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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 08-05-08, 01:28 PM   #1
Joe Bifulco
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Hills

What a difference some hills make! I have been feeling pretty good about myself lately. I have been riding 20 miles almost every week day and 30 a day on the week ends. My average speed is slowly climbing (my new road bike doesn't hurt) and I have lost 58 lbs since Christmas (202 now).

I left today for a 25 mile ride feeling pretty cocky. I thought I would take on something more difficult so I set on on this ride - http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...falo/598024690.

Let me tell you it seemed the 882 foot change in elevation happed on one hill about 3 miles long. I couldn't make it and actually had to get off the bike and walk half way up. I learned two things: 1. Road shoes and cleats suck to walk up hills in 2. Don't bite off more than you can chew. I ended up finishing 26 miles in 1:57:54. Boy walking really slows you down.

I have a new level of respect for you guys that ride centuries with thousands of feet of climbing.

I guess I am going to have to ride more hills if I want to be a better climber.
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Old 08-05-08, 01:52 PM   #2
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Looking at the elevation profile that three mile hill would be a killer hill I would ride the loop backwards.
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Old 08-05-08, 02:02 PM   #3
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That hill was brutal. I thought I was up to the task. You are right about riding it backwards. Maybe next week.
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Old 08-05-08, 02:47 PM   #4
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Hills are definitely a different skill set to learn. The hill you started with looks like even a seasoned rider would have some trouble taking it on. If you can, find some smaller hills and work your way up. I try to do 2 hill workouts a week. I started with one or two small rollers and then moved on to bigger hills and then adding the rollers to them for a complete ride. It took me 6 weeks of training hard to be able to do it all in one ride, but it was worth it.Part of the reason I trained so hard is I am doing my first metric this weekend. There is one hill about 40 miles in that I have not seen that every says is a killer. I'll be posting the results if I live through it to tell you guys about it.
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Old 08-05-08, 02:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advise Hill-Pumper. I will look for some hills to work out on. I was hoping to do my first metric century before the snow flies here. We'll see.

Good luck this weekend and definitely let us know how you make out.
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Old 08-05-08, 06:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Joe Bifulco View Post
That hill was brutal. I thought I was up to the task. You are right about riding it backwards. Maybe next week.
I would actually keep riding the hill the same direction. Use your "have to walk" point as a measure of progress. When I first started riding, I refused to walk a hill. I would stop if I had to, but I would just rest until I could go again. I just took it a little at a time. Now I know that there isn't a hill that I can't climb. You can do it!
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Old 08-05-08, 06:34 PM   #7
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I would actually keep riding the hill the same direction. Use your "have to walk" point as a measure of progress. When I first started riding, I refused to walk a hill. I would stop if I had to, but I would just rest until I could go again. I just took it a little at a time. Now I know that there isn't a hill that I can't climb. You can do it!
+1

If you get to the point where you don't need to walk it anymore, then start timing yourself. Nothing like a personal TT to get you motivated. Plus, unlike group TT's nobody needs to know about your time, just you and the hill.
Hammer on!
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Old 08-05-08, 06:39 PM   #8
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I'd die.

I have a short climb in the morning that about kills me and a long climb in the afternoon that kills me if there is wind. Neither of them are even close to that one.
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Old 08-06-08, 05:37 AM   #9
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Thanks for the encouragement. I am going to do more hill workouts on smaller hills, and keep trying to tackle that monster hill.

Sooner or later i will make it all the way up.
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Old 08-06-08, 06:20 AM   #10
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Yes, I did my first "hilly" ride on Monday night with a buddy of mine. Living in Florida there really isn't that many hills but we made the drive out to Clermont, FL, where the riding there actually has some elvation changes. We rode up Sugarloaf Mountain, I ended up finishing the climb all the way to the top and I felt like I was going to die, I ended up climbing it at about 2.5mph according to the computer. The way down was fun though. I didn't pedal beside the initial push off and hit 48.28mph on the decent. Riding hills is completely different from doing the normal flat stuff I'm used to.
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Old 08-06-08, 04:17 PM   #11
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I know the feeling... I took a short cut on the way home from work that knocked 1.5 miles off but it was a 10% grade and short... I peaked the HRM at 205 and it took me an extra 10 minutes to get home. I decided the extra distance was safer for me. As I got into a bit better shape, my commute home includes about 1000 ft of climbing mostly in the last 3 miles. I arrive home tired, but it is slooooowly getting better.
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Old 08-07-08, 06:10 AM   #12
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I have been on vaca in the Lakes Region in NH, which is, for me, very hilly, and I agree. Some of the hills that I have hit here have been killers for me, but I have enjoyed them.
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Old 08-08-08, 06:42 AM   #13
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Hills

Joe: If you stay riding the southern tier (nee: Chestnut Ridge, Cardiac Hill, Rt.60 into Cassadaga)you'll definitely have a great set of lungs and legs by seasons end.
U riding with NFBC?
I discovered (I've got copd so the oxygen comes into play real quick)the northern routes (Northern Erie and all of Niagara)only have the escarpment climb.(not that Cambria Hill or Gothic Hill wouldn't test some of the best) Haven't looked south sence (lol)
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Old 08-08-08, 08:07 AM   #14
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Ranger63,

I have done Chestnut Ridge ride a couple of times. This was the first time I went further south past Boston. I have looked at the NFBC web site but haven't done a ride with them. I was thinking of doing the 62 mile Can Am ride with them on 8/17 but I am not sure if I am ready. I just started riding this April and I am a little intimidated. I am only averaging about 15mph on a 20 mile ride.

I have been doing 90% of my riding in West Seneca/Elma and there is not a lot of climbing.

Nice to hear from a fellow WNY'er.
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Old 08-08-08, 09:01 AM   #15
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Hills are where the real fun is in cycling! When I started commuting, I had a nearly dead flat commute with a 0.8 mile, 300' rise at the very end. Now I live at the top of a 2.25 mile, 650' climb and I find myself seeking out even more hills to throw in.
Earlier this year I did a century ride with over 7000' of climbing, and this month I'm riding the Summits of Bothell (38 miles, 3250').

The real trick to my getting better at climbing was smoothing out my spin and increasing my cadence. Low gears, stay seated, and spin like crazy.
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