Vancouver is something of an interesting city to me (at least from the perspective of someone that grew up in the desert which is relatively flat): the entire western side of the city is peppered with random hills. If you know how to commute around town, this isn't actually a huge issue. But, I was hoping to start training for the "big hill" that is a notorious STP feature.
The particular hill that I opted to tackle is right on Mill Plain off of Grand. Even when I was cycling daily to Portland, this thing was a nightmare. While it doesn't sound like too much, it is around a 500 foot climb over about .1 of a mile. And I am not too proud to say, this thing beat me up (and just being a couple weeks out of smoking, my lungs were in fire). It beat me up good, and like an idiot, I tackled this thing in the middle of my ride. I see it as something of a real goal to be able to make this one without stopping and at something of a brisk pace. I have roughly six months to get ready for STP and I know hitting hills like this one is going to be imperative.
On a more physical note, the daily training on the bike is helping with my quads and my fingers didn't freeze today, which-you know-is a nice bonus. Also, I think I need to see about some new drop bars or at least repositioning my brake levers; their current location is in no way sensible.