Is the overwhelming penalty of excess weight paid climbing? I suspect the answer to my question is "yes" and may be obvious to a lot of you, but it just occurred to me on my ride today.
I carry an extra 45# of fat - 6'2", 240, age 64. I jumped into getting fit 2 months ago, joining a gym and working out every other day. With a little time on cardio bikes under my belt, I started riding my 35 year-old bike 16 days ago. 30 miles in week 1. 60 miles in week 2. Then two group rides this weekend, 38 miles (2:50) yesterday and 23 (1:50) today. Compared to the pack, I seem to do OK keeping up on flats, I coast faster, and I am very, very slow climbing.
The gears on my old bike are very, very clunky compared to the 105's and Ultegra's I've ridden, but they work OK. I wish I could blame the bike! But the when the other riders pass me on the uphills they seem to be just pedaling away easily while I am struggling.
PS - 38 miles yesterday wiped me out! Today's ride was supposed to be a slow 15 mile group ride, but they apparently canceled, leaving only a 14-15 mph group doing a longer ride.