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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 10-27-09, 01:51 PM   #1
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My Strength & Stamina is Improving!

This is not very scientific but I think it is a significant milestone in my riding.

It's only been 5 months since I have started. 3 months on a road bike. So the first 3 months of my riding all I was doing was about 10 miles a day for 4 days and one 20 miler on weekends. The last two months I have increased that to 15 miles a day for 4 days and one 25 miler on weekends. So far, that's all I've made time for. I have found a couple of routes that avoids any big hill climbs, although the routes do have hills, just nothing steep and long.

There is this one big, long hill by my house--it is about a 10% grade and is about a mile long. That's long for a Clyde like me! The first month I climbed this hill it damn near killed me! I had to stop several times to lower my heart rate and reduce the pain. When I switched from my MTB to my road bike it was almost like starting over because my road bike has much taller gears and has no granny gear to grind on. I had been avoiding this hill because the few times I did climb it on my road bike I had to stop 3 times!

So yesterday, after 5 mos of hard work and dedication, I decided to tackle this hill I had been avoiding. When I got to it, I immediately switched to my lowest gear (39/25) and spun and spun....well I made it to the top without stopping and without hyperventilating! Wow! I was breathing heavy but I was smiling at the top. A guy walking on the sidewalk must have thought I was going crazy! It felt real good to finally conquer that hill and I just wanted to share.
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Old 10-27-09, 01:56 PM   #2
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Great job! I am about 10 months into riding, and I know what you mean. It is a great feeling to go back and conquer something that defeated you on previous attempts.
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Old 10-27-09, 02:00 PM   #3
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You gotta love taking on something like that and beating the crap out of it... Congrats sir, my hats off to ya!!!!!
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Old 10-27-09, 02:02 PM   #4
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This is great stuf. Well done.
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Old 10-27-09, 02:34 PM   #5
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Old 10-27-09, 02:44 PM   #6
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Congrats. . It is a good feeling, and will continue to get better as you challange yourself.
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Old 10-27-09, 04:15 PM   #7
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Thanks all! There are a couple more hills I plan to conquer!

Just when I thought I was stuck in a rut and not gaining any more benefit.....this milestone has made it all worthwhile.
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Old 10-28-09, 04:28 AM   #8
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Congrats. A suggestion though. If you plan to do very much more hill riding you might want to consider switching to a compact gearing setup, with a 50/34 on the front and something like an 11/26 or even 11/28 on the back. I use that setup on the rollers and longish climbs around here, and I'm not too proud to say it
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Old 10-28-09, 06:34 AM   #9
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im in the same boat sorta. i rode the greenway here in nashville last spring and it has several hills and one that is very steep. the first time i rode it i had back on for less than a month. i had to stop at the top of every hill to catch my breath and slow my heart rate. i didnt ride that area the rest of the summer. it was to intimidating. fast forward to 3 weeks ago, my boss rides and wanted to see that part of the greenway so i agreed to ride it with him. this time i didnt stop but 1 time and that was 1/2 way up the steepest hill on the trail. since then i have been riding this trail 3 and 4 times a week. i still have to stop 1/2 way up the big hill but the ride that took 3 hours to do last spring now takes less than 2 hours.

keep up the hard work it will pay off in the end.
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Old 10-28-09, 06:50 AM   #10
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nice work....... I have unfortunately been unable to avoid the killer hill on my route so I have been just sliding up into the lowest gear available and spinning my way to the top, but yesterday after about a year of riding up this hill I forgot to shift into the small ring. I powered my way all the way to the top on the big chain ring and didn't even notice it.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:48 AM   #11
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Awesome! Congrats on the accomplishment.

I too am in the same boat and noticed this past weekend that hills were becoming less of a problem for me. I need to learn to control my breathing (which running also helps with).

Keep it up!
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Old 10-28-09, 01:06 PM   #12
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Breathing...yes! I did a good bit of reading about How-To's on climbing. Breathing is very important. From what I've read, sit up, put hands on top of bars, and breath deeply seems to be the consensus. When the pain increases your mind tries to convince you to stop, breath faster, etc. I try hard to focus on my breathing and keep it under control. I have found that exhaling fully and inhaling fully to fill my lungs helps to keep up the stamina as I climb. I would like to build up some more power to stand up while climbing....on the longer climbs I want to stand and push here and there but whenever I do it really burns up my thigh muscles so I just stay seated.
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Old 10-28-09, 01:29 PM   #13
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10% for one mile in OC? What road would that be?
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