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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 08-26-08, 09:53 AM   #1
txvintage
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Take that, You Stupid Hills

FINALLY, I beat my climbing route <insert smiley who is jumping up and down and doing back flips>

I have a 2.5 mile climb that I have yet to successfully conquer since I got back on a bike back in May. I've tried it on my MTB and two different Roadies, on several occasions, and lost every time. I've made it about 1/2 way several times, but no further, without taking a bail out at one of the hiking trail heads.

After getting my inaugural ride in yesterday on my touring bike and having the best ride I think I've had yet, I found myself thinking of the climb all last night at work. When I got home, I was actually excited at hitting the hills. A little too excited in that I failed to down some fuel before I left, lol.

There are about 1.5 miles of rollers, some pretty severe, but mercifully short, before you start the steady elevation change. I felt good going through the rollers, and used them to get a better feel for the gearing on the Dawes Super Galaxy. As I started the climb, I knew it was possibly my day.

I rode the middle ring for a about half the ascent, then started switching back and forth between the middle and small ring as cadence dictated. I knew the only way I was going to make it was to stay in the saddle and spin instead of getting up and mashing. When I passed the half way point and still had all of my legs left I knew the day was mine.

My plan was to just get to the Ranger station at the lake dam, and stop and down a bottle of water. When I saw the flag, I was still feeling good so as I crested the "summit" I grabbed the bar end actually semi sort of sprinted to the end of the road where the road blocks are for keeping terrorists and 4 wheelers off of the dam. I WAS Mark Cavendish, if only for a moment and in my own mind/little world!

I did my turn around and headed for the Ranger Station to grab my favorite spot under the tree and enjoy my victory water before heading back. I pulled in and hopped off the bike just as the regional lake manager guy (has a title, don't know it) was parking. He gave me a map of the one off road riding area that is at the lake, and also a proposal map for a huge riding area that is in the works. I just passed on my MTB to a guy who wanted to start riding to lose weight. I might need another real soon.

One thing about climbing a one way climb is that it is down hill on the way back! Woohoo was that some fun! When I got to the severe rollers that stand sentry over the climb, I was worried about finishing it off. I just kept spinning on the uphills until I was back on level road, and then realized I wasn't even in my lowest gear! The ride home from there was nice and flat. I like flat.

So yea, I'm getting some Polk-a-Dots for my jersey, if only for a day.
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Old 08-26-08, 10:16 AM   #2
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Glad to hear that you made it up that hill. I have a hill route I have planned to. It is 11 miles long but the major climbing is in the first 5.5 miles. Then it is downhill from there. I have yet to try this so we will see what happens.
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Old 08-26-08, 10:34 AM   #3
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Awesome! I love conquering new hills, and more hills.
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Old 08-26-08, 10:56 AM   #4
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Congratulations!!

Great job!! Keep riding!!
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Old 08-26-08, 10:56 AM   #5
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Glad to hear that you made it up that hill. I have a hill route I have planned to. It is 11 miles long but the major climbing is in the first 5.5 miles. Then it is downhill from there. I have yet to try this so we will see what happens.
Ugh, 11 miles. Someday! South Eastern Oklahoma is probably the closest 11 mile climb I could find, if I were to look for one, that is, lol.

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Awesome! I love conquering new hills, and more hills.
Well, I'm geographically challenged in the hill department so I have to take make do with what I have. I'm thinking a few more times going one way and working on pace, and then it's time to get to the bottom, and the rollers, and turn around and go back!

Tomorrow I think I'll stay on more flat routes. Have I mentioned I like flat? Flat is good.
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Old 08-26-08, 11:07 AM   #6
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Well, I'm geographically challenged in the hill department so I have to take make do with what I have. I'm thinking a few more times going one way and working on pace, and then it's time to get to the bottom, and the rollers, and turn around and go back!

Tomorrow I think I'll stay on more flat routes. Have I mentioned I like flat? Flat is good.
Western Washington has no shortage of the steep stuff. There's the Olympic range out on the peninsula, and the Cascades just east of me. Being in the foothills, we've got plenty of hills all around the eastside. Just this weekend was the Summits of Bothell ride: 40.5 miles and 3500' of climbing including the optional Ascent of Anguish. Even my commute home has 700' of climbing if I take the "flat" route.
I'm hoping to do well on the SiR Mountain Populaire next weekend: ~105km, 5480' climbing according to one of the past years' ride reports.
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Old 08-26-08, 11:13 AM   #7
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Great job!

You didn't even need to point out the change in bikes... you are getting stronger and that's all you need.
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Old 08-26-08, 11:15 AM   #8
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I lived in Port Orchard for a year and half back in my Navy days when our Sub was going through overhaul at PSNS. I took part of my first re-enlistment bonus and bought a brand spanking shiny new Cannondale Black Lightening at the LBS in downtown Port Orchard.

I was younger, way thinner, and much more fit in those days. I never really thought a Criterium bike would climb that well. It was nice and stiff, but the stock gearing wasn't really designed for the area
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Old 08-26-08, 11:18 AM   #9
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What road were you riding on? Which dam?
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Old 08-26-08, 11:19 AM   #10
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That's so cool!
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Old 08-26-08, 11:27 AM   #11
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What road were you riding on? Which dam?
The road is Skyview, out to the Lake Lavon Dam like you are going to East Fork or Avalon park/campgrounds. I came in off of Parker Rd. There are some other ways in off of Hwy 78 that pick up the road to the dam in various places.

It's not the biggest hill, that's for sure, but it's more than I've been able to do in a long long time, lol.

A nice challenge would be HWY 205 from Hwy 78 in Lavon to Rockwall. It's not really steep but it's long.
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Old 08-26-08, 03:01 PM   #12
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Awesome. There's nothing like beating a previously unbeaten hill
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Old 08-26-08, 03:47 PM   #13
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It feels good to beat that hill into submission, doesn't it?
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Old 08-26-08, 06:29 PM   #14
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Great recap, I could feel the excitement in the ride and the confidence. It is amazing how these things build. I had a short 9% grade that I was avoiding. Once I tackled it, I did it twice in one week and now I have a lot more ride routes, because I don't have to avoid that hill.

I am looking for a longer climb, a little nervous, but hey I can always call it quits one is 7 miles and the other around 10. Just a challenge before its too cold to ride, and then I have a standard for next spring.
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Old 08-26-08, 07:36 PM   #15
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I need to learn how to determine grade. Then again, not knowing might be a blessing!

My legs haven't felt like this since in May when I first started back up after all those years off. I really need to sensibly push my self over the next two weeks to get ready for the Wounded Warriors ride on September 13.

It looks like tomorrow may be a short recovery type ride after the last two days and having been off the bike for a little over two weeks. I did say sensible somewhere didn't I?
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Old 08-26-08, 07:39 PM   #16
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I never really thought a Criterium bike would climb that well. It was nice and stiff, but the stock gearing wasn't really designed for the area
Guilty! My Canni is a crit bike, but a 39 instead of the 42. I like climbing on a stiffy!



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Old 08-26-08, 07:45 PM   #17
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Mine is stiffer
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Old 08-26-08, 07:59 PM   #18
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Mine is stiffer


Hunh!
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Old 08-26-08, 08:08 PM   #19
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I need to learn how to determine grade. Then again, not knowing might be a blessing!

My legs haven't felt like this since in May when I first started back up after all those years off. I really need to sensibly push my self over the next two weeks to get ready for the Wounded Warriors ride on September 13.

It looks like tomorrow may be a short recovery type ride after the last two days and having been off the bike for a little over two weeks. I did say sensible somewhere didn't I?
I found this link that explains percent grade vs degrees. I was suprised to find a 9% grade is only 4 degrees. In my thinking <3% is mild resistance an incline, 5-6% is a hill if walking you would need to lean a bit for balance, 9 or 10%% this had better be short, , >10% haven't done this yet, maybe next year in the TdF

http://www.geocities.com/sidestreetluge/grade.html

Sensible what's that? The other day on my "recovery" ride I found myself doing a personal time trial, because I found myself on glourious smooth blacktop instead of chip/seal. I'm my own worst enemy sometimes.

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Old 08-26-08, 08:20 PM   #20
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Great Job! Woo HOO!!

OK not sure I get the polka dot reference - can someone fill in the Bee?

Also- Question for you and the gang - Is it cheating to ride up the hill in an S or snake pattern so it's easier as opposed to straight up? I did this this weekend when the hills kept coming - and I decided to go zig zag up them to make it easier on myself...Any thoughts?
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Old 08-26-08, 08:24 PM   #21
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polka_dot_jersey


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Old 08-26-08, 08:27 PM   #22
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Also- Question for you and the gang - Is it cheating to ride up the hill in an S or snake pattern so it's easier as opposed to straight up? I did this this weekend when the hills kept coming - and I decided to go zig zag up them to make it easier on myself...Any thoughts?
That's called tacking. Everybody's done it at some point. Here in L.A. we have Fargo Street (a 33% grade) and most folks go up it in S-turns.
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Old 08-26-08, 09:30 PM   #23
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Great Job! Woo HOO!!

OK not sure I get the polka dot reference - can someone fill in the Bee?

Also- Question for you and the gang - Is it cheating to ride up the hill in an S or snake pattern so it's easier as opposed to straight up? I did this this weekend when the hills kept coming - and I decided to go zig zag up them to make it easier on myself...Any thoughts?
The Polk-a-Dot Jersey is worn by the leader in points and the eventual winner of the Mountain points during the Tour de France. Points are earned in the Pyrenees and the Alps.

Tacking is not cheating. Often it is survival, so I guess you call it cheating death for your legs, lol.
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Old 08-26-08, 09:32 PM   #24
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I picked up an older Crit series Canondale off of Craigs List. I'm ditching the crank and RD and going with a Triple and a 9 sp RD that are already in the box inventory. Best of both worlds, I figure.


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Guilty! My Canni is a crit bike, but a 39 instead of the 42. I like climbing on a stiffy!

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Old 08-26-08, 09:37 PM   #25
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I picked up an older Crit series Canondale off of Craigs List. I'm ditching the crank and RD and going with a Triple and a 9 sp RD that are already in the box inventory. Best of both worlds, I figure.

Mine is a 98 CAAD3. My Lemond is a triple but the Canni climbs much better eventhough it's a double because of the stiffness. I'll bet you'll climb like a goat with the triple stiff!
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