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Old 01-16-07, 03:42 PM   #1
SaiKaiTai
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Still some life left in this old dog

It was a glorious day on the coast Saturday... in the 10AM Winter sun, the Pacific just looked special - that still shade of deep azure blue that we only get in the winter.
It was brisk -I don't care what you say, it's been cold here for the past week - week and a half- so I bundled up and headed out. I had a mission.

My wife gave me some nice biking related stuff for Christmas -a pair a Shimano MT31 shoes, a pair of MTB riding shorts and a sweet, shocking yellow, GoreTex biking windbreaker- and I wanted to give them a good try by riding to my bandmate's house and back, about 20 miles. This was to be my 2nd 20 mile ride. I found that it's different riding whenyou can't really feel your feet push against the pedals; I was pushing to hard and burning out a little until I learned to trust my speed and spin a little more. It works. The windbreaker,too, is great... it really does break the wind (no jokes!) and chill while breathing so you don't get all sweaty. And you can't miss me on the road, that's for sure.

I normally ride from my end of town (north) to the southern end every Saturday, a ride of about 12 - 15 miles depending on how much I meander. Usually, I do 15. I tried riding to my friend's house before but it's almost 2 miles all uphill (~2.5%) from the beach back to the valley where he lives. I just wasn't into it last time soI turned around and headed back. I wasn't into it this time either -I'd rather stay in the flats if I have a choice- but I kept playing the "just a little more" game and pushed on. Got my heart up to 165BPM in spots but mostly held a good, steady 140-145 (thanks to my trainer) and before I knew it, I was close enough where I knew I'd make it though the last 900 feet were a 3.5% grade... kicks up right at the end.
Stopped, said hello, ate my Fig Newtons and headed back home. No pain, no nothing... I had more miles in the tank.

It was a glorious day. It gives me hope

N.B. The shoes are great, they really make a difference. Now, I'm actually thinking about cleats.
I didn't stop for pie even though I knew I was doing twenty. I'm trying to shed punds -quite a few- and the pie just seems counter productive. Besides, all I can find in town is apple and I really don't like apple pie much. Maybe come the spring, if they start offering berry pie of some sort....
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Old 01-16-07, 04:11 PM   #2
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Cool! Great!! Glad to hear it! Where did she find the Gore Tex shell if I may ask, I'm in the market for a light top and pants too.
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Old 01-16-07, 04:28 PM   #3
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You may certainly ask... hahahaha..

No, seriously, she found it at REI Coop. (http://rei.com). I forgot to mention it also has zip-off sleeves so it can double as a vest. Includes to zippable slash pockets and one on the back and is loosely snug (or snuggly loose, take your pick)
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Old 01-16-07, 06:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
You may certainly ask... hahahaha..

No, seriously, she found it at REI Coop. (http://rei.com). I forgot to mention it also has zip-off sleeves so it can double as a vest. Includes to zippable slash pockets and one on the back and is loosely snug (or snuggly loose, take your pick)
Your jacket sounds similar to the one I bought from Performance a couple months ago. They're still having a sale on them.
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=1130
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Old 01-17-07, 07:42 AM   #5
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Cleats, yes that's the ticket. You'll be looking for hills once you get cleats on those new shoes.
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Old 01-17-07, 07:46 AM   #6
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Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

As always, hills are the friends of bicyclists. They are the best "trainer" ever made!
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Old 01-17-07, 09:58 AM   #7
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Excellent. Congrats on the continued progress and keep pushing yourself like you did. Very well done. The rewards can be terrific. Also, continue to set "goals" for rides-if nothing more to ride to a certain point, town, landmark, etc that maybe you've never been to before. This will help you add distances that you may not think you could do-plus there is immediate self fulfillment and reward for accomplishing something. You're coming along very, very well. As we've offered before, don't be surprised with small setbacks from time to time but continue to relish in the accomplishments. For the future, keep in mind that progress is measured over the long haul and not just the results of one bad day!!! The folks here really help me with that when I get down on myself.......
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Old 01-17-07, 10:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beverly
Your jacket sounds similar to the one I bought from Performance a couple months ago. They're still having a sale on them.
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=1130
Yes! That's the one.

And thanks all of you for the continued -and continuing- encouragement. Believe me, though, I haven't really gotten down. I might voice some frustration at times but I know that I've come along way and, above all, I enjoy every moment I'm in the saddle. I set my goals last year to make sure I didn't slough off. I'm not worried about that anymore and -thanks to my trainer- I won't have to deal with that little problem come the spring. But, man, to do 20 miles and finish with the "little" (as opposed to the "big") climb back home and still want more? Priceless.

And hills? Actually I already do look forward to them. Always have. They can be hard, they can be daunting, and sometimes I might have to stop now and again to break 'em up a little bit but that's where the real satisfaction comes, when you reach the top of whatever it is and to be able to say those three words: "I did it". Ahhhh... priceless.

Cleats. Yeah, I'm really, really considering it but that's another thread...

Meanwhile, I haven't been out since Saturday and I am frothing at the mouth right now. Gotta get out tonight.
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Old 01-17-07, 11:47 AM   #9
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Trick for hills is to just treat them as a flat bit that goes up a bit. If the hill is steep- put yourself in granny at the start and find a comfortable gear on the back. tThen as the hill gets harder change down- harder still- change down again and then again till you run out of gears. Then no gears left and it is still hard- SLOW DOWN.

Many people make the mistake of putting in power when the hill comes up- and run out of steam halfway up. Once you have got fit and strong you can do this- but the main thing is to get the "I did it" feeling. Slow down- take it at your pace and before long you will find that you do not use all the gears on the hill. Then you can start sprinting for the last 400 yards of the hill.
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Old 01-17-07, 05:38 PM   #10
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Sounds great, SaiKaiTai, much more exciting than my only ride this week. It was Tuesday, 5 days after my hernia surgery, 31 degrees, with a brisk north wind. I did a whopping 7.3 miles on fairly flat streets in my neighborhood at an easy pace. It's starting to look like that will be the only day this week without freezing stuff on the ground, so other than that ride, my only excitement will be reading about rides like yours.
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Old 01-17-07, 08:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
I normally ride from my end of town (north) to the southern end every Saturday, a ride of about 12 - 15 miles depending on how much I meander. Usually, I do 15. I tried riding to my friend's house before but it's almost 2 miles all uphill (~2.5%) from the beach back to the valley where he lives. I just wasn't into it last time soI turned around and headed back. I wasn't into it this time either -I'd rather stay in the flats if I have a choice- but I kept playing the "just a little more" game and pushed on. Got my heart up to 165BPM in spots but mostly held a good, steady 140-145 (thanks to my trainer) and before I knew it, I was close enough where I knew I'd make it though the last 900 feet were a 3.5% grade... kicks up right at the end.
Way to go!
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Old 01-18-07, 07:33 AM   #12
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Hills are my friends. Some sides of the hills are better friends than others.
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