Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Bright city lights and endless staircases

Filed under: — stan @ 10:03 pm

It’s Tuesday, and time for another practice run up the Aon Center stairs in downtown Los Angeles. Last week, I’d done my best time yet at 9:48, so I wanted to see if I could beat that.

I’d washed my gloves over the weekend to restore their stickiness, and wow, did it ever. They really gripped the railing, and the little rubber-squeaky noises were louder than ever. I made a point of not trying to think about going fast, but rather just to concentrate on doing the proper footwork for the least steps. That makes climbing more efficient, and it’s also a useful distraction from the thinking, “OMG!!! What the HELL was I thinking signing up for this again!

After all these practice runs, I’m getting pretty good at the stepping pattern. I only got confused once, around the 54th floor. And I’m usually pretty cross-eyed and confused by that point anyway. I had a quick look at my watch at the halfway point at 32, and it said something like 4:50, so I was on track. I passed 9 minutes at about 54, and I managed to put on a little kick at the end, from 56 to 60. I came out of the stairs and did the traditional face-plant on the floor. And when I looked at the watch, it said 9:50. Not the fastest, but the second-fastest, and not bad at all for just showing up to do the climb without really trying to set any records.

After a few minutes, I went to look out the windows for a bit. And it turned out that tonight had a very nice sunset. So I found a dark corner of the 60th floor and braced the camera on the window sill to take some pictures. I also went to the other side to get some pictures of the other skyscrapers on Bunker Hill, since we’ll be racing up the U.S. Bank Tower in the fall, as well as practicing at Wells Fargo and One California Plaza.

All told, I’m having a really good practice season right now. Not really trying for speed, but still consistently doing times that I could only dream about last year. There’s nothing not to like there.

Working out my power production:

1236 x 7.5 = 9270 inches = 772.5 feet
9270 x 2.54 / 100 = 235.5 meters
235.5m x 77kg x 9.8 = 177677 joules
177677 joules / 590 sec = 301 watts
301 watts = 0.4 horsepower

Yup. Nothing not to like here.

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