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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 08-17-13, 04:57 PM   #1
hallux
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18 miles and tackled a new hill today

I had been debating taking on the hill the entire way there (the hill was at mile 8.5, ending at mile 9), decided when I could see the base of it that I would go for it so I shifted to my big ring to get a little more momentum. That plan fell flat on its face as I had so much sweat in my eyes by the time I got to the hill that I couldn't see and had to stop. I stuck to my decision and made it to the plateau 2/3 of the way up using the lowest gear I have and was VERY winded. I've ridden that hill before but I was 15 years younger then.

While recovering from the climb (which wasn't the first OR last on the ride) I was chatting with another cyclist who was up there when I got there, an 81 year-old. God bless him for doing it, though I'm much younger than he I also weigh more.

Weather permitting, maybe next weekend I get ALL the way to the park at the top of the hill. Last time I rode that path (Mohawk-Hudson bike path) I got to the bottom of the hill and turned around.
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Old 08-17-13, 05:08 PM   #2
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I usually prepare mentally for big hills by shifting into the little chainring, then finding a comfortable gear in the middle of the cassette to spin comfortably up, mentally telling myself I still have 4 or 5 easler gears if I need to bail out halfway up. This approach has worked pretty well for me this season, as hills that wiped me out last year barely register as speed bumps now.
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Old 08-17-13, 05:40 PM   #3
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My plan all along was to be in the small ring when I started the climb, I just wanted some momentum to get partway up. Granted, at 250 lbs, that won't get me far. It's also a pretty steep hill, 100 feet of elevation gain in 1/4 mile (it was actually at 8.62 with my turn-around at 8.87). I've been working on hills as I can't go anywhere around here without hitting at least one and have done better on them, this one just kicked my butt today. I've also been working on cadence rides instead of speed, sticking mainly to the small ring and just trying to keep a consistent cadence, not caring how fast I'm actually going.
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Old 08-17-13, 06:35 PM   #4
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Great job! What cadence do you try to stay in? I have found that if I keep mine in the 85-90 range and shift accordingly, most hills are attainable. I also switch the tops of my bars and open up my chest to get more air in. The heart rate always shoots up to 160-170, but if I stay in it, they eventually plateau......eventually. ha
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Old 08-17-13, 08:18 PM   #5
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No computer on the bike, I just try in what feels like a consistent cadence. Also no HRM. Used my phone to track the ride today, normally use a Forerunner 110 watch but I left it home by accident. Used Google's My Tracks app then imported to Runkeeper.

I may add a computer with cadence meter for the winter, might pick up a trainer stand for the winter and will want to track distance.
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Old 08-17-13, 08:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallux View Post
My plan all along was to be in the small ring when I started the climb, I just wanted some momentum to get partway up. Granted, at 250 lbs, that won't get me far. It's also a pretty steep hill, 100 feet of elevation gain in 1/4 mile (it was actually at 8.62 with my turn-around at 8.87). I've been working on hills as I can't go anywhere around here without hitting at least one and have done better on them, this one just kicked my butt today. I've also been working on cadence rides instead of speed, sticking mainly to the small ring and just trying to keep a consistent cadence, not caring how fast I'm actually going.
Sounds like we speak the same language, must be the Clyde hill climbing experience.

I'm usually going to do everything I can to get some downhill momentum to big ring fly up the first part of the steep out of the saddle, find the right gear to sprint as far as I can up, and when I (rapidly) hit those shift points I'm going to cycle down a few gears in the big ring, but no further down than 6 or 7 down from the smaller back ring, and then hit the left shifter to the 34 front ring, and from there I've got 3 or 4 rings to play with before I get to the pie plate ... crawling up the last part of the summit of the Cat 5 like a snail on valium.

It's pretty comical, but each time out I get that sprint a bit further up the hill, until some smaller hills I now no longer need to spin, I can just sprint. That's rewarding.

But I'm gonna have to eat it soon, cos one of my re-hab-goals is the big long hill here, and I'ts going to require a **** ton of 34-32 spin misery to just make it up. I've been practicing, and I think I'm almost there (again) since my last injury a few years ago.

Last edited by rideorglide; 08-17-13 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 08-17-13, 09:22 PM   #7
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I avoied hills for a long time. Hard to do where I live. Any ride over five miles wil have some kind of hill. My house is half way up a short, but steep one.

I ususally leve from my house to the Pacifc Coast Highway, about 6 miles of rolling hills with a net drop of 450'. Then up and down the coast is mostly flat along the bluffs, with occasional drops down, and climbs back out of coastal inlet causeways.

One day about a year and a half ago, I was down to 240 from 290, and rather than turn right at the bottom of my home hill, I went straight to this hill that had been starring me down. This route would put me on the coast in ten miles or so, and over twice the climbing, so I just went for it.

http://app.strava.com/segments/2638088

Now at 210, it's a lot easier.

Keep it up.
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Old 08-17-13, 09:23 PM   #8
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rideorglide, yeah, we have the same idea. Unfortunately, some of the hills I go after are right after a right-angle turn (one was earlier in this ride but I'm 2 for 2 on that one), can't maintain any speed on those turns to be able to carry momentum. I'm not in any way going after hill climbing records, but tackling some of the larger hills (like today's) will allow me to extend my rides.

No doubt, as I lose weight the hills will become easier. I'm losing inches on my waist but still in the muscle-building stage, rebuilding muscle where I need it, so I'm not really dropping weight too much. After today, my "core" ached a little more than on previous rides. "Feel the burn"

Last edited by hallux; 08-17-13 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 08-17-13, 10:13 PM   #9
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Keep after it, you'll improve and that hill will soon be easy for you!
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Old 08-18-13, 12:48 AM   #10
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I say next time you conquer it, at least by 3rd time. The feeling of conquering a hill is the best.
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Old 08-18-13, 04:41 AM   #11
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Nice job & keep it up.
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