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  1. #1
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    I suck at climbing.

    At least today, I did. I've been putting in some respectable mileage over the last year. Up until about November, I was doing 120 or so miles a week, between commuting and weekend rides. This year, I only missed a couple weeks of riding due to weather, and since it's gotten nicer, I've been upping the mileage. I did 175 miles 3 weeks ago, 180 last week (with 1 101 miler!). So, you think I would be ready for some climbing.

    Evidently not. I did a 53-miler today, with about 5,000 feet of total climbing. Most of it was typical rollers, with 3-7% grades being fairly common. There were a couple 10-11% sections that were tougher, but the big climb was over Mt. Weather - it's a 6-mile climb, with 2 really bad sections. The first is a 10-11% grade for about 1 mile or so. I stopped at the top of it for a bit of recovery, then went on - the worst part was a mile-long section that runs between 11% all the way up to 17%. I ended up having to walk my bike to the top of that section. The rest of the mountain was hard, but do-able.

    There was one other section that once it got over 13%, I just couldn't climb it without getting so slow that I felt too wobbly to keep my balance, so I ended up walking it, too.

    After that, the rest of the ride was fine - I was just VERY frustrated that I didn't ride up those 2 sections. I know I need to lose 20 lbs or so.....but I ended the ride just emotionally drained from it. Hopefully my mood will improve during the week.
    Giant OCR C2
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    '06 Kona Jake the Snake - back to stock, and up for sale.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I had problems with hills until a Friend changed my 3rd small ring to a 24 tooth from the 30 tooth that came with the bike.
    What size is your small front ring?
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    It's a 53/39/30 on the front, and 12X25 on the rear - I've got a 12X27 that I'm going to put on the back (that's the lowest gearing the bike will accept).

    I'm going to try this same ride the next 3 weekends to see if I get any better on those 2 sections - I have a hilly century on June 9th, and it will help....but I also think this is a BIG hint that I also need to get serious about losing the excess weight. I don't think I want to make any major dietary changes this close to the big ride, but that extra baggage isn't helping matters.
    Giant OCR C2
    Fuji Cross Pro
    Scattante 650-R
    '06 Kona Jake the Snake - back to stock, and up for sale.

  4. #4
    Senior Member TrumpetMurph's Avatar
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    Another thing that helps me is to shift into a slightly higher gear and stand up from the saddle during those really steep parts where it gets tough to carry speed and momentum.

    Remember, when you're standing, you can use your arms to increase the overall force you apply, too, by pulling up on the handlebars with the same hand as the leg that is pressing down. . .

    This works best with hands on the drops if you've got 'em, but it will work with hands on the hoods or even with a flat bar. . .

    It will burn in the legs, but you'll carry that speed and momentum.

    You can DO IT!

  5. #5
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Hey...5,000 feet over 50 miles. Don't care what anybody says, that's a fair bit o' climbing right there.

    (BTW, that's my measurement for a challenge: 1,000 feet or more per 10 miles, especially when over a century.)

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

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