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  1. #1
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Wife's First Hill Ride

    My Wife and I just signed up for a 100K in April (Tierra Bella, Gilroy, CA). We shouldn't have a problem with the distance since we've already done a casual 55 miles from our home to San Jose, but given my Wife's aversion to hills I was a bit concerned about the 2350 feet of climbing required for the 100K. I was really surprised when DW suggested we ride up Lone Tree Road which dead ends up in the hills. We stopped at a gain of about 600', only a baby step given the top is at 3200 feet and our home at 300 feet, but I'm confident now I can nudge her to try some of the back road rides around here. Definitely a good day.

    I'm going to ride this thing once or twice a week until I can get to the top. 10 years ago I was still running and might have made it up 6-7 miles, but I'm guessing from our house it may be as much as 12-15 miles to the top. I'll find out in a few months.
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  2. #2
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    2300 ft over 62 is not much at all. If you find a 4% grade, have her practice on it, she'll be fine for the ride. Gina is not a hill climber at all, usually last on forum rides but when she paces herself, our GMR ride is not too big a deal. 2100ft in 8 miles.

    I found a hill that was bout 3/4 long and did repeats with Gina. First time she struggled. Next few times it was much easier. After a month, it was no sweat. All about doing it! After a month or so of this training, she can do just about any ride around here with hills if she wants. Maybe not the 10k in 60 miles, but most the other organized rec rides, yeah!

    Little sample of GMR. She swears she can't do it but has climbed this 16 miles twice in the past, without training!

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Mr. Benz, thanks for the encouragement. I know the actual 100K will be no problem, but some of the grades are pretty steep so we'll keep working on the hills. From now on I'm taking my camera with me; when I get to the top of Lone Tree Road I'm capturing it on film. The actual climb on this training road is 2400 feet in about 10 miles, but the real climbing probably takes place in less than 8. Respectable for a valley surrounded by old, eroded mountains, but nothering compared with some parts of the country.
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  4. #4
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Cool! Yeah, I was wondering where the climbing was on the ride. A One miler at the end of the ride can be tough or a big long climb at the start. Just take her time, she'll be fine.

    Like I do with Gina, I show her the pics and say "you climbed that"! Later she sees a climb and knows she can do it. Looks more intimdting in the pics. Take them then show her th climbs on t film to buikld confidence!

    On this ride I mention, that was mile 10-18. Then had to go up around and down the mtn. So it was about 40 with more climbing later in the ride. I wasn't so sure she could do it but she did!

  5. #5
    Old Fart gapwedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    2300 ft over 62 is not much at all. If you find a 4% grade, have her practice on it, she'll be fine for the ride. Gina is not a hill climber at all, usually last on forum rides but when she paces herself, our GMR ride is not too big a deal. 2100ft in 8 miles.

    I found a hill that was bout 3/4 long and did repeats with Gina. First time she struggled. Next few times it was much easier. After a month, it was no sweat. All about doing it! After a month or so of this training, she can do just about any ride around here with hills if she wants. Maybe not the 10k in 60 miles, but most the other organized rec rides, yeah!

    Little sample of GMR. She swears she can't do it but has climbed this 16 miles twice in the past, without training!
    Man, you guys are just pro cyclist in clyde/athena bodies. I would stall still in my clips and just fall over.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    My view is that bigger guys/gals have bigger motors. I was a large runner at 195 lbs in my youth (late 30's) and I could keep up with a lot of runner-looking bodies up most any hill. I don't care about pace I just want to be able to see the back country by bicycle.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    I say take it slow, but steady with the hills. It is true that most of us can do more than we think that we can, but hills are mostly mental. Your body can get used to going up big hills a lot faster than most of us can wrap our heads around it all.

    I would try to work in some hills 2-3 days every week, but not too many at first. No more than one sustained hill ride per week, and make sure that the route includes some fun riding near the end. How you feel at the end of a ride makes a big difference in how you remember the whole experience. There is a big difference between finishing a ride slogging up a big damn hill in heavy traffic, as opposed to gliding almost effortlessly down a slight downhill or flat section that is next to a beautiful park or something.

    Have fun out there!
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  8. #8
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    My view is that bigger guys/gals have bigger motors.
    My best 10,000 ft century was at 220 lbs. Big consistent motor!..All the 140 lb dudes were flying by me at the start of the climb. 40 miles later, was passing them back. Some on the side with snot hanging from the nose! Paced myself and ended up 123 out of the 400 in the timed event!

    All about pace and not getting excited or trying to hold another's pace.

  9. #9
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gapwedge View Post
    Man, you guys are just pro cyclist in clyde/athena bodies. I would stall still in my clips and just fall over.

    You'd be surprised! I think 95% of the people here could do these climbs if they'de give it a whirl! Just looks scary in the pics!
    Believe me, Gina is NOT a climber and has done them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Pinyon,
    We're very fortunate in that the roads that go in and around our "hills" are very lightly traveled, especially the ones that dead end at a ranch gate. I agree completely with not pushing too hard. The same apparent level of effort each week will yield steady improvement. This week we stopped 3 miles up a climb, perhaps next week 3.5. In three months or so we'll get to the top. I'd rather do this ride with my Wife and encourage her than push at my own, probably faster pace. When I was running marathons mylong training runs would be 18-24 miles; Pace was everything until my friends and I arrived at the regular "go for it" point at which point commence a 5 miles race to the finish. Can't bring back those days but they sure were enjoyable.
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  11. #11
    Cute, fluffy, and illegal gotls1's Avatar
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    I'm planning on doing the 100k route at Tierra Bella as well. Maybe I'll see you two out there.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member SmokedDeathDog's Avatar
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    My wife and I did the Terra Bella several times about 10 years ago. We did the 100K. I do not know if the routes are the same now, but the hills were not that bad, and I was about 240 at the time. It is a very well supported ride and the area is just beautiful. Just make sure that you start as early as you can, it can get really hot at the end. I remember at the end I was waiting for my wife, last 5 miles or so, and I did not realize how hot it was until I stopped. Just make sure you have lots of water.

    Ron

  13. #13
    Senior Member wirehead's Avatar
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    I am trying to decide if I'm going to do the 100k or if I'm going to be macho and go for the 100mi ride.

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