Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) - Mr. Beanz, where are you when I need your help??
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08-15-09, 05:31 PM
Well, I tried today. To ride the route I will be taking when (and if, after today) I start commuting to work. TALK ABOUT YOUR HILLS!!!!! I never knew I was driving up so many inclines.:cry: The car doesn't seem to mind. I rode a short ways but couldn't top one hill without walking the bike.:notamused: Then when I turned around I had to walk another hill on the way back.:notamused: Geez, and it seemed so easy when I was riding down it!!!!! Mr. Beanz, I think you are crazy with your love of hills.:ride: I thought I was going to die.:eek: Just proved to me that I need more off duty time on the bike before I try to ride to work. Gives me motivation, but do the hills have to be so hard to get motivated? That's what I'd like to know!!
08-15-09, 07:28 PM
Leave earlier at first. It won't take all that long to get to the point where you can spin up the hills. Once you do that, you'll start getting stronger and faster. It never gets easier, though, you just get addicted to the burn and the accompanying endorphin buzz.
08-15-09, 07:30 PM
By the way, a little hint: Pick waypoints along the climb and say, "I'm gonna get to there", and when you do, pick another, and another, and another. If you look at the whole uphill, it'll beat you. Break it don intp little bites, perceptually.
08-15-09, 07:40 PM
Thank you, Tom. I was really discouraged but at the back of my mind I kept telling myself, "it'll get better, it'll get better". Now I need to remember the Little Engine That Could.
Keep it up, the hills will get easier and just the thought of your ride home may make your day go by better
How far is the commute and how high are the hills?
08-15-09, 08:20 PM
When I started riding with the guys at work, we go over a bridge that goes over the intracoastal, so it has to be pretty high to accomidate some large boats. First time we did it, I thought I was going to die, but I did, each way. The first week was painful, the next week was painful, but I was faster, then last week was painful (it always is) and I was much quicker. Also, I have noticed my recovery time is much better, and my legs are not sore for near as long after the bridge. I am now doing the bridge 1.5 times each time out, and this week will be looking for 2 times each trip.
Keep trying and giving it your all, you improve quickly. Good job pushing yourself.
08-15-09, 08:47 PM
I'm with the others, don't backdown! You can do it! Just take your time.
You've already realized your stratedgy. You know hwere you will need your energy and strength. S0 you hold back and cruise a little more onthe easier sections. Then you apply the enrgy saved to the tough sections. It's all about planning ahead. You've seen what's going on, now strategize!:thumb:
On my tough rides, I actually hold back on the early part of the ride. When I find my groove, I do what I can do. When I get near the top or nearthe end of the ride and stil have some, then I go all out and burn what I have left.
It's like riding 100 miles. You don't blow up 5 miles into the ride. Ease up, cruise thru the ride then if you want to make up time, make yur move when you know you are safe!:D
But don't stop riding or thinking that you need to do something other than cycling. Only thing that improves your cycling more than cycling, is CYCLING!;)
If you need to walk 50 yards,then do so. Next time, it may be 40 yards. The next time 20! You will get there, just know that you can! and will!
When I started cycling, I really struggled on a 3/4 miler. Friends said I was to big to climb. I hit the hill over and over, maybe 3 times a week. Soon I was climbing it 2 times, then 3, then 4, then 5 till I had to find longer hills, then the mountains!:D
08-15-09, 08:50 PM
I completely understand, turtlewoman, as shown here - http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=574255
When I first started riding in mid-May, I had a few hills where I had to stop and walk. Now, I'm going up those well enough, if still in huff-n-puff style on a few.
08-15-09, 08:51 PM
BTW, when you get to the hill, just gear down. Slap that baby into the easiest gear and CRAWL up! Making it is the goal, not racing up. Later, you will do more than crawl. Then the speed will come!
If you dont make it up, no problem. Most people driving by will se eyou and say "HOLY ********* look at that woman ride up this big hill that I would never attempt myself". That's the way I see myself while climbing!:thumb:
Soon they will say, "did you see that woman climb this big hill?".... I love hte Nike thing:
JUST DO IT!!!!!!!!!
08-15-09, 08:55 PM
I started commuting by driving halfway and riding the rest when I started and when my current office is too far for a regular full commute. I agree, who knew there were so many hills when just driving the car.
The hills really do humble me. Just keep plugging away on them, try to extend the distance you make up them each day. When you get hilltop resist the urge to immediately coast - keep going and get your cadence back and upshift to match the flatter or downhill slope. At first you may need to stop and recover; but by keeping going you will get big improvements in your fitness.
Thank goodness most of the hardest hills are on my homebound commute, not on the way to work. And I always have moderate terrain for a few miles to get everything warmed up.
It took me a while to learn how to ride standing up and I can't do it very long, but it does help you get your momentum back when you start to slow down. It made me pretty sore at first. I also learned when struggling in the bottom gears to slide back on the saddle and drop my heels to use the hamstrings/glutes more. I am trying different things out playing with my technique and trying to take advantage of my upper body strength and minimize stress on my reconstructed knee while I build up my legs.
As a Athena (clyde class) I will probably never be a good climber but I can still improve. I now have a little checklist of hills in town that I wish to be able to climb; one by one I am marking them off my list when I think I'm up for a try. Usually they get a nickname, "Oakmonster", "Nice Hill". The things that are hardest for us to do are the ones that will give us the most sense of accomplishment when we are finally able to do them.
08-15-09, 09:05 PM
I knew you all would come to my emotional rescue. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And to Cooker----it's not how big the hill is, it's how big you THINK it is!!
08-15-09, 10:35 PM
I don't even like to look up the hill too far when I am cranking up one. I just look far enough ahead to safely not run into something (which isn't very far if the hill is steep enough).
There is part of my commute home that I feel relieved when the hill changes into a 7% grade. It is at that point I say, "Ah, I am over the hill!"
08-16-09, 10:39 AM
I have NO love for hills, although what I face is more like very long uphills which can get me puffing like crazy anyway. After my first few weeks back in the saddle after a decade layoff, it dawned on me to get out of my saddle. Once I started doing that, I found I wasn't as all out spent by the time I got to the top.
I ride in the saddle until it looks like I'm getting to 5-6-7 mph, then go up to finish it.
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