Never heard of Soda Springs Rd, eh? Well, neither had I until Mark Edwards, coach extraordinaire of Team Bicycle Trip, showed it to me. It's a dead-end road above Lexington Reservoir, near Los Gatos, that is pretty smooth and consistent all the way to the top. We rode up it last Saturday, after riding from Santa Cruz to Scotts Valley and over Mountain Charlie Rd. Here are the specs for my ride up Soda Springs Rd:
Distance in meters: 8773 (5.45 miles)
Grade (elev. gain 2,415'): 0.085 (8.5% average)
Time in seconds: 2397
Weight kg; total bike, kit, body, water etc.: 82.7
Body weight only; first thing AM: 68.9
So, this gives me a truer idea of my actual FTP (Functional Threshold Power; my average power output in a 1-hour race). About 272W, and 3.94W/kg. Not bad. But not great either. Pretty much right in the middle of the team. Hey, I'm a sprinter, OK?
Of what use are these numbers? None, really, except that in the future I can ride that hill again and recalculate my power, and eliminate some of the variables like my body weight, or my bike's weight, etc. that simply using a stopwatch can't account for. Then I can see if my training needs adjustments, or if I'm on track and making progress. Also, Mark uses them to compare each team member so he can better advise us as to our strengths and weaknesses in a race situation.
I've also used Old La Honda Rd as a test, and Swanton Rd, so now I have several places to compare my power. Good times!