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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 09-01-11, 02:57 PM   #1
Seattle Forrest
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A painfully evil rollicking good time: Are you a climber, and if so, why?

My mountain bike has skinny, slick tires and drop handle bars; it's a road bike that I ride on alpine roads. And we have 3,010 mountain peaks in Washington state. Of course, they don't all have roads. The Pickett Range was a blank spot on the map as late as the 1930s, thanks to the incredibly rough (but strikingly gorgeous) terrain. This earned its peaks names like Mounts Terror, Fury, and Despair, but also Inspiration, Success Point, and Disappointment Peak. Choosing where to ride can be a challenge, and an article with suggestions described climbing as "a painfully evil rollicking good time."

So why do we do it? I'm going to cross post this in the road forum (and I'm going to plagiarize my intro paragraph), but I wanted to ask in the C&A forum because here are a bunch of people who are gravitationally challenged, but a lot of you still manage to persevere. In a sport or hobby where even short, light people tend to avoid hills, I think it's pretty amazing how many climbers this forum has. I see the videos, and the photos, and the elevation plots.

Are you a climber? If so, why, and how did you become one, or realize that you're one?
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Old 09-01-11, 02:59 PM   #2
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"Are you a climber?"
No ... but I aspire to be
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Old 09-01-11, 03:09 PM   #3
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I can't stand flatness for long, which is a good thing living in Japan with some of the best mountain passes at 16%. inclines give me something to accomplish, something to push against.

Flatness is just drudgery; I won't go the distance unless there is something to climb.
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Old 09-01-11, 03:26 PM   #4
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Funny I used to love only doing fast flat rides until I started mountain biking ... now even on the road bike I always aim for hills. I am not fast (not even close) but I can climb. And of course I am rewarded, usually, with a downhill. I don't however have the scenary Seattle does... It's so pretty!

Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.
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Old 09-01-11, 03:41 PM   #5
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Why? I enjoyed cycling but had a few buddies running from 150-190. Never really knew we were racing till one day they made the comment, "you're too big, you will never keep up with us on a climb". You never say that to the Beanzer because he will prove you wrong! I started training on climbs and a year later, none of them could come close to keeping up. They don't talk trash anymore ha ha!

After I started climbing I realized that it was most riders' weakness so I continued. I've always been the type in any sport to work on my weakness not my strengths. Now I continue to climb because most riders that invite me on a ride or want to challenge me will do so on a climb as they weigh 150-190 lbs . I've come to learn that they will never challenge or invite you on a flat ride. So if I want to beat em, I've got to climb!

Heck, if they did invite me on flat rides I'd have more fun with less work ha ha!

Mountain Biking

I like the first picture. I captured the surrounding mountains so that you can see it is not an optical illusion.

Potato Mtn

081909G by gulpxtreme, on Flickr

skyline by gulpxtreme, on Flickr

Untitled by gulpxtreme, on Flickr

Road Biking

BTW, that's me in orange.....on an Armadillo and Deep V's. The dude in red weighs 50 lbs less riding GP4000's and expensive lightweight climbing wheels.


Feb. 8, 2010 GMR-Baldy Village 011 by gulpxtreme, on Flickr

After 9000 feet of climbing on The Bear riding a standard crank (39/25) and still smiling.

Bear1 by mrbeanz1, on Flickr

Bear profile

Profile Bear by gulpxtreme, on Flickr

Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 09-01-11 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 09-01-11, 04:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Are you a climber?
Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
No ... but I aspire to be
Same here. I like that it forces you to keep pedaling, no coasting. I've stopped and rested on climbs but starting up again feels like punishment for stopping in the first place. So the next time I feel like pulling over to catch my breath, I think twice about it, and only stop if I really really need a rest.
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Old 09-01-11, 04:20 PM   #7
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I'm not a Strong Climber, but I can climb. I love the challenge of climbing the steepest, most painful hills I can find. I love the endorphin high, the rhythm, and the stress relief of climbing.

I'm hoping to have more of this happen in the future, with faster riders who are obviously working hard. I think these two may have been taking it easy...
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Old 09-01-11, 04:43 PM   #8
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I try to do more and more climbing each week. It's not always possible, but I try.

This afternoon I scoped out a new path I hope to take within the next 2 weeks that will take me to the highest elevation I've been so far this year, which has an awe-inspiring view at the peak looking towards Buffalo. Is it a coincidence that I just purchased a ContourHD video yesterday? Hmmm... perhaps not...
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Old 09-01-11, 04:44 PM   #9
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I do small, informal group rides with a handful of friends. A few years ago, someone who runs marathons joined the group. He'd always be the first one up hills, and, if we let him, he'd drag us up more altitude than we needed to climb. Worse, he'd stop and wait at a flat point, but take up again before anyone else caught up ... so Mike would rest on the way up, and disappear with the goal post before you had a chance to. My life as a climber got started out of necessity, not love.

But hills have always given me a sense of accomplishment, and the reward on the other side. Once I got a really nice bike that handles beautifully, I started to enjoy the hairpin corners I used to be slightly nervous in. I'll go miles out of my way to fly down some corners, but, of course, you have to pay the piper, and the price is some climbing.

My coup de grace is the scenery. There are very few things I love as much as mountains. From the article I read, here is the road to Artist Point, in the North Cascades:

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Old 09-01-11, 08:03 PM   #10
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Are you a climber? If so, why, and how did you become one, or realize that you're one?

The main reason I ride is that it is just another way for me to enjoy the mountains. My main passion in life is being in the mountains. Started backpacking and climbing at the early age of about 15, and have stayed with it all these years. ( Pushing 60, but feel like I am only 55 or so. LOL) Over the years I hike less but living at the base of a mountain range, I now get on the bike to enjoy them. And that obviously involves CLIMBING. Not fast at all, but I finish any climb that I start. For all the rides I did last year, 75 % of them included climbs of over 2500 feet. I averaged almost 100 feet of gain for every mile I rode. Never thought much about it until talking to a few guys on here that I know are climbers, and they told me if you are anywhere near 100 feet per mile for the year, you are a climber. Well, I don't consider myself a climber, just a rider that likes to climb.

click pic

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