I'm going to do this every Sunday... until I can do it without swearing and stopping constantly.
Until it's fun, damn it.
This is an emphasis on a new kind of riding for me. Uphill and A to A riding... to ride, not for a destination or sightseeing. I did a bit of this in the Netherlands, like cycling around the ringvaart, but not very often. The goal here is the ride, not to see cute ducks on a canal, or a new part of Zeeland or Friesland. I even wear a helmet and worry about weight. New stuff!
I made it up about 8 miles today to the Flores Flat area. By my calculations, the average grade was just under 6.5%. I didn't make it to the top- that's one last torturous mile of 7-10% grade.
My decision to stop today was sudden, I did think I'd make it to the top, but when I saw the increase in grade and felt the hot sun on my neck, my legs turned to jello. They said no. Maybe next week I'll be better prepared mentally.
So, after 8 miles, I turned around and rode with my hands squeezing the brakes for about 4 miles before getting a stupid flat tire. (I had taken the schwalbe marathons off and put back on the stock continentals in a desperate ploy to make the bike just a little bit lighter- Anything to avoid losing weight myself.)
By this time, other area cyclists were awake and doing the climb. Everyone that passed me offered help and support. It was really nice but I'm a skilled flat fixer by this point and waved everyone on until I got the point of inflation. I had a compression canister and had not used one for years... A runner and a cyclist came by and helped me out by also not knowing what to do but being kind and curious. We figured it out eventually.