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  1. #1
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Strategy on a metric tomorrow

    Ok, needing some advice.

    I am lucky in most regards, I have one of those naturally slim athletic wives, who is great shape. I mean this girl can ride away from most fit men her age. When I did the half marathon training, she decided to tag along, and with no prior running experience, she beat everyone, male and female in the group on each and very training run.

    So since we are cycling now, and we did our first metric last weekend (and I didn't die). She promptly signed me up for another one this weekend.

    Here is the rub...I know now I can do the miles, and I was tired, but not destroyed after the ride last week...but...it had 1800 feet of climbing, and flat calm wind.

    This weeks ride has 5300 feet of climbing and they are calling for 20-30 SSW winds.

    That combo has me a bit concerned. I looked at the climbs on a chart and most of them don't seem to be much more than 100 feet per mile, and most of them are less than 6 continuous miles of non stop up...so I am guessing that's not too bad....the rest seem to be shorter and maybe even steeper...more rollers so to speak.

    The wind is what it is, and I can't whimp out now...but this has me concerned

    Any ideas how to attack this ride to limit my blow up potential?

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    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    5k of climbing in 60 miles is fairly hilly but not dastardly (100 ft per mile works out to about a 2% grade, which is pretty reasonable) - my suggestion for you is to take it easy on the hills (stop me if you figured this out already ) so that you don't blow up before you hit the finish line. Wind is wind, make your wife do all the pulling. It's only fair since she signed you up, right?

    Eat a nice dinner tonight, drink a lot of water tonight and tomorrow morning and go have fun - you can do it!

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Hilly but not extreme. The key will be to manage your effort in the hills. Just find a gear, and therefore a rhythm, that you can sustain. If you do that, it doesn't matter how long the hill is, you know you can keep plodding along until you've climbed it. Don't charge at them, just ride them at your own pace. If you do that, a sixty-mile ride, however lumpy, won't be a problem.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Get on your bike and pedal....don't think about it. You know you can do it..........and you will do it! Good Luck

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Just curious, those that say 5k over 63 miles isn't too bad; how much do you weigh and how much experience do you have?

    I'm 400lb and just hit my first cycling anniversary. Did 1k over 30 miles last week, and couldn't make it up one of the climbs, and ended up hurting my back enough to keep me off the bike for 6 days. I'm trying real hard to train for an event in September, which is two days of 50 mile rides, 3k climbing each. I seriously don't think I can do it at this point, if last week is any indication. People claiming that an event with twice as much climbing as a ride that's twice my current limit (ie 4x total) isn't much climbing... that's ridiculous. How is that even realistic?

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    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Look at it this way---unless it's a point-to-point ride, you're going to have a nice tailwind for part of it.

    I have a favorite metric in my area. I almost always have a 15 mph headwind for the last 6.5 miles. It's just something ya have to live with.

  7. #7
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Thanks...that's what I wanted to hear

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    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    Think about it this way - with winds blowing, the climb will be naturally air conditioned! I really dislike sustained climbs in calm winds. I'm simply too big and slow to get any cooling. That said, stop and rest often on the hills. You've already proven you can rule the flats and down hills. So don't sweat it. Eat/Drink and get enough salts and you'll probably do just fine.
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

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    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    The wind and hills just make the ride effectively longer. Gear down, keep your power output as constant as you can, and you'll be fine.

    Note that in windy conditions your sweat will evaporate rapidly, so you won't notice how much you're sweating. Make sure you stay hydrated.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  10. #10
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    Just curious, those that say 5k over 63 miles isn't too bad; how much do you weigh and how much experience do you have?

    I'm 400lb and just hit my first cycling anniversary. Did 1k over 30 miles last week, and couldn't make it up one of the climbs, and ended up hurting my back enough to keep me off the bike for 6 days. I'm trying real hard to train for an event in September, which is two days of 50 mile rides, 3k climbing each. I seriously don't think I can do it at this point, if last week is any indication. People claiming that an event with twice as much climbing as a ride that's twice my current limit (ie 4x total) isn't much climbing... that's ridiculous. How is that even realistic?
    This.

    We all are different. We don't know your fitness. Only you do.

    I do a rolling hill route of 34 miles with about 1900 feet of climb, most of which over 22 miles. It is a bear for me, though getting better. I seriously doubt I could do 60 with 5000, especially if wind was a major issue. I did a ride about a month ago that was 45 miles and about 2000 feet and almost lost it due to heat and the hills and riding with faster riders. The result was that I ended up even slower than I ordinarily ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    Just curious, those that say 5k over 63 miles isn't too bad; how much do you weigh and how much experience do you have?

    I'm 400lb and just hit my first cycling anniversary. Did 1k over 30 miles last week, and couldn't make it up one of the climbs, and ended up hurting my back enough to keep me off the bike for 6 days. I'm trying real hard to train for an event in September, which is two days of 50 mile rides, 3k climbing each. I seriously don't think I can do it at this point, if last week is any indication. People claiming that an event with twice as much climbing as a ride that's twice my current limit (ie 4x total) isn't much climbing... that's ridiculous. How is that even realistic?
    I come in at 6'5"(195cm), 252lbs(115 kg) and consider eaxactly those sort of numbers "hilly", even "hard" but extremely doable. Here's this mornings ride which is pretty darn similiar to those criteria.

    http://app.strava.com/rides/11489999

    I have absolutely no doubt that at 400lbs you would find such a ride extremely challenging. Weight has a huge impact on climbing hills. As the pounds come off, you will find that it's possible to consider things that previously seemed impossible.

    Keep training! 3-5 rides a week. Mix in a variety of distance rides, hilly (by your measure) rides, etc. And most importantly, invest your energy, interest and time into maintaining a healthy diet. The loss of 25 pounds (very achievable in that time) will make just as large an impact. Your goal sounds pretty ambitious, but, not impossible.

    My goal, for November, is a sub 6 hour Lake Taupo Century. Wish me luck.
    Last edited by bigfred; 06-22-12 at 08:23 PM. Reason: spelling
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    It's all about how much climbing you do. >5000' in a metric qualifies as a hilly ride and is very likely to include some steep stretches, not long, epic climbs, but enough climbing to find stretches that exceed double digits.

    BTW, 100'/mile is indeed approximately 2%, but what goes up must invariably go down so all things being somewhat equal if half the miles are "up" and half "down", then the average grade will be 4%.
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  13. #13
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    My wife has heart arrhythmias, with a premature irregular heart beat. Long term Bipolar, anxiety disorder with chronic depression. When she gets anxiety it aggravates the arrhythmias.
    Left knee has had 2 surgeries while the right knee has had 3surgeries. Her left leg was crushed when she was 2 years old, so it has always been a on and off thing. Then she got hurt working corrections and had the surgeries to correct that, they failed.

    Currently has Asthma, allergies and loss of lung performance due to scaring tissue. She was in the hospital for 6 weeks with Cryptogenic Organising Pneumonitis (COP) or BOOP (Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organising Pneumonia) depending on who you subscribe too. The cause is unkown so drop th smoking chit before you even start. COP not COPD.

    I am grateful to still have her in my life, with her 15 pills, 2 inhalers a day. She wishes she could ride with me. For the most part is understanding about my time on the road. But imagine not being able to do what you love with the person you love. It hurts both ways.

    Quit your *****ing and chase your wife down.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by danlikes View Post
    Quit your *****ing and chase your wife down.
    Or, at least suck her wheel.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    By the way, this thread is worthless without out pics,........... of said wife:-)
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  16. #16
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I'll throw in my suggestion.

    Now I've seen this hundreds of times with clydes on organized rides. The clyde can be a bit self conscious about not climbing at skinny speeds so he tends to show off on the downhill sections of a ride, any downhill that he meets. This is a big mistake IMO! Even on short climbs, the clyde will be passed bu tother riders. DON"t fal into the trap of feelign you have to prove your clyde self by passing the skinnies on the downhill section. Don't feel humbled. The guys that are passing you are more than likey strong riders, so the clyde must use his brain. I've had a ton of clydes (see what I did there?) feel that they need to pass me on a downhill after I pass them on an uphill. Even on the gentle, I mean gentle rollers of our bike trail. I pass a bigger clyde so he feel he must return the favor on the dh. Mistake!

    Soon he fades even after the most gentle hill kills him. On a ride where a clyde has a disadvantage, he must ride smart. Let the skinnky fudgers go! They are too strong and odds are you will kill yourself then fade like old jeans.

    Save your energy for the short climbs, big climbs. Who gives a rat's butt that you can pass people on the dh. save the energy, soft pedal on the way down, coast, recuperate! Then use the evergy for the ups. The name of the game is to do well in the war, not the battle. Your overall time is what counts.

    You must look at the big picture, how long will the ride take you? The big picture is not " I passed that dude on the downhill" because he just may smoke your arse in the big picture.

    The big picture goal is to be consistent and use a steady energy output throught out the ride. Save on the dh!

    I've had a ton of riders kil me on 1 mile hills, 5 mile hills, 10 mile hills, but in the long run, 100 miles, I just might beat you cause I was consistent througout. I did not burn myself out trying to race others early on. I did not waste energy trying to prove myself to others.

    My advice, conserve on the dh sections, let faster riders go. If they aren't faster, you'll pass them later. If you dont then they were just overalll faster riders. Don't let other riders draw you into a losing game plan. Ride smart, conserve on easy sections, apply that to the tough!

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    Beanz,

    I would agree completely, with one caveat. Clydes should not be afraid to pass on dh's, AS LONG AS THEY'RE COASTING. Don't ride the brakes to stay in position. If coasting see's you move to the front of a group, or even ahead, then great. You've got a head start on the next climb. I've managed to keep pace with much smaller, better, climbers by using this technique. The guys that I ride with normally, at first tend to gripe about the leap frogging until I explain the reasoning. Unless the climbers are willing to drag their brakes on the up hills, I'm not going to on the down hills. They can chose to suck my draft and pedal if necessary, or, let me go and then catch up or pass on the next climb. Either way it's a great equalizer

    This works fine on rolling terrain where the climbs almost immediately follow the descent. If the descent ends on a flat I've learned to pedal "well within myself" until the group rejoins and then latch on. I won't try to stay off the front alone, unless the flat is fairly short.

    If approaching a climb and pulling at the front of the group, I'll usually pull over and start to rotate to the back with several hundred meters to go. Not because I want to be at the back of the group, but, because I want the few minutes rest at the back before commencing the climb.

    All of this is related to moderate hills/climbs of 0:30 to 4:00 or 5:00. Climbs of 20:00 or more are another story all together.
    Last edited by bigfred; 06-22-12 at 10:40 PM.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Big Pete 1982's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I'll throw in my suggestion.

    Now I've seen this hundreds of times with clydes on organized rides. The clyde can be a bit self conscious about not climbing at skinny speeds so he tends to show off on the downhill sections of a ride, any downhill that he meets. This is a big mistake IMO! Even on short climbs, the clyde will be passed bu tother riders. DON"t fal into the trap of feelign you have to prove your clyde self by passing the skinnies on the downhill section. Don't feel humbled. The guys that are passing you are more than likey strong riders, so the clyde must use his brain. I've had a ton of clydes (see what I did there?) feel that they need to pass me on a downhill after I pass them on an uphill. Even on the gentle, I mean gentle rollers of our bike trail. I pass a bigger clyde so he feel he must return the favor on the dh. Mistake!

    Soon he fades even after the most gentle hill kills him. On a ride where a clyde has a disadvantage, he must ride smart. Let the skinnky fudgers go! They are too strong and odds are you will kill yourself then fade like old jeans.

    Save your energy for the short climbs, big climbs. Who gives a rat's butt that you can pass people on the dh. save the energy, soft pedal on the way down, coast, recuperate! Then use the evergy for the ups. The name of the game is to do well in the war, not the battle. Your overall time is what counts.

    You must look at the big picture, how long will the ride take you? The big picture is not " I passed that dude on the downhill" because he just may smoke your arse in the big picture.

    The big picture goal is to be consistent and use a steady energy output throught out the ride. Save on the dh!

    I've had a ton of riders kil me on 1 mile hills, 5 mile hills, 10 mile hills, but in the long run, 100 miles, I just might beat you cause I was consistent througout. I did not burn myself out trying to race others early on. I did not waste energy trying to prove myself to others.

    My advice, conserve on the dh sections, let faster riders go. If they aren't faster, you'll pass them later. If you dont then they were just overalll faster riders. Don't let other riders draw you into a losing game plan. Ride smart, conserve on easy sections, apply that to the tough!
    It's not always about proving yourself on downhills. I've had pretty good success in rolling hill sections pedaling hard downhill and carrying my momentum up while down shifting. Overall I use less energy than I would if I coasted down and climbed the next hill with less momentum. But if it's extended hill climbs and descends, then I agree there is no need to pedal downhill since momentum doesn't go very far on a long uphill.

  19. #19
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I'll be with you in spirit Vest! Here's the ride I've planned for tomorrow... http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1348250

    It's entirely possible that I'll puss out and stop at what we call the "shack" and come back down, if I'm not feeling it (riding in the late afternoon is not optimal, heat wise). http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1348245

    It's cracking me up that in either case, the ENTIRELY NASTY hill that I live on barely registers. It's a mile of 6-10% to get home, and you can't even make it out on the elevation chart.

  20. #20
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    Just curious, those that say 5k over 63 miles isn't too bad; how much do you weigh and how much experience do you have?

    I'm 400lb and just hit my first cycling anniversary. Did 1k over 30 miles last week, and couldn't make it up one of the climbs, and ended up hurting my back enough to keep me off the bike for 6 days. I'm trying real hard to train for an event in September, which is two days of 50 mile rides, 3k climbing each. I seriously don't think I can do it at this point, if last week is any indication. People claiming that an event with twice as much climbing as a ride that's twice my current limit (ie 4x total) isn't much climbing... that's ridiculous. How is that even realistic?
    To answer your specific question, I weigh about 200lbs and I have a lot of experience. I don't do many organised rides any more, but next weekend I'm doing a sportive which is 104 miles with 7800 ft of climbing. I've done it a number of times before, it's a fairly tough day on the bike but far from the most challenging of its type.

    I've said before how different the experience would be at your weight, and how much I admire those who get out there despite being very heavy. And obviously it is futile and counter-productive to tell you to do rides that are, for the moment, beyond you. But my earlier advice, and that given by Beanz, remains sound. The key to hills is to manage your effort and not charge them. Gear down, don't worry about how slowly you're going, just set a pace, and a level of effort, you can maintain, and keep going. If the hills you are riding are too steep to allow that, find some shallower gradients and use them instead. You get better at it, but it takes time and patience.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  21. #21
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    Beanz, I would agree completely, with one caveat. Clydes should not be afraid to pass on dh's, AS LONG AS THEY'RE COASTING.r.
    Hmm, I thought I was clear meaning showing off on the downhills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete 1982 View Post
    It's not always about proving yourself on downhills.
    Hmm, I thought I was clear meaning showing off on the downhills.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Big Pete 1982's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Hmm, I thought I was clear meaning showing off on the downhills.



    Hmm, I thought I was clear meaning showing off on the downhills.
    Is it showing off if I choose to use gravity to my advantage?

  23. #23
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete 1982 View Post
    It's not always about proving yourself on downhills. I've had pretty good success in rolling hill sections pedaling hard downhill and carrying my momentum up while down shifting. Overall I use less energy than I would if I coasted down and climbed the next hill with less momentum. But if it's extended hill climbs and descends, then I agree there is no need to pedal downhill since momentum doesn't go very far on a long uphill.
    On a ride of 35 miles that I did regularly this spring, over a course of short rolling hills, I found that this was the best strategy. My average speed was much better if I pedaled hard on the downhill, stood up on the uphill section to keep up the momentum, then dropped gears to try to spin the rest of the way to the top, never pushing so hard so as to get breathless. Not the case on long hills where I need to remember to rest and conserve energy on the down hill side or I will blow up on the uphill side. The momentum advantage is minimal with those kinds of hills. I am a light weight so I get no downhill advantage. Guys pass me while coasting, all the while I am pedaling furiously trying to not fall too far behind. I am now backing off on getting speed up on the downhills, as Beanz suggested, unless it is a course of short rolling hills.

    Sometimes though instead for fun I will pedal hard on the downhill to get some pleasure from the speed and use the uphill to rest, if the hill isn't too long or too steep. I just sloooowwwwwly pedal my way up, drinking water, looking at the sights. That was the way I first did hills. Someone here mentioned using the uphills to rest and that is what I did.

  24. #24
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete 1982 View Post
    Is it showing off if I choose to use gravity to my advantage?

    I'll explain my post clearly so it's easy to get the point for those of you.....

    "SOME" clydes chose to show off on the dh because they lack on the uphill and feel they need to prove themselves somewhere along the ride.

    If this is you, don't do it! You are wasting energy if your purpose is to " SHOW OFF"

    Pretty simple to understand.

    Now if it is not you and your weight naturaly forces you to pass other riders on the way down, or if your strategy is to use your momentum to carry you up the next roller, then great. You found a technique that works for you. Use it and I will be happy for you. But if this is you, then "the passing riders to show off" statement does not apply to you.

  25. #25
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Beanz...you da man...I started the ride passing back on downhillas the wind was in my favor...but dear god when I turned into the wind, that all stopped. I swear no one climb a gust blew me off the bike..it hit me so hard I made a sharp left into the traffic lane (no cars there). I got off and walked it till the wind calmed down.

    From about mile 20 to 54 it was pretty much into the wind...I had several downhills where I had to drop to the small chain ring and pedal just to go down hill...no I am not exaggerating

    The last ten miles the wind turned back in my favor and I can tell you it was a good thing...I didn't have anything left.

    I made it...I thought about quitting oh about 200 times, but I kept grinding.

    I wasn't even the last one back....the rd told me a lot of people dropped out and went home on the course due to the wind.

    I was slow as heck, but actually darn happy I made it

    Strava says it was a lot less climbing than what the race packet says..so I give up on what I should look at for real total climbing...but what the heck ever it was, it was all I had

    http://app.strava.com/rides/11565498

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