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In 1996 or thereabouts, I weighed 155 lbs, and I hated Nine Mile Hill from Rio Verde to Scottsdale. Nine miles, dead straight, 2-3% grade the entire way, for a total elevation gain of 1122 feet in 9 miles. Fifteen/sixteen years later, at 205 lbs, I still hate it … but I did it.

Now by comparison, Emigration Canyon is 1244 feet in 7.6 miles, with most of the sting at the end, but Emigration Canyon is nice and windy and tree-covered and can be a joy to ride because there are bends and landmarks to let you know how close you are to the top. Nine Mile Hill, on the other hand, is dead straight, with nothing to give you any clue where you are except street signs until you finally hit the top of the climb.

At 43.3 miles total, today’s ride was also the longest ride I’ve done in nearly 5 years, when I really started tracking my rides on Garmin Connect (and later Strava), and I’ve ridden a bit more than 100 miles in the past 3 days, which I think is also a personal best in the past several years.

Legs are sore. I think tomorrow will be a fairly easy recovery type ride before Christmas dinner, and Tuesday will be a day off, since my mother and I have a tradition of going to matinees on Christmas Day.