Yesterday I decided to go up "The Monster", a nickname I've given the hill that starts at 8th South and 7th East. One portion of the hill actually is a 20% grade. A few blocks before it, the road is 3-5%. Then the road after it is a couple of miles of 2-3% grade. The Monster though is killer.
At the base of the hill, I had to turn down a road and catch my breath before turning around and going up. Back in May I could only go about 15 pedals up the steepest part. This time I made it half way up. I had to stop and catch my breath for a few minutes, then I biked up the rest of the hill, up to 13th East. I then went another block or so and pulled over to rest and give a little video report.
I consider this a small victory!