“You do that for a while and you really build your strength up.” T. Emmanuel on practicing.
La Luz is a most beautiful climb to practice bicycling on. It is easily accessible from town but it takes you a world away. You climb 975 vertical feet in two road miles. That’s steep. It begins at about 6,000′ and goes up to 7,000′. There’s a trailhead for a path leading to the top of the Sandia Crest at the end of the road. Many people run up that trail and then take the Aerial Tram back down. There is usually very little car traffic on La Luz. The road is windy so be careful.
Last winter I lifted weights in the gym. This winter I’m looking forward to spending more time on the bike. I much prefer being outside. La Luz helps build strength and power.
“All I’m interested in is this” Tommy Emmanuel tells us regarding his guitar playing. Bicycling is the same for me. My triathlete friends blow my mind. I thrive on simplicity. I am trying to learn to play new tunes on my one instrument. That is endlessly challenging.
Give La Luz a try after you have some base level training. There is one hill more difficult than this in the area called Heartbreak Hill. That is over on the other side of the Sandias and I’ll try it for a ride report. The Sandia Crest Road Race goes over Heartbreak.
You can do repeats on La Luz, or simply do it once. You can combine it with other nearby climbs in the Sandia foothills, or drop down Tramway toward the river (elevation 5,000′) and come back for a tempo climb approach before you turn onto La Luz and go as hard as you can go. La Luz is a great one for recruiting muscle fibers to work through your pedal stroke, and for training the ones you’ve got to sustain power! Build the aerobic engine by climbing lots.