One of Ling’s co-workers sent me an email on Saturday, asking if I would mind if he followed us on our Sunday bike rides, and took some pictures. The request is not so odd when you consider that two of my other riding partners also work with Ling . We all agreed, and got a bit of a feel for what it was to be a real racer, with the paparazzi chasing us all over the hill!
The actual story of riding is probably quite boring for those who don’t do it, so I’ll limit myself to one story.
The climb up Cypress mountain is 14 km, during which you gain 740 m elevation (the real test is actually before that – where you climb 160 m in 1 km  – if you can do that, you can climb Cypress). The climb takes me about an hour.
When watching the Tour de France, I hear the commentators refer to “false flats” sections that seem flat, or even downhill, even though you are actually still climbing. I never really understood the concept until I rode up Cypress. After an hour of going uphill, you get really used to the feel of going up at that rate. About 12 km into the Cypress climb, you “crest” the mountain, and really speed up. Everyone has the same thought when they do it – that this is going to really suck on the way back out, because you’re going to have to go uphill again. Then you look at your speedometer, realize you’re only doing 20kph, look at your gear cluster and realize in you’re third lowest gear, and it dawns on you – you’re going uphill; on a climb about equivalent to going north on the Cypress bike route from 49th to 41st ave. But compared to what you just did for that last 50 minutes, it feels like you’re going downhill.
It’s a really weird feeling, but everyone that does it feels the same way. That is the essence of a false flat.
 That, however, is very odd when you consider that Ling had nothing to do with setting up the Sunday rides, and it was all organized by a friend I used to work with at Raytheon
 By comparison, the climb to Prospect Point in Stanley Park is 50 m in 1 km
Yes, I get up at 6:00 on a Sunday morning, so I can spend an hour climbing an average 5% grade, as part of a 100 km ride – psychiatrists are still trying to figure out why