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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 02-21-11, 04:11 PM   #1
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I met my first hill

Kudos to all you guys and gals that ride up mountains. Of course I knew it's harder but geez this was ridiculous. I rode with the same group I do pace line rides with and got dropped on every hill! It's a totally different skill set and fitness level. These were not mountains, just steep but short climbs and a bunch of them.

I'm currently looking for an anesthesiologist who can knock me out until my body recovers from the 52 mile butt whoopin I just took.

Way to go Mr. Beanz, Gina, Freighttraininguphil (and your camera), and all the rest of you. I'm going to tuck my tail and run back to the flat lands. Well for now anyway.
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Old 02-21-11, 04:25 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good sufferfest Now you'll be stronger for the next one, and the next one, and before you know it you'll be a Strong Climber

Now you know why I always ride solo. I don't want to hold these guys up With club names like "The Hammerin' Wheels", I get a pretty good idea where I would stand as far as climbing goes if I dared ride with them

I'm not saying you're holding your riding partners up though. I'm just admitting I'm not courageous enough to try riding with the hill monkeys around here
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Old 02-21-11, 05:02 PM   #3
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Don't you do it! Go back and ride them again, and again, and then some more. They will get easier.
The only way to get better on the hills is to ride them. No worries, they are a B!@%h, when you first start riding them.

There are a few tricks, you can try to use; In a group ride, get to the hill first, then hang on as best as you can. Pedal down the other side and build up momentum for the next one.
Sit back and drop your heels, this should give you more power. Don't be afraid to stand up, for short amounts of time. When things get really HARD and you feel like you can't make it, pick a spot on the top of the hill, and in your mind, prentend that there is a bungee atached to that spot and to you, pulling you up.

But most of all, go ride the hills.
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Old 02-21-11, 05:14 PM   #4
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One thing I always do on really tough climbs (like every climb in my latest sufferfest video) is to look at the ground in front of me. I only look up every few seconds. For some reason this makes it easier to deal with.

But yeah, like jr59 said, keep riding in the hills
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Old 02-21-11, 05:30 PM   #5
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A way of "cheating" on a hill is to give yourself the goal of an approaching intersecting road, when you get to that intersection, turn off the hill and let your legs refresh as you do small circles on the side - road. Then back to the hill

I also find no shame in stopping on a hill when I absolutely HAVE TO so that my heart can calm down. At close to 300lbs its simple common sense as to "know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em"
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Old 02-21-11, 05:48 PM   #6
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Don't you do it! Go back and ride them again, and again, and then some more. They will get easier.
The only way to get better on the hills is to ride them. No worries, they are a B!@%h, when you first start riding them.
...
But most of all, go ride the hills.
What JR said.

Soon you might even begin to enjoy them in a twisted way.
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Old 02-21-11, 06:14 PM   #7
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These were not mountains, just steep but short climbs and a bunch of them.

I'm going to tuck my tail and run back to the flat lands.

here is a dirty secret - climbing doesn't get easier it just gets faster and you recover quicker at the top.

Also, its much tougher to do a bunch of steep short climbs than the longer ones without the significant % that is found on some of these shorter climbs. Plus a long climb usually has a long decent to recover and the short steep climbs don't so each subsequent climb starts out with less in the tank than the previous one.

BTW the only way to learn to hang on climbs is to climb more and longer. One day a week of repeats on a good 20 minute climb helps a lot but really hurts to do.

Always remember the one truth about climbing - it always hurts it just goes faster and you recover quicker as you get in better shape
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Old 02-21-11, 06:36 PM   #8
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I live down here in the area. Those are called rollers. When you are almost to the top, like just a pedal stroke or 2 away, shift into a bigger gear and power over the top. Then, on the back side, get in the big ring and pedal HARD. It will help with the next one.

Or you can come on down to NOLA and try mount levee, or as I love calling it, the leve of DOOM! 25ft of 12percent grade. It's a killer!
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Old 02-21-11, 06:39 PM   #9
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So here is one issue, Where I live it's flat as can be. I drove 55 miles to start the ride and we rode 20 miles north before we hit the hills. Is there any way to train in the flat land for hills?
I generally ride hard, I'll hit 500 miles in a month for the first time this month. I don't just ride for the sake of miles, I constantly work on speed/cadence and am slowly seeing results. But, whew did I ever get schooled today
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Old 02-21-11, 06:50 PM   #10
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here is a dirty secret - climbing doesn't get easier it just gets faster and you recover quicker at the top.
That's not just climbing's dirty little secret - it's cycling in general's dirty little secret. It doesn't get easier, you get faster.
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Old 02-21-11, 06:53 PM   #11
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Just keep at it and remember there is a coast down the other side.

I take a break if necessary. It's a little harder to start going up a hill, so I go perpendicular to the road get some speed up and to get clipped in, then turn back up the hill. The other thing I do is to never go to my lowest gear, I try to keep the last gear as a bailout.

Keep at it and you will start getting through them quicker.

Its been too cold here to ride outside until last week, so I have been riding a trainer. I practice climbing on a trainer by putting it in the highest gear and standing for the commercials. You could do something similar by shifting to a high gear and standing into headwinds.

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Old 02-21-11, 06:54 PM   #12
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So here is one issue, Where I live it's flat as can be. I drove 55 miles to start the ride and we rode 20 miles north before we hit the hills. Is there any way to train in the flat land for hills?
Freeway overpass repeats, they're the only hills in some areas. Find a nice high freeway overpass, or railroad overpass, or whatever, and just do it over and over and over.

Also do some extra work into headwinds on windy days. A headwind isn't a bad thing, it's a training opportunity.

---------------------------

Also general advice is to try different things. I found I was killing myself on some hills when I didn't need in the wrong gear. Try different gears, try different cadence, try different hand position, anything to be more comfortable. Being comfortable helps, so relax the arms and hands, no need for a deathgrip which wastes energy.

It helps me a lot, personally, to concentrate on spinning circles and especially to keep my heels down while climbing. I found that moving my hands outward a little loosening grip, keeping heels down, and finding a better gear/cadence improved my climbing by like 50%.

You don't need to spin 100rpm on a climb just because other people are doing it, I've found that while 100rpm is great for me on flats, I work a LOT better if I keep my cadence at around 80 on hills. I'm practicing to move that up a little, but that's where I'm at right now for my best endurance.

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Old 02-21-11, 07:03 PM   #13
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I live down here in the area. Those are called rollers. When you are almost to the top, like just a pedal stroke or 2 away, shift into a bigger gear and power over the top. Then, on the back side, get in the big ring and pedal HARD. It will help with the next one.

Or you can come on down to NOLA and try mount levee, or as I love calling it, the leve of DOOM! 25ft of 12percent grade. It's a killer!
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Freeway overpass repeats, they're the only hills in some areas. Find a nice high freeway overpass, or railroad overpass, or whatever, and just do it over and over and over.

Also do some extra work into headwinds on windy days. A headwind isn't a bad thing, it's a training opportunity.
I know what to do. Mount Manchac, a high bridge over a shipping channel. 15 miles from my house, would make a decent training ride. 30 Miles round trip plus X trips over Mount Manchac. Thanks guys for getting me thinking!
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Old 02-21-11, 07:06 PM   #14
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I know what to do. Mount Manchac, a high bridge over a shipping channel. 15 miles from my house, would make a decent training ride. 30 Miles round trip plus X trips over Mount Manchac. Thanks guys for getting me thinking!
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Old 02-21-11, 11:12 PM   #15
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I ride my heavy adult trike up bridges, overpasses, and the occasional block-long short steep hills in one nearby neighborhood. It works. I don't think I lost fitness over the winter like I used to when I was thinner and didn't have a nice heavy tank of a bike to ride in the winter.
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Old 02-21-11, 11:47 PM   #16
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It's a totally different skill set and fitness level. These were not mountains, just steep but short climbs and a bunch of them.
Cool Beanz! Yeah, keep at the hills. They will make you strong and well rounded as a rider! Heck, the flats are so much easier and the wind is your friend. After riding in the mountains all day, I don't mind a 45 mile headwind at all when returning to the flats, actually fun after you have the fitness of climbing. Hills are the best workout!

BTW, Gina who never really liked to climb has been telling me that she's been slacking and needs to hit the mountain again. I think she's acquired the taste! That's my girl!
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Old 02-21-11, 11:50 PM   #17
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Hills are the best workout!
What he said! Nothing but the finest
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Old 02-22-11, 12:48 AM   #18
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LOL I just started this gig. Hills scare the ever-loving crap out of me. There's a small rise between the two sections of the parking lot at my office, that's about the biggest "hill" I've conquered so far. Right now, hills pretty much torpedo any kind of distance I hope to achieve on a ride. I can't wait until a few years from now when I can look back on this post and laugh.
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Old 02-22-11, 05:04 AM   #19
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That's not just climbing's dirty little secret - it's cycling in general's dirty little secret. It doesn't get easier, you get faster.
You know, I never really understood that Greg Lemond quote. When I started riding, everything was difficult and slow. Now I'm faster, thus riding got a lot easier, even though I ride much farther.
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Old 02-22-11, 09:48 AM   #20
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You know, I never really understood that Greg Lemond quote. When I started riding, everything was difficult and slow. Now I'm faster, thus riding got a lot easier, even though I ride much farther.
I'm not sure what's different for you than me. AS I get in shape I can go faster and further with the same level of exertion. But what makes that quote real is one piece of my return home ride from work. Its a 45 minute climb from Mt. Savage to Frostburg which covers roughly 5 miles and has ramps between 8-15%. At the beginning of the year it I average 6-7 mph on the steep parts and can recover on the lesser sections to 10-12 mph. Late in the season the same climb is at 8-9 mph and 14-15 mph in the same sections. But regardless of time of year, I hit the top of each section just short of stars in my eyes and it takes a good 100-200 ft to get my heart rate under control. The other difference is that I can do more of the climbing at my max levels later in the year.

Now if I was only going at 6-7 mph at the end of the year it would be an easier ride. But I want to get home to dinner, and one of my favorite parts of riding is climbing hard and as fast as I can. So it never gets easier, just more enjoyable (yes the pain and suffering is part of the joy).
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Old 02-22-11, 11:44 AM   #21
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and one of my favorite parts of riding is climbing hard and as fast as I can. So it never gets easier, just more enjoyable (yes the pain and suffering is part of the joy).
+1,000

Non-cyclists (and even some cyclists) often don't understand that part. I have a feeling plenty of those who find out I love climbing think I have a screw loose

Years ago I went camping with someone who told me he "hates hills". We had done several road and mtb rides together in the past and I always beat him up hills. He was doing something else while I decided to tackle a steep dirt road on my mtb. He told me later on that he talked to a female jogger about me climbing the hill, and that he told her "she gets off on the pain of riding uphill"

Now if that jogger was a serious runner or cyclist, I'm sure she didn't think I was nuts
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Old 02-22-11, 12:42 PM   #22
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I have a feeling plenty of those who find out I love climbing think I have a screw loose
Funny! I don't climb cause I love it, I climb because I work on my weaknesses. When I first started riding, I could easily keep up with 150 friends/riders on the flats. But I couldn't keep up on any of the hills. I figured out that I had to do hillwork if I ever planned to keep up with riders that said "I never would".

I did hills 3 times a week and then long mtn climbs on the weekends. I dropped from 256 to 218. I was hammering my 150 lb friends on the flats then pulling away on the climbs. None of them will ride with me anymore!

Although I don't keep myself conditoned and fit the way I would like year round, I continue to ride the hills for the times that I want to be in shape. It just keeps the riding skills so much stronger. We frequent the flat trail so it's really funny when I pull up on a rider, he looks back, looks me up and down, then tries to drop me on one of the short (20-30 yard) climbs. Oh man! All I can think is "I'm going to have fun with this guy" I'll usually hang with him till the short climbs of the underpasses take their toll then hammer him on a hill when he starts to show some fatigue hahaha!

I like the "you're a big guy, you can't climb" factor of riding. Too many riders think we don't climb so it's always a shock when you can keep up on a hill and rude awakening when they get dropped. It's been fun for me. Too many similar situations to this but this one stands out. I was riding on the trail, usual 50 60 mile when I pulled up on another ride. I'm just holding a cruising speed. I pull up and say "hello, how are ya?". This guy has no answer, he just looks me up and down ( I mean head to toe, bike and all). He looks me in the eye and says, "uhhh....Buuuh-bye" then sprints off!

Oh no you di'int! I took it a an insult and a challenge. So I just picked up the speed some, dropped back about 30 yards (I don't draft and if I get beat it's one on one baby!) and followed him for 1/2 a mile till he faded. I cranked up my engine and blew by him so fast while saying, OK, Buuuh-bye!" I pounded the pdals for about 2 miles and he was totally out of sight haha!

So I don't climb cause I have a screw loose. I climb cause it keeps you strong as a rider. Ya never know when another forum member will say,"you're a pansy, I think I can beat you". It's happened. Climbing just gives you that edge when you feel like getting into shape..

Like I said, work on the weakness. I have lots of respect for athletes that do. I big 250 lb rider or runner that works hard to go faster longer earns much more than a 140 lb rider that only works with his advantages. And the 140 guy that worked his way into benching 300 lbs, now that is commendable, I've seen both sides!
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Old 02-22-11, 01:01 PM   #23
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I did hills 3 times a week and then long mtn climbs on the weekends. I dropped from 256 to 218. I was hammering my 150 lb friends on the flats then pulling away on the climbs. None of them will ride with me anymore!

Although I don't keep myself conditoned and fit the way I would like year round, I continue to ride the hills for the times that I want to be in shape. It just keeps the riding skills so much stronger. We frequent the flat trail so it's really funny when I pull up on a rider, he looks back, looks me up and down, then tries to drop me on one of the short (20-30 yard) climbs. Oh man! All I can think is "I'm going to have fun with this guy" I'll usually hang with him till the short climbs of the underpasses take their toll then hammer him on a hill when he starts to show some fatigue hahaha!

I like the "you're a big guy, you can't climb" factor of riding. Too many riders think we don't climb so it's always a shock when you can keep up on a hill and rude awakening when they get dropped. It's been fun for me. Too many similar situations to this but this one stands out. I was riding on the trail, usual 50 60 mile when I pulled up on another ride. I'm just holding a cruising speed. I pull up and say "hello, how are ya?". This guy has no answer, he just looks me up and down ( I mean head to toe, bike and all). He looks me in the eye and says, "uhhh....Buuuh-bye" then sprints off!

Oh no you di'int! I took it a an insult and a challenge. So I just picked up the speed some, dropped back about 30 yards (I don't draft and if I get beat it's one on one baby!) and followed him for 1/2 a mile till he faded. I cranked up my engine and blew by him so fast while saying, OK, Buuuh-bye!" I pounded the pdals for about 2 miles and he was totally out of sight haha!


I love your tactics! Same stuff I like to pull on people

I don't draft anymore either. When I was skinnier I did, but now I won't.

I have a feeling I lost a friend because I beat her up a hill. Last summer when I was 180-something pounds, I took a friend up to the hills to go climbing. She's 4'8" and 125 pounds.

I delivered such an ass-whooping that I think she hates me now On every climb, the minute I even started breathing hard she dropped back. On the last 1-mile climb I beat her by 3 or 4 minutes.

I sincerely thought she would be able to keep up with me or beat me because she weighed 60 pounds less than me.
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Old 02-22-11, 01:21 PM   #24
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I delivered such an ass-whooping that I think she hates me now
The guys I rode with are big cry babies in my book. One guy dropped from 230 to 185, the other is 155. Both were so vocal with their victories...before I started training. The 180 would ask, "what's the difference in us, why am I so much faster evenethough we are both big guys?" He's 180 and I'm 256 and I had never thought about any kind of training, just rode my bikes not knowing each ride would end in a "victory". The lighter guy finished ahead of me twice on the Rosarito fun bike ride then boasted about it. Oh, we were racing?

They came up with the idea that we should have a trophy made then pass it along to the rider that wins our little race in Roasarito since it's held every six months. So I trained in the hils, lost weight then smoked them bigtime on the ride. I finished in 2:34 when my previous time was 3:20 for the 50 mile ride. I could have doen a few mintues better but I waited at the top of the 7% hill for the guy that trained with me.

So they got upset and that killed the thoughts of any trophy! The 180 lb dude rode with me a few more times. He challenged me on Ride Around The Bear (100 miles,10,000 ft of climbing) and I beat him by 1:10. So I asked him, "I wonder what the differnce is, why am I so much faster eventhough we are both big guys?" :ropflmao2:

That was the last time he rode with me. Gina hasn't a mean bone in her body so when she calls those guys crybabies, you know it's true!

I'll go into training every once in a while to crush someone, but they're bad and they all deserve it!
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Old 02-22-11, 01:35 PM   #25
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I'll go into training every once in a while to crush someone, but they're bad and they all deserve it!
My (ex?)friend deserved it too, actually I just didn't think it would happen because of the huge weight advantage I thought she had.
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