked up way more elevation gain than I have — one has tallied nearly 650,000 feet, another has climbed more than 550,000 feet this year and another has exceeded 350,000 feet.

I am quite satisfied with my progress on climbing. Now it’s on to another goal — for 2014.

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