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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 07-28-09, 09:03 PM   #1
Ghoulardi
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I learned how hard hills are

By riding a route without any.

I rode 18 miles today and it was easy as pie. My legs barely feel like I rode, and I got going at a decent clip. Almost everywhere else I've ridden has had some hills, a few of which I've found to be challenging, but the veterans here would probably not think twice about.

That was incredibly encouraging to me.

Next ride I'm going to go a relatively flat route with some hills mixed in about halfway through.
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Old 07-28-09, 09:10 PM   #2
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Hills and headwinds make you stronger.
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Old 07-28-09, 09:16 PM   #3
Ghoulardi
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Considering my commuting route includes a hill that's getting easier and easier, it definitely seems like you're right.

Also, this 18-mile flat ride was kind of boring in comparison to my hillier rides. I never truly felt challenged, even though I was pushing myself in parts for high speed.
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Old 07-29-09, 12:58 AM   #4
BrianNippon
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I am bigger rider too and nothing feels better than climbing that huge hill with ease, each time I go through it.
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Old 07-29-09, 01:45 AM   #5
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Having notable progress has been a bit of inspiration. That said, watching the scale in the morning can be like watching paint dry. I do however, see daily increases in my ability to climb. One of those increased abilities is stamina which, like you have found, has meant longer rides and less running out of breath!

Now lets hear that you hit 25 miles with 3 climbs!!!


Good Luck
-Kevin
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Old 07-29-09, 09:26 PM   #6
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I live in PA and there is nothing but hills where i live. when you go up a hill you can drift the other side. I went to the seagull century which is completely flat.

I think i would rather have the hills. Pumping your legs for hours straight i think is tougher than hills. because you cant really drift on flats.

maybe that is why i am still fat. to lazy to peddle constantly
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Old 07-30-09, 03:57 AM   #7
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I've noticed that hills can be even easier, when you program your mind to love them.....on my daily 25 mile round trip commute, there is a pair of climbs (Mile 2.3 - 3.7) that i dread like the plague(most likely because i havent had a chance to warm up with enough pedaling yet)....I find that it helps to stare at the pavement, instead of the top of the hill...that way, my mind is not tormenting me with the fact that i have a good bit of climbing yet to go, i just focus on every foot traveled forward(keeping my peripheral vision keen on my surroundings so that i dont get into a mishap) I've also noticed that those hills that were once so monstrous, are now quite manageable....and the flat rides...well the flat rides now are just so flipping
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Old 07-30-09, 09:10 AM   #8
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^
What (s)he said about looking down, to the extent it's safe for the circumstances of course. I find it's easier to concentrate on maintaining my cadence and power to push myself over a hill or into a headwind (or just faster on the flats) if I do that.

If nothing else, it makes me feel like I'm going faster... those little flecks of color/stones in the asphalt go past faster than any road sign, tree, or hilltop ever will. ;-)
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Old 07-30-09, 09:59 AM   #9
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Three years ago when I started riding regularly, any hill would kill me. I'd be down in the granny gear and still struggling.

Earlier this year I did a 63 mile ride with 6700 feet of elevation gain, and only used the small ring on my compact twice.

The only way to make hills easier is to ride them more often. I am comfortable with the fact that I'll never be first up a hill. But, I'm more comfortable with the fact that I've never met a hill I couldn't get up.... eventually...
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Old 07-30-09, 10:44 AM   #10
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Hills are like interval training to me. I have been attacking hills for years, whether riding, running, or humping a heavy rucksack(Soldier in a previous life). I don't go out of my way looking for, or avoiding hills, but when I get on one, it is more than just getting to the top for me. I attack it.

If you think of them as a benefit, rather than an obstacle, they become almost fun, and there is a lot of satisfaction to be had from getting to the top. When I was more of a mountain biker than a roadie, we would do what we would call hell rides, which is not much more than a 2 hour grind up hill, and then a 30 minute trip bombing back down to the bottom.

On the other hand, I absolutely despise a relentless headwind, and it seems my regular ride always has me going out fresh, with a nice tailwind, that I have to fight all the way home.
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Old 07-30-09, 12:22 PM   #11
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I just had this same thing happen. Here is Denver they held the Urban Assault Ride on the 26th, and my GF and I did it. I am used to riding in the foothills or at least places where the hills are steep and numerous, but this ride was in downtown Denver and I bet I did not hit a hill over 3% grade all day. It was great. Normally 20+ miles takes me forever and my legs are starting to cramp by the end, but on the 26th we finished the ride and both of us felt fine. I could easily have done another 20 on that terrain.

BTW, if this comes to your city you should give it a go. It was great fun with all the stops and the little games you had to complete at each stop. It ended with an adult size big wheel ride through a bunch of sharp turns and free beer from the sponsor.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahoyle View Post
On the other hand, I absolutely despise a relentless headwind, and it seems my regular ride always has me going out fresh, with a nice tailwind, that I have to fight all the way home.
+1 on the headwind part (South winds rule here in the summer)...though, i face the headwind going into work...and i nice gentle breeze at my back for the ride home
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