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Old 08-25-06, 12:31 PM   #1
dauphin
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A drop you can live with....

Last night, seafoam and I went on our evening ride which usually goes from ten to twenty miles, depending on the remaining daylight and level of difficulty. The ride last night included a three mile hill that has some very steep sections to it. I decided at the begining to push a little harder than I normally do on this particular hill to see if I was making improvements. About mid-way up the climb my next door neighbor (a racer) passes on my left and says calmly, "hello, John!" and is soon off and away. About 15 seconds later, I see another bike shadow coming up on my left very close, and I feel a hand pat me on the back. This time it's Michael (who works for me part time) who is a cat 3 racer. He cheerfully says, "keep spinning!" and soon disappears from my view up ahead. Eventually the last of their group of five, including my lbs owner, passes on my left. At this point, I decided not to let the last guy out of my sight. I managed to stay with him with about 20-30 yards between us. At the other end of the hill, the others had stopped to get their entire group together before continuing on. This enabled me to roll up before they took off again. The oldest rider in their group is 43 and the others are mid to late 30's. All in all, I felt like I did pretty well considering the difficulty of the climb, my level of exerience, my age, and my fitness level after riding regularly for the past three months. Three months ago you couldn't have paid me to try and ride up that hill.
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Old 08-25-06, 01:36 PM   #2
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Ahhhh, the rewards of hard work and many miles. Worth it every time!
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Old 08-25-06, 01:51 PM   #3
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Trouble with being older- You don't know if it is age of fitness that lets you down on a hill.
I have a speed that I go at and this is the speed to finish a ride. One of my riding partners has one speed and that is flat out. He can go at at 110% for 30 miles. I go at about 90% Difference is that from 30 miles on- he drops back to be a bit sociable. From 35 he is getting a tow and from 40 he is dropping back. (Offroad by the way so forget the low milage). I have tried to pace him and he cannot be paced- he has to be in front.
The way we get him though is on road rides on the Tandem. There is noway many people can stay with the Tandem. We work him up to 20mph for a couple of miles- gradually raise it to 25 without him realising it, and then a couple of turns on the pedals and we are gone at 30mph for a few miles. We don't see him for the rest of the ride.

Don't know your particular want on the hills. I am happy just to do them, but If you want to improve on them- Just keep doing them. It works for me for the couple of months when I have to be superfit. I just find hill after hill after hill for about 4 weeks. They are hard and I don't see any improvement till I go back to flatter rides for a couple of weeks. Then I do the basket hill in our area and crack it wide open. If the training has gone right- then this will be about 2 weeks before the ride I train for. If I have judged it wrong- then I carry struggling up the hills.
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Old 08-25-06, 02:00 PM   #4
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+1 on the "age or fitness" letting you down. It really is hard to tell. Maybe a bit of both!
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Old 08-25-06, 04:18 PM   #5
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There's nothing like being fit!!
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Old 08-25-06, 05:41 PM   #6
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There's nothing like being fit!!
I agree. I wonder what it would be like to have nothing else to do except try and improve one's fitness...
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Old 08-25-06, 07:36 PM   #7
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That's the nice thing about riding at 5:30am. Only about 5-10 cars go by me during 15 miles, no bikes pass me . Observations aside, just keep working the hills. There are some on my ride which last year I felt good to finish at a low speed and this year I am riding at 4-5 mph faster.
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Old 08-26-06, 12:44 AM   #8
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Today, while out riding, I realized that in 10+ years I've rarely passed a road cyclist who wasn't broken down, but I'm passed multiple times every time I go out. Funny thing is, it never bothers me.

The best drop I ever experienced was going up Ortega Hill in Summerland, CA last year. It's short and pretty steep, and it's also the turn around point for my centuries, so I was already into it 50 miles that day. As I was chugging along in my granny ring at maybe 8 mph, a young, very good looking woman passed me like she was gliding along a flat section with a 25 knot tail wind. As she went past she slowed for maybe 10 seconds, looked me right in the eye, told me I was doing great, and to just keep spinning. Then off she went.
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Old 08-26-06, 01:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Big Paulie
Today, while out riding, I realized that in 10+ years I've rarely passed a road cyclist who wasn't broken down, but I'm passed multiple times every time I go out. Funny thing is, it never bothers me.

The best drop I ever experienced was going up Ortega Hill in Summerland, CA last year. It's short and pretty steep, and it's also the turn around point for my centuries, so I was already into it 50 miles that day. As I was chugging along in my granny ring at maybe 8 mph, a young, very good looking woman passed me like she was gliding along a flat section with a 25 knot tail wind. As she went past she slowed for maybe 10 seconds, looked me right in the eye, told me I was doing great, and to just keep spinning. Then off she went.
That is one thing about being overtaken. How many miles the riders have already done.

Must have been about 94 and I was on my first serious ride. The 100 mile offroad in one day I try to do each year now. Done about 35 miles and a long hill in front of us and at the bottom we passed a group of about 10 riders at around 10am. halfway up the hill and a couple of riders caught us up from this group. Little friendly chat and it got round to where are you off to. We told them we were doing the South Downs way, and they replied where did you start. We replied Eastbourne which is the start of it and we got a funny question of "No, where did you start today ". Eastbourne again and the revised question of "Where did you start today and what time?" Eastbourne at 6am we replied and they dropped back. Near the top we had another rider catch us and she had a smirk on her face. These were the two cocky lads in her group and thanks for putting them down. What did we say to them. We explained all that had happened and she laughed. This group were on the South Downs Way ride aswell- but doing it over 3 days. This was their second day and had just started from the youth hostel about 2 miles back. She thanked us again for knocking these two lads down.
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Old 08-26-06, 01:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by stapfam
We told them we were doing the South Downs way, and they replied where did you start. We replied Eastbourne which is the start of it and we got a funny question of "No, where did you start today ". Eastbourne again and the revised question of "Where did you start today and what time?" Eastbourne at 6am we replied and they dropped back. Near the top we had another rider catch us and she had a smirk on her face. These were the two cocky lads in her group and thanks for putting them down. What did we say to them. We explained all that had happened and she laughed. This group were on the South Downs Way ride aswell- but doing it over 3 days. This was their second day and had just started from the youth hostel about 2 miles back. She thanked us again for knocking these two lads down.
I love this!

Actually, today I had a similar experience. I stopped at a convinence market at about mile 80, and grabbed something to drink. The guy behind the counter asked where I went today. I told him. then asked where I left from. (He's like 19, and very fit looking.) When he realized I was going to do about 103 miles before sundown, he just went blank. He seemed like a nice guy, so I felt no need to gloat...but it was kind of fun!
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