Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
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I grew up in the flatlands of Texas. A few years back, we moved to Colorado and I got interested in hiking. Well, for 2 years, we lived right next to a county-owned park, and a service road from that park came within 100 yards of our house. I would get out and hike up that service road every evening, and it was a good uphill road, too. Did in in the dark, did it in the snow, but I did it. And I did get a bunch better at it. Before we moved out of state, I had gone up several of the 14'ers, and had been on the 20 highest peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park. I think I went from 42" waist to 38" waist in that time.
It seems to me that the single biggest problem is just sitting around the house. You can have a great workout planned, but, too, you can always find excuses why you can't do it- too dark, to cold, too late, etc. So I see the bike paths around here full of overweight people when the weather is nice, and when it's cold, no one is out. Just get out and do something somewhere anyway.
On the gears- just use whatever works best. Using too high of a gear will just wipe your legs out- you may go up faster, but you won't on that 2nd hill or the 3rd one.