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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 07-18-08, 09:48 AM   #1
Iamkar33m
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Is it pathetic when...

A 3.5% grade over 1/4 mile kicks your ass?
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Old 07-18-08, 10:18 AM   #2
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If you just finished riding 200 miles into a headwind? No it's not.

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Old 07-18-08, 10:23 AM   #3
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Only if you give up.
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Old 07-18-08, 10:27 AM   #4
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i slip in to the small ring
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Old 07-18-08, 10:28 AM   #5
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+1 to only if you give up.

Also, guessing you have your Madone back and/or got another bike?
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Old 07-18-08, 10:29 AM   #6
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Only if you give up.
THIS^^^^^^^^


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Old 07-18-08, 10:34 AM   #7
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+1 to only if you give up.

Also, guessing you have your Madone back and/or got another bike?
Nope, Madone is MIA... Jax sent it into Trek and Trek has yet to give me a word on what's going on with it. I'm a bit irked at this point. I am going through severe riding withdrawals, it just f*ing sucks having to walk everywhere I used to be able to ride to.

I just closed a deal on a 2009 Specialized Tricross Sport Triple w/ Rock n' Road Cyclery in Anaheim Hills. I should have it on the streets by next Friday (they have to order it, build it, and fit it to me).

P.S. I agree with the giving up comments, however I can make it all the way up without stopping... but I am huffing and puffing my lungs out.
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Old 07-18-08, 10:40 AM   #8
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I can't think of anything pathetic about riding a bike at all. Have fun and seek out new challenges, and you will improve at your own pace.
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Old 07-18-08, 10:41 AM   #9
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Nice! The Tricross are nice rides, a bit different from the Madone, but great for all kinds of stuff. What were you riding on the 3.5% grade?

Also last year when we moved into our new house, with it with got a nice grade right out of my driveway. NOt sure what percentage, but it's 3 blocks long of goodness. At first I could climb it in granny gear with lots of effort. These days I kind of fly up it while hammering away. Daily trials help build those leg muscles, trust me .
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Old 07-18-08, 10:47 AM   #10
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Don't worry - two weeks from now you won't notice the incline.
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Old 07-18-08, 10:52 AM   #11
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Nice! The Tricross are nice rides, a bit different from the Madone, but great for all kinds of stuff. What were you riding on the 3.5% grade?

Also last year when we moved into our new house, with it with got a nice grade right out of my driveway. NOt sure what percentage, but it's 3 blocks long of goodness. At first I could climb it in granny gear with lots of effort. These days I kind of fly up it while hammering away. Daily trials help build those leg muscles, trust me .
I was actually riding the Madone up the 3.5% grade

I only found out today what the grade of that hill was, thats why the delay in the post. But what's funny is another street I rode up a few days before is 1/5th of a mile at 7% grade and I didnt struggle as much with that one.

I began to suspect that hills are only psychologically challenging, meaning if you think it will kick your arse it will definitely do so. If you don't think to much about it and just do it, it's much easier.
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Old 07-18-08, 11:19 AM   #12
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Try this little test:
Find a thin person. Find a tandem bike. Get on the tandem bike with the thin person and ride up the hill twice. The first time, you pedal and the thin person doesn't. Second time, the thin person pedals and you don't. See who's really more fit.

In response to the original question, it's not pathetic when you have difficulty doing something that you don't normally do. I'm a pathetic swimmer. So what? I don't normally swim. Take a championship swimmer, put him in a sumo ring and see how he does there. If you never think to get out of the house, that's sort of pathetic. And if you give up the first time you try something because it's hard, that's sort of pathetic.
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Old 07-18-08, 11:21 AM   #13
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It's only pathetic if you continue to allow it to, and avoid the grade.
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Old 07-18-08, 11:31 AM   #14
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It might actually be a lot harder depending on when during your ride you hit it. If you're not warmed up, tired, or just having a bad day (in any number of possible ways) that 3.5% might be a lot harder.
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Old 07-18-08, 11:42 AM   #15
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Good input guys. As soon as I have another set of wheels i'll be hitting that hill on a daily basis. As the Marines say, punishment will continue until morale improves.
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Old 07-18-08, 01:57 PM   #16
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If you just finished riding 200 miles into a headwind? No it's not.

edit:
Ye how many miles you have in your lags can make a difference. Several years ago the little hill behind 'The Big Yellow House' ate my lunch. It is fairly steep but less than 1/4 mile. I rode it on club tides all the time, but this was the second fay of 'The Land Rush' so 210 miles the day before and over 100 already that day.
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Old 07-18-08, 02:01 PM   #17
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It's only pathetic if you continue to allow it to, and avoid the grade.
Very very true. The hill hasn't won if you have to get off and walk, the hill has not won if you can't make it to the top today.

The hill only wins when you are no longer willing to try again.
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Old 07-18-08, 02:03 PM   #18
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It might actually be a lot harder depending on when during your ride you hit it. If you're not warmed up, tired, or just having a bad day (in any number of possible ways) that 3.5% might be a lot harder.
It can make a difference when in hte day you hit it. When I was in shape I did a 25 mile loop that must have had all of 100 yards of flat. Did it one day and I felt like Pantani, dancing on hte wheels. Did it the next an hour earlier and 10 degrees hotter and I melted.
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Old 07-18-08, 02:11 PM   #19
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I'd only echo what others have said really - it's not at all pathetic, especially if you recognise it as something to be beaten

I've found that if I have to stop on a hill (and that's quite often round here given my current fitness level) I stop, catch my breath, then hop back on the bike. I've not given up and walked yet. I'm definitely finding the hills easier to deal with the more I ride them.

Good luck, and keep at it!
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Old 07-18-08, 02:14 PM   #20
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How do you determine hills percentage of incline or the grade of a road?

I always guessed it was degree of angle, yet reading this it is not.

As to hills, the long sloping grades usually are little problem for this old rider, unless of course it is into a head wind.

The short steep hills are what provide trouble, more so, if I have not dropped to proper gearing as required, if to slow, tough to maintain forward motion.


Had to hills this last weekend, walked last 15 feet, with my hybrid, felt bad, except a couple of riders with road bikes following me, did same thing on same two climbs. My estimate, these were elevations changes of at least 50 feet in less than 1/4 mile. Could not focus on telephone pole beyond rise as it was out of site. Two of these within 4 miles caused me issues. Actually the 2nd one blamed on pickup truck pulling straw bales on wagon, he missed gear and pushed me toward the road edge, loosing my rhythm.
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Old 07-18-08, 02:14 PM   #21
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On a Madone? Yes it is!
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Old 07-18-08, 02:23 PM   #22
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On a Madone? Yes it is!
Just because I ride a Madone, it doesn't imbue me with Lance Armstrong's powers; contrary to what most people believe.


For finding the grade of a hill, I used http://toporoute.com/cgi-bin/bicycle.cgi

Just plot a route on the hill you take and find the elevation/mean grade.
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Old 07-18-08, 02:26 PM   #23
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I forgot to mention, this isnt a straight hill... it's a winding road on a hill in a residential area with cars parked along the sides of the street.
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Old 07-18-08, 02:43 PM   #24
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On a Madone? Yes it is!
I was just messin' with you man! If you ride a bike, it's all good. If you ride a hill, it's tough but even more gooder!

I know lots of riders with Madone's and other sweet rides that won't attempt any hill of any sort. And they are 5 ft 100 lb guys!
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Old 07-18-08, 02:46 PM   #25
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I was just messin' with you man! If you ride a bike, it's all good. If you ride a hill, it's tough but even more gooder!

I know lots of riders with Madone's and other sweet rides that won't attempt any hill of any sort. And they are 5 ft 100 lb guys!
Heh, I don't have a choice here - pretty much anywhere further than a mile away involves hilly death. Nice to know even the skinny buggers hate them too though
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