How to conquer Ascension (18.2 mi) on Expresso

We asked our Team Captains how they prepare to tackle Ascention, arguably the hardest rides on the Expresso Bike. Here was their advice from our Captain Facebook group.

TF: Larry, just gear down and stay steady. You can do it just have something to drink.

NS: Good tip Tom! I took 2 bottles of water for Ascension and I used them! I really needed my towel and my playlist too. I allowed a lot to time and I needed it. I think this is tougher than Savage Revenge which has plateaus.

TF: It is tougher than savage revenge in my opinion. I also had a Cliff bar that I snacked on along the way. I saved it for a weekend morning so I knew that I would have plenty of time. Took me about an hour and a half.

JS: The good news is, you don’t have to worry about running out of time. You only need to keep pedaling until you accomplish the 18.3 miles. Everything else is up to you.

CK: For just about any ride over an hour, I would recommend simple carbohydrates and electrolytes in addition to hydration.

SJ:…I’d add standing on the pedals as often as you need to–to rest your bottom, get some blood back…, and to smooth the wrinkles out of your shorts.

LQ:…I am going to try Ascension – I may have to do most of it in 2nd gear but I am going to try. Thanks for the advice and encouragement… I still have a few days and if I don’t make it, there will be other challenges. I am having a great time and appreciate all the tips.

SJ: …Whenever you do Acsension (this time or next), take it in two parts. If you can make it to Mile 15 or so, it’s mostly downhill from there. Good luck, buddy!

LQ: This has been a great challenge and got me to stretch my physical abilities.

MB: I’m doing Ascension in about an hour. My first (and likely only) tip is…wear riding shorts! For the shorter courses, I wear gym shorts after my weight training, but for those longer ones, the biking material and padding really pays off. That and don’t be intimidated – take an iPod and get comfortable for about an hour and know that it can be done!


MB: Made it Ma! Top of the World! Ok, maybe not “world” but you get the idea. Four courses left and I beat my previous ghost!


Larry Quinnan, DaVita – Tacoma

Nea Savoca, YMCA – Metrowest

Tom Farmer, Anytime Fitness – Bay City

Josh Shapero, YMCA – Central Maryland – Catonsville Center

Chad Katter, Equinox Sports Club New York

Scott Jordan, Liv Avenida Apartments

Matt Brighton, Big Vanilla Athletic Club – Pasadena

Be a leader. Become an Expresso Team Captain. Train Now.

3 thoughts on “How to conquer Ascension (18.2 mi) on Expresso

  1. This is my first month doing the tour, and Ascension is the only ride I have left. These tips came at just the right time. Does anyone know how many seconds of a break you could take and not time out? Got to admit, I am a little nervous about this one!

    1. Hi Beth! By default the bike is set to timeout after 60 seconds. If you can’t pedal you can press the shifter buttons to keep you in the game. You will feel great once you have conquered this ride! Good luck!

      By the way, Ascention is the only ride I have left too. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Ross. I am 65 and this is my “summer of getting fit”. I am down 25 pounds and feeling good but “Ascension” seems like a monster. Wish me luck😀

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