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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 12-05-08, 06:17 PM   #1
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Today Was My Turn To Kick Butt!

Well, changed my eating habits about 2 or 3 weeks ago, no junk. I'm down 4 lbs so I figured that I would do a climbing ride today. Off work at 1:30 am then couldn't sleep. Jeeze I hate that. I do Pop's yard on Friday morns since his diabetes has attacked his feet. He does the edging so he doesn't have to work too hard walking in the grass. Maybe I was excited cause he bought a new lawnmower, I dunno!

So I can't sleep till 5 am! Then up at 8:30 am to head to Pop's after 3 1/2 hours of sleep. Do the yard then go to eat breakfast after. Instead of wasting the rest of the day, I grab the bike and head up the mtn. Maybe the 4lbs helped cause the climb wasn't as bad as I had been expecting. Haven't done it in a while so must be a good sign that I'm headed in the right direction.

Didn't even need to stand on the steeps sections and I only felt like puking once. It's getting better!





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Old 12-05-08, 06:23 PM   #2
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You da man.

Hills still slay me; I have trouble on 3% grades.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-05-08, 06:36 PM   #3
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Hills still slay me; I have trouble on 3% grades.
When I started riding, other riders kept telling me I was too big to climb. A one mile 4% was so tough I required a nap after the ride. One day I woke up believing the skinny was trying to keep this big man down. Then it popped in my head, I can do it!

It gets better!
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Old 12-05-08, 06:47 PM   #4
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Part of the deal is that where I am in Texas, there aren't a lot of hills.... 3% for a half mile is about the worst I see. However, I see it every day at the beginning of my commute home so at least I ride it regularly. The skinny guy in me is already mostly out... I've lost 20-something pounds this year and only need to lose maybe another 10 or 15... not gonna worry about that too much until after the holidays.
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Old 12-05-08, 06:57 PM   #5
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... I've lost 20-something pounds this year and only need to lose maybe another 10 or 15... not gonna worry about that too much until after the holidays.
Well, you're already more than on your way Cowboy!
Good job!
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Old 12-05-08, 07:04 PM   #6
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Diabetes is eating my Dad's feet. A big reason I have to get out and ride. It's after me, and I'm fighting it off.
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Old 12-05-08, 07:22 PM   #7
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nice job, i'm so envious of the hills you have. In Miami the biggest climb is a bridge that is 3% for half a mile at Key Biscayne. I do a lap around the Island and climb the bridge twice, it seemed hard at first and it still is a bit of a challenge but I wonder what it would be like to do a long steady climb. My sis lives in colorado and my bike will be coming, or her friend that owns a bike shop may be cool enough to let me use a demo bike.
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Old 12-05-08, 08:13 PM   #8
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but I wonder what it would be like to do a long steady climb.
I'm sure that once you do one, you'll do another! IMO, it's much more enjoyable than the 1/4 climb on a ride. You never get a chance to warm up to the short hills, pure pain. I suffer on a short one, just push thru it hoping for the best. On a long climb, you find a rythm after acouple of miles. At mile one, I swear that I will not complete the 20 mile climbs. After 3, I warm up and find a groove. Then it's about keeping your pace and not getting restless. Take your time and get there, that's the point!

I really think riders make the mistake of being intimidated after the first mile. Gina samething. She wanted to puke after the first mile. I slowed her down then she completed 16 miles of pure climing once she found her groove. Still not fond of hills but she knows she can if she has to!

I'm honestly not real fond either. I just know that once I start, there is a real sense of accomplishment. Like doing a first century. Then you stop and think about it and know not many others 'DO IT'! Then after you really get involved, you wonder WHY others don't 'DO IT'! It really is enjoyable, just need to get in the right frame of mind!..I'm trying to get back in!
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Old 12-05-08, 08:16 PM   #9
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Diabetes is eating my Dad's feet. A big reason I have to get out and ride. It's after me, and I'm fighting it off.

Aunts, uncles, father, mother, I don't think I have one senior relative that doesn't or didn't have it!

I had arthritis in my left ankle as a 12 yo kid (couldn't walk for 3 weeks). Doc said I'd be ok and outgrow it. Maybe that's a reason why I concern myself with staying strong and somewhat fit. I gotta be ready to kick some arse no matter what happens!
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Old 12-05-08, 10:37 PM   #10
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I'm sure that once you do one, you'll do another! IMO, it's much more enjoyable than the 1/4 climb on a ride. You never get a chance to warm up to the short hills, pure pain. I suffer on a short one, just push thru it hoping for the best. On a long climb, you find a rythm after acouple of miles. At mile one, I swear that I will not complete the 20 mile climbs. After 3, I warm up and find a groove. Then it's about keeping your pace and not getting restless. Take your time and get there, that's the point!
+1,000,000

I actually do worse on short, steep climbs (and more worse on long, steep climbs! ) than on long, mid-grade climbs I can get a rhythm on.

But don't give up and don't be afraid...

Earlier this year, in prep for KOM, I would add a few climbs in the Santa Monicas after the Wed AM ride. The Wed AM Ride is a 20-mile hammer-fest (with re-groups) from Calabasas out to Westlake Village. From there, we usually go down to the beach and back to the start via Old Topanga--a tough little climb after 55+ miles of hard effort. Well, this one day, still trying to lose weight, I didn't fuel up at Westlake too much...just a PowerBar and some water. Then, our group went to PCH and back to Mulholland/Calabasas via Latigo.

(Latigo's not overly steep--5.3% avg--and it does have a few 11-12% pitches in corners, but its difficulty comes from its length: 9 miles! It covers 2,000 feet in the first 7 miles followed by a quick 1-mile descent and a final, 1.2 mile climb at 4.9%.)

Anyway, this one day, because I didn't refuel properly, I started to get the bonk: shakes, light-headedness, lack of energy, dizziness...etc... you name it. I finally got to the top, wolfed down some more food and was fine 15mins later.

But: I tackled the climb again last weekend and did fine: no bonk, fueled up fine, lots of fluids. Beat almost everybody up ('cept for Cassave, VMac, Cleave & one other--all local, ~140lb. mountain goats Beanz might know). It was not an intimidating climb at all. Got some good pictures, too.

Even the longest climb can be tackled. Pace yourself, and re-fuel before you need it
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Old 12-05-08, 10:53 PM   #11
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Beans, I need to ride with you. I like your attitude towards riding and kicking butt. Too bad we are a few thousand miles apart!!!!
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Old 12-05-08, 11:04 PM   #12
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Beans, I need to ride with you. I like your attitude towards riding and kicking butt. Too bad we are a few thousand miles apart!!!!
Heck, I wish I had clydes to train with around here. Not many local clydes will climb and I'm not a traveler. Heck, I was on my way down today while a couple of skinnies were on their way up. They looked at me as if to say,"what the heeeeeel is he doing up here?"
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Old 12-05-08, 11:40 PM   #13
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Dude thats awesome. Seriously awesome. I am major impressed. Im learning to climb hills a little bit at a time. I have finally figured out what gears are for! They are to make fat people able to go up hills when they dont have the ability to do it themselves....YET!
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Old 12-05-08, 11:53 PM   #14
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Dude thats awesome. Seriously awesome. I am major impressed. Im learning to climb hills a little bit at a time. I have finally figured out what gears are for! They are to make fat people able to go up hills when they dont have the ability to do it themselves....YET!
Ahhh, this climb is just a little climb I do once or twice on weekdays when I start trying to get back into shape. Only 2,000 ft in 8 miles. Don't be impressed, of course I like compliments but more here to inform other clydes, climbing aint no big deal. More of just "go out and do it". I can't count the times I was told I can't climb cause I'm big. Now I know better and respond with a "GTF outta here!"

Just keep at it! You'll find you get stronger and need fewer gears. But actually wise to use them!
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Old 12-06-08, 12:58 AM   #15
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Um, I can barely do an 80 foot climb in a 1/4 mile. Im a ways from capable but Im working on it.
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Old 12-06-08, 06:24 AM   #16
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If you are riding a triple do you ever use the smallest front ring? I live in FL and they told me I could get my bike faster if i ordered a triple ring. I live in FL so I was like hell no, was curious if you use it on hills like this?
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Old 12-06-08, 08:10 AM   #17
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Heck, I wish I had clydes to train with around here. Not many local clydes will climb and I'm not a traveler. Heck, I was on my way down today while a couple of skinnies were on their way up. They looked at me as if to say,"what the heeeeeel is he doing up here?"
I wish I could find someone to train with period. It is me out here in nowhere Iowa with cornfields and coyotes. :-)

I found an ironman triathlete that I am trying to get on her bicycle schedule come spring. She will kick my butt, but that is what I need.
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Old 12-06-08, 09:57 AM   #18
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If you are riding a triple do you ever use the smallest front ring? I live in FL and they told me I could get my bike faster if i ordered a triple ring. I live in FL so I was like hell no, was curious if you use it on hills like this?
Funny! I have 2 bikes, a triple and a double. he double is better for climbing since it's so stiff, it's a Cannondale. It has a standard double 53/39 in front and a 12/25 in the back. I use it on climbing centuries that have 10,000-12,000 ft of climbing with no problem.

But the Lemond is my training/beater bike. It has triple since I figure I might do double centuries someday and may need it if I encounter a huge hill at mile 175!...I do use the triple on flat rides because the middle ring was a 42 and great sicne I didn't have to swithc gears at all up front.

But on rides like this training climb, I do use the front ring but I don't use the 3 biggest gears in the rear (easiest gears).

SOme people are fooled by thinking going into the small gear up front is a sissy thing to do! Not true because it's all about gear inches. There are charts that show the meauserment of each gear combination.

SO, riding my small gear on the triple up front 32 and a 21 in the rear is equal to the small gear on my double which is a 39 and a 25 in the rear. Not sure of the exact combo without the chart but both combinations equal to the same amount of gear inches.

triple gears 32 + 21 is equal to 55 gear inches
double gears 39 + 25 is also equal to 55 gear inches...(just an example and not exact since I;d have to look it up on the chart)

SO riding the small on the triple doesn't mean that it's easier then the small on a double if you ride a bigger gear in the rear while riding the small ring on the triple!

Nothing UN Macho about riding a triple. I did a ride with a double century rider that talked a big story wiht his superlite carbon fiber million dollar machine. I rode my triple on a century we did together. I waited at the top of a canyon for him, maybe 10 minutes. He was stunned that I was riding a triple. I'm shocked that he thoght it would matter since it's more about he gear inch combo a rider can push. Because you have a really easy gear doesn't mean you ride it all the time!

If I ride a 4% grade, I use my small ring. But ride a bigger gear in the rear. If I use my double, I use the second ring but use a smaller gear in the rear.

If I ride flats, I use the middle ring and never have to switch gears up front.
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Old 12-06-08, 10:01 AM   #19
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I wish I could find someone to train with period. It is me out here in nowhere Iowa with cornfields and coyotes. :-)

I found an ironman triathlete that I am trying to get on her bicycle schedule come spring. She will kick my butt, but that is what I need.

That will do it! When I did my best times on big rides, I trained in the mtns with some 150 lb mtn goats and double century riders. I got closer and closer on the training rides. I thought I'd never beat one of my partners but one day on a big climbing ride (organized), I passed him! He drafte me for a bit on a flat section, then I dropped him on the climb....Then I knew I had improved!
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Old 12-06-08, 10:04 AM   #20
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Good for you Beanz! I'm working on learning to climb. I typically charge up them too hard early and burn out before I finish. Been making a big effort to start looking for that rhythm at the bottom and keep the pace easy. I've been improving as a climber. Tomorrow is a small hill (800 feet) from both sides. My wife has been itchin to climb it again.
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Old 12-06-08, 10:09 AM   #21
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Good for you Beanz! I'm working on learning to climb. I typically charge up them too hard early and burn out before I finish. Been making a big effort to start looking for that rhythm at the bottom and keep the pace easy. I've been improving as a climber. Tomorrow is a small hill (800 feet) from both sides. My wife has been itchin to climb it again.
Great! Keep at it, it gets better. I have buds tha stand and crank at the start of a hill. I pace myself then usually pass them at midhill, then blow by them at the top of one milers. On long hills, just find that rythm!
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Old 12-06-08, 11:45 AM   #22
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Heck, I wish I had clydes to train with around here. Not many local clydes will climb and I'm not a traveler. Heck, I was on my way down today while a couple of skinnies were on their way up. They looked at me as if to say,"what the heeeeeel is he doing up here?"
You apparently don't know how skinnies think. They were probably thinking look at that guy. He got a ride to the top and now is coasting downhill and is going to call that his ride

For me it does make a difference if I am warmed up. I have short steep hill, just out my front door that can kill me if I attack it too hard. But, the same hill later in the ride isn't such a killer.
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Old 12-06-08, 02:07 PM   #23
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Ok, double vs triple? Im guessing this means 3 gears vs 2 gears up front? Mines a 3, but I only seem to use the outer two, what would i use the inner one for?
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Old 12-06-08, 02:28 PM   #24
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The inner one, referred to as the "Granny Gear" or "Granny Ring" is used for really steep roads, ones where you are pedaling so slow that you think you're going backward.

One of the objectives when riding is to maintain a consistently high cadence (how fast your feet go around in circles on the pedals). This is measured in revolutions per minute/rpm's...or "cadence".

Not that there is a magic number, but 90rpms is pretty close. If you can ride at 90rpms or higher, it will save your knees, and allow your cardiovascular system to take the work load off your leg muscles, which don't have nearly as much endurance as your heart & lungs, thus allowing you to ride faster and for longer distances.

The granny ring--all gears, in fact--allows you to keep your cadence at an optimum level by providing a nice small gear to use on steep(er) roads.

There. Have I confused you?
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Old 12-06-08, 02:40 PM   #25
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You apparently don't know how skinnies think. They were probably thinking look at that guy. He got a ride to the top and now is coasting downhill and is going to call that his ride
On my June "Assault on Mt. Mitchell" ride, I stayed with the leaders to the 70-mile point. As you can see, it was somewhat easy for me as these were relatively flat-ish miles (only about 4,000 feet of climbing to that point). Then the climbing would begin: about 6,000 feet over the next 25-miles.

About 2-miles in to the climbing, I had a guy catch up to me, and ask, "Did you ride all the way from Spartanburg [the start]?" Apparently, some people must jump in on the course and cheat the ride, and he must have thought I did the same, being all fatter than him and all. Surely, that was the only way I could have beaten his skinny butt to this point--82 miles--in the ride.

In between breaths, I answered, "Yeah."

"Good job" he responded with wide eyes.

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