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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-05-07, 12:12 PM   #1
VTRoadie
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Hill Climb on my roadie?

I want to bike this loop. I have done every part of it except the section from mile 12 to mile 19. My concern is the pure steepness of this section. I think I could make it on my mountain bike (as it has much lower gears), but roadbikes are geared so much higher that I run outta steam.

Besides losing weight (har har), what is a good approach at conquering such a formidable beast?

It is a 720ft gain over 2.7 miles.. fairly constant gain. It continues on to ~820ft at 4 miles.

Last edited by VTRoadie; 07-05-07 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 07-05-07, 12:43 PM   #2
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Just go do it.

You'll likely find it wasn't as big a monster as you feared. And if it is, keep going back and whacking away until you beat it into submission.
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Old 07-05-07, 12:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbossman
Just go do it.

You'll likely find it wasn't as big a monster as you feared. And if it is, keep going back and whacking away until you beat it into submission.
+1

Psyching yourself out is the worst thing, you'll never try it if you keep doing that. I'd imagine you'd be fine, and like he says, if not just keep trying. Eventually you'll be up to it.
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Old 07-05-07, 12:50 PM   #4
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Just go ride it. What's the worst thing that can happen? There's a hill near my house, from about 4900 feet to 8600 in 12 miles, that I tried half a dozen times before I cleaned it. You walk awhile or you turn around and coast home, and you get stronger and eventually ride to the top.
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Old 07-05-07, 12:51 PM   #5
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Bossman has it right! Most hills are just mental! If at first you don't succeed.........you know the rest!

Now, go kick that hills ARSE!
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Old 07-05-07, 01:15 PM   #6
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Nice to see another Vermonter here....

You just have to do it. This beast used to be my ride home (years and pounds ago, though still a Clyde even then).... I just put my touring bike in the granny gear and ground my way up.

Nowhere is it written that you can't take a break to gasp by the side of the road; you can also change your front sprocket so you have some tree climbing gears, if you want. Ultimately, the advice you are getting is right on: do it.
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Old 07-05-07, 02:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Most hills are just mental!
Yup - just like me.

We have a local mountain out here called Mt Diablo. It goes from 600 or so feet at the base to 3,820 feet or so at the summit - a gain of well over 3,000' in elevation over just under 11 miles. And from my house, I have to climb the better part of 1,000 feet in 7 miles to get to the base.

I'm a clyde and a poor climber. In the first year of cycling I went all over the place, but always around that damned mountain - never up it. It intimidated me. One day I woke up and gave it a try. Sure - it was a tough climb for me, but I realized pretty quickly that I was going to summit - that it wasn't a question of if, it was a question of how long it would take.

It was challenging, but nowhere near what I had mentally built it up to be. I'm still a clyde and a poor climber, but I go up there once a month or so..... >YAWN<

Go Do It.
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Old 07-05-07, 02:53 PM   #8
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Quick fix = Just go and do it. Eventually it won't seem that bad and you'll be looking for bigger, badder hills.

Pricey fix = Compact double, or a triple up front. A triple, obviously, will give you a dinky ring but you might need a new FD to accommodate it. A compact double will give you a lower gear inch when in your hill combo, but still allow you a steep top gear for the flats.
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Old 07-05-07, 02:53 PM   #9
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You around Concord in Contra Costa County? PM back the answer if you prefer privacy!
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbossman
Yup - just like me.

We have a local mountain out here called Mt Diablo. It goes from 600 or so feet at the base to 3,820 feet or so at the summit - a gain of well over 3,000' in elevation over just under 11 miles. And from my house, I have to climb the better part of 1,000 feet in 7 miles to get to the base.

I'm a clyde and a poor climber. In the first year of cycling I went all over the place, but always around that damned mountain - never up it. It intimidated me. One day I woke up and gave it a try. Sure - it was a tough climb for me, but I realized pretty quickly that I was going to summit - that it wasn't a question of if, it was a question of how long it would take.

It was challenging, but nowhere near what I had mentally built it up to be. I'm still a clyde and a poor climber, but I go up there once a month or so..... >YAWN<

Go Do It.
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Old 07-05-07, 03:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
You around Concord in Contra Costa County? PM back the answer if you prefer privacy!
Not too far - about 15 miles or so south of Concord, about 6 miles or so west of Mt Diablo.

It's in my 'hood.

To the OP - what is the current gearing on your bike? Triple/double/compact up front? Cassette rangew in the rear?
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Old 07-05-07, 03:42 PM   #11
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This thread has inspired me to go climb a hill that has repeatedly destroyed me until I destroy it.
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Old 07-05-07, 05:16 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone! I read this thread at a red light on my way home.. it was raining out.. but he minute it stopped I went out and played on the local hills (a couple shorter 300ft climbs -- horrah for living in a valley). I was uber-motivated! Thanks! You all rock so much. Soon I will attack the big-hill o' evilness!
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Old 07-22-07, 02:27 AM   #13
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Just wanted to say THANKS for the inspiration everyone! I went out today and did ~45 miles, including that entire hill I was afraid of. I managed to average a respectable 7 mph over it, didnt stop, granny geared most of it, out of the saddle in a few places to keep going. What a climb though. I felt awesome at the top.
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Old 07-22-07, 02:56 AM   #14
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Congrats!
Knew you could ;-)
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Old 07-22-07, 03:39 AM   #15
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I HAVE A HILL IM GONNA DO TOMORROW. I have to get my front wheel trued and,then that hills going down.
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Old 07-22-07, 06:20 AM   #16
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I would just like to say that it looks like you live in a wonderful area. State parks surround you. I complained in the past about my hills;they are nothing but speed bumps compared to that climb.

Just do it is the key, but you don't need Nike. How do you eat an elephant? When you conquer that beast you let us know.
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Old 07-22-07, 11:56 AM   #17
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JumboRider: There are tons of great parks/hikes in Vermont. It is a beautiful state. The only (mild) gripe is the valleys that run North to South. There are thousands of century possibilities, but as soon as you try to cut a long ride into something more respectable for a cylde you find yourself crossing a huge mountain, or on a dirt road (I prefer the mountain to dirt).
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Old 07-24-07, 03:30 PM   #18
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just go out and try it. If you have good mountain climbing gears hills turn out to be a matter of patience instead of pain. Find a breathing pace you can maintain and just ride within yourself. Don't even think about speed. Focus on landmarks along the side of the road and reel them in one by one until you are sitting on top of the crest.

Then go hump that hill every week until you wonder what all the fuss was for.

And if you are going to go challenge gravity, at least pick a route where you get the benefit of some beautiful descending curves to glide through for a reward for all the work.
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