I went out with a couple of guys that are training to do Levi's Gran Fondo in just over a month. They are in good shape and are climbing really well. We did a couple of big climbs through the course of the 46 mile route. The first is a normal 2 mile climb that is nothing too hard. The second one was a monster at about 5 miles. The first half of the climb is steady but the last mile destroyed me. It gets up to 22% for the last half mile. I rode away with my tail between my legs as I had to put my foot down and rest half way up the final push. My legs were toast. Part of my problem was that the last time I did that climb was 3 years ago when I was in good shape and was 15 +pounds lighter. So as a result, I went out a little too hard on the lower slopes rather than saving my legs for the upper portion.
Overall I am having fun riding this year, but I am bummed that I didn't sign up for any big event to motivate me to drop the weight and get in good shape this year. I really hate struggling as much as I am on the climbs, but clearly not enough to step away from the 2 pound bag of peanut M&Ms sitting in the mini fridge right next to my desk.