The climb to the Crystal Lake Cafe itself is 14 miles long with 4100 feet gained putting the average grade around 5.5%. It's a climb that I am quite familiar with as I have completed the whole climb over 20 times. My fastest time was set in 2013 when I rode the segment in 1:21:31. My most recent attempt put me in the neighborhood of +30 minutes so needless to say, I have a lot of work to do.
So how am I going to get there? Currently I am doing a power based training program via the Training Plans provided by Strava and the Carmichael Training Systems. It's a monthly program designed to increase your power output based on a desired time frame. I am working on a 60 minute power schedule which has me riding up to 10 hours over 5-6 days each week. I think that any sort of focused training will give me an advantage over "2013 Justin" because at that point I wasn't really training I was just riding A LOT. I think that was the year I logged a 400+ mile week and I was averaging close to 1000 miles each month. I don't have nearly that much time now but being smarter with my training will certainly make it more effective.