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  1. #1
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    Biking is 15 years of progress.

    It is the time for my twice annual double century. It is on WI Limestone Rail to Trails from Reedsburg-Elroy-Sparta-Onalaska to Perot State Park on the Mississippi. It goes through tunnels, over some nice hills, beautiful scenery and lots of food.
    15 years ago- I started this with Schwinn Hybrid, grip-twist shifter, 50 PSI tires (lots of flats), street sandals, double saddle bags, 240# body weight. It took 10 hours/each way and I was exhausted.
    10 years ago- I upgraded to Trek Multi sport Hybrid, Shimano XT shifter, 80 PSI tires (no flats), SIDI clip-less shoes, still double bags, still 240#, Best time 9 hours and cooked.
    5 years ago- Same bike, learned to travel light with one stem mounted Treck bag, dropped to 200# body weight, Best time 8 hours and cooked.
    Now, this year- Same bike, use 700 x 28 wheels and 120 PSI tires, 184# body weight, do 50 miles regularly in 3 hours, expect to do 100 miles in 7 hours with stopping time comfortably.

    The point of all this? Getting 15 years older does not mean a decline.
    Last edited by will dehne; 07-13-07 at 08:25 PM.

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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Are you going this weekend?

    Nice progression there. You've certainly gotten your money's worth out of that Trek.

    I'm down 16 pounds from where I started. Would love to say it was 25-30 pounds. Can't even imagine dropping the 56 that you have.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    Are you going this weekend?

    Nice progression there. You've certainly gotten your money's worth out of that Trek.

    I'm down 16 pounds from where I started. Would love to say it was 25-30 pounds. Can't even imagine dropping the 56 that you have.
    Next one or two weeks weather dependent. Decide last minute and go middle of week where there is no problem with motels.

    The Trek is very good, extremely reliable, flexible, can take the fine sand and is very comfortable.

    Dropping the 56# took the Cross Country tour. I am already looking forward to the tour next spring.
    I like to be able to do the 150 miles/day without a killing effort. That was murder on the first tour. Everything hurt. Neck, hands, a*s, you name it. But I did better than most. Some where in the hospital.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Nice improvement over the years
    =============================================================
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    Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverly
    Nice improvement over the years
    Yes, I am satisfied and want to show others that it is possible. I have a very stressful job and fear I would not be writing here without that program above. At age 45 I had all the symptoms of early health problems.
    I started with running but had to give it up because of joint issues. Thank God for biking.
    This BF has helped quite a bit.

  6. #6
    Yen
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    Will, the story of your progress is very inspirational. Congratulations on making good choices and your persistence through the years.

    And, on a hybrid no less!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen
    Will, the story of your progress is very inspirational. Congratulations on making good choices and your persistence through the years.

    And, on a hybrid no less!
    Well Yen, there is also a Tandem and a Trek Madone. I love them all, but have only one wife.

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    Yen
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    I'm curious about the difference in speed on the 700x28 tires, vs. my 700x40. The narrower tire enables you to cover more distance with less effort... true?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen

    I'm curious about the difference in speed on the 700x28 tires, vs. my 700x40. The narrower tire enables you to cover more distance with less effort... true?
    The big difference is 120 PSI compared to 80 or less. There is much less rolling resistance provided the ground is hard enough. That is the issue on Limestone. After or during a heavy rain you loose all the advantage. But it is much faster on asphalt or dry Limestone.

    Yes, a narrower tire is faster than a wider tire and slicks are faster than knobby, much faster.
    Again, only on hard surfaces. The big tires have their place but kill you on long trips.
    See this link below if you are interested.
    http://kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm

  10. #10
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    It is the time for my twice annual double century. It is on WI Limestone Rail to Trails from Reedsburg-Elroy-Sparta-Onalaska to Perot State Park on the Mississippi. It goes through tunnels, over some nice hills, beautiful scenery and lots of food.
    15 years ago- I started this with Schwinn Hybrid, grip-twist shifter, 50 PSI tires (lots of flats), street sandals, double saddle bags, 240# body weight. It took 10 hours/each way and I was exhausted.
    10 years ago- I upgraded to Trek Multi sport Hybrid, Shimano XT shifter, 80 PSI tires (no flats), SIDI clip-less shoes, still double bags, still 240#, Best time 9 hours and cooked.
    5 years ago- Same bike, learned to travel light with one stem mounted Treck bag, dropped to 200# body weight, Best time 8 hours and cooked.
    Now, this year- Same bike, use 700 x 28 wheels and 120 PSI tires, 184# body weight, do 50 miles regularly in 3 hours, expect to do 100 miles in 7 hours with stopping time comfortably.

    The point of all this? Getting 15 years older does not mean a decline.
    Fabulous accomplishment, Will. Great point about older does not have to mean awfuler. I am beginning to agree with jppe that stopping time is highly over rated. He stops for 3-6 minutes in a century. I'm betting that you can do a 6:30 with a push at the end. Good luck. A wonderful story! Let us know what happens.
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
    --Ben Franklin

  11. #11
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Will, sounds scenic so take some pics to post. Have you considered where you'll be when you're 70 at this rate of improvement? You've worked incredibly hard for a long time and done real achievements....lots of admiration here to help you turn those cranks ever harder.

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    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Will, that was a lot of work to get where you are now and know doubt, that it did you good. When I read something's I start analyzing, not all the time ,but I build a picture. I know I'll get better, but as hard as you trained and you started at 45, I don't have a chance to reach the goals that you had. I do wish I started earlier, but I started and that's all that counts at this point. Anyhow I'm happy for you and that you got as far as you did. Some people would probably think we're nuts for what we do at the age we are, but I think they are, for the way they live ( couch potatoes). I know since I started riding and reading some of the things you do, sure inspired me to push harder and it's working, thanks and safe riding to you.
    George

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlc20010
    Fabulous accomplishment, Will. Great point about older does not have to mean awfuler. I am beginning to agree with jppe that stopping time is highly over rated. He stops for 3-6 minutes in a century. I'm betting that you can do a 6:30 with a push at the end. Good luck. A wonderful story! Let us know what happens.
    I see that you are trying to loose weight also.
    My idea is not to do that with food restriction only. Us older guys need the vitamins. Lots of biking allows you to eat and I have lost no muscle tone except upper body. I need to do weight lifting to keep my wife happy. That is not so easy. Biking is more fun.
    Last edited by will dehne; 07-14-07 at 05:05 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    Will, sounds scenic so take some pics to post. Have you considered where you'll be when you're 70 at this rate of improvement? You've worked incredibly hard for a long time and done real achievements....lots of admiration here to help you turn those cranks ever harder.
    CC- This effort with biking pales in comparison with the B.S. I put up with work. That is ridiculous. But I am trapped like a rat and must do what I can do.
    To give you some idea: The bosses in Germany pulled a maneuver which would have cost half my people their job. I had to threaten them with immediate resignation (with parachute cost) to get them to back off. Expletive deleted. I lost a few nights sleep over that. real sleep. Woke up at 2:00 AM, no more sleep.

    I know of bikers who do more than I can do at 70 and 80. I always look up, never down.
    Last edited by will dehne; 07-13-07 at 10:27 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by George
    Will, that was a lot of work to get where you are now and know doubt, that it did you good. When I read something's I start analyzing, not all the time ,but I build a picture. I know I'll get better, but as hard as you trained and you started at 45, I don't have a chance to reach the goals that you had. I do wish I started earlier, but I started and that's all that counts at this point. Anyhow I'm happy for you and that you got as far as you did. Some people would probably think we're nuts for what we do at the age we are, but I think they are, for the way they live ( couch potatoes). I know since I started riding and reading some of the things you do, sure inspired me to push harder and it's working, thanks and safe riding to you.
    George- You are doing fine. You came a long way. I am obsessive compulsive and know it. I just channel it. In my younger years I did not. That was not good.
    Keep at it and never give up. Giving up will have predictable results. It helps if you find joy in what you do. I was going on the bike like hell through a wooded area this week. There was this terrific rainstorm. George, I felt so alive plowing through that at age 65, soaking wet, happy as I can be. Half hour later the sun came out. Birds were singing. I was able to do all that with just my strength. That is living.

  16. #16
    Yen
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    I shared this discussion with my husband, and we both admire your persistence from where you started. He had a walking partner for a while who just would not push himself beyond the lowest comfort level, and then backed out. He has health problems that could be remedied by just taking a daily walk. I know how hard it is to stick with it -- for me, to lose weight was a minute-by-minute endeavor to avoid eating what I wanted, when I wanted, and to exercise when I didn't feel like it. It was like swimming upstream against a strong current.... it takes a LOT of will to push through that, especially before it becomes a habit and when the body isn't feeling well.

    And you did it on a hybrid, no less. (Oh yeh, I already said that. )

    And George, what counts is that you started. You're an inspiration to me too! Hey, this whole forum is an inspiration to me to see how far many of you have come from where you started.
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    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Yen, what has made me return to this site almost daily for going on 3 years is the mutually encouraging and inspiring stories, attitude, and accomplishments so many have to share. We all admire jppe, Will, and so many others (you, too, DG!), but it's not the degree of achievement and number of miles or elevation, it's simply that people are asserting themselves, "breaking away" from limitations, and following personal dreams.

  18. #18
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    I see that you are trying to loose weight also.
    My idea is not to do that with food restriction only. us older guys need the vitamins. Lots of biking allows you to eat and I have lost no muscle tone except upper body. I need to do weight lifting to keep my wife happy. That is not so easy. Biking is more fun.
    A Man after my own heart. I try to eat a bit healthier nowadays- but If I want a full fat breakfast- I have one. Just make certain that the Ingredients are better quality. Biking keeps my weight down too.

    Now as to that upper body strength. I have Little upper strength but I have not worried about it. As long as I can lift the bike onto the back of the car for those rides that I cannot ride to- I am happy. Have found though that getting the Tandem onto the roof rack is now easier with two people.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    I think we are the product of our upbringing and experiences. My father was exposed to two World Wars and the Great Depression. His solution to cope? Smoking and frequent binge drinking. I had a dear relative living at my house in her last 3-4 years of life. She also was subject to WW2 and suffered nightmares from that. She also tried to escape reality with drinking and smoking. She had poor eating habits also. I have seen her slow decline to kidney failure, heart failure and eventual slow dead - in my house.

    This and other observations like that inspire me to do what I do and try to influence others not to stick their heads into sand.

    End of my sermon.
    Let us be happy.

  20. #20
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    I think we are the product of our upbringing and experiences. My father was exposed to two World Wars and the Great Depression. His solution to cope? Smoking and frequent binge drinking. I had a dear relative living at my house in her last 3-4 years of life. She also was subject to WW2 and suffered nightmares from that. She also tried to escape reality with drinking and smoking. She had poor eating habits also. I have seen her slow decline to kidney failure, heart failure and eventual slow dead - in my house.

    This and other observations like that inspire me to do what I do and try to influence others not to stick their heads into sand.

    End of my sermon.
    Let us be happy.
    Carry on with sermons like that but hopefully you are preaching to the converted.
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  21. #21
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    [QUOTE=Yen].................................................................................................... ............

    And you did it on a hybrid, no less. (Oh yeh, I already said that. )........................................................................

    QUOTE]

    Hybrids. This is as good as any thread to say something about Hybrids. The better (more expensive ones) offer shocks front and back, sealed bearings, tilt adjustable bar-stem, can do wide range of tire size, comfortable, reliable, sturdy and not ridiculous expensive. Hybrids are ideal for Limestone Rail to Trails, rough roads and can be used on bumpy paths.
    So where is the limitation? Do not try to race against an upper end Road bike unless you are Superman.
    My Hybrid weight is about double of the Madone. That will do you in on hills and on acceleration. I checked it. It takes about three times longer to accelerate to 20 MPH.
    OTOH the Road bike is not very suitable on trails.

  22. #22
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Will, what I'm seriously contemplating is a hybrid of a different design. No suspension but with carbon fork, seat stays, and seat post. Then put on tires with some width and cushioning, like 700x35 with around 65-70 psi in them.

    I've tried this type of bike out and it seems to absorb the shock pretty well - between the tires and the cf pieces. The advantage is that this config is about 5-7 pounds lighter.

    The lightest bike of this type is the Trek 7.9 FX, which is an all-carbon frame. Comes standard with 700x32 tires. Ultegra-level components. But the list is $2400, I've seen them selling for as low as $1700, but that's not common. The 7.7 FX is one of the carbon fork/stays/post designs.

    So instead of your combo of narrower, high-pressure tires paired with suspension on an aluminum frame, these use the shock absorption of larger, lower-pressure tires paired with carbon fiber. My rides have shown them to not quite as smooth as the suspension hybrids on gravel trails, but provide a reasonably smooth ride. And they would certainly be faster, with the reduced weight along with elimination of the energy-absorbing suspension.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    Will, what I'm seriously contemplating is a hybrid of a different design. No suspension but with carbon fork, seat stays, and seat post. Then put on tires with some width and cushioning, like 700x35 with around 65-70 psi in them.

    I've tried this type of bike out and it seems to absorb the shock pretty well - between the tires and the cf pieces. The advantage is that this config is about 5-7 pounds lighter.

    The lightest bike of this type is the Trek 7.9 FX, which is an all-carbon frame. Comes standard with 700x32 tires. Ultegra-level components. But the list is $2400, I've seen them selling for as low as $1700, but that's not common. The 7.7 FX is one of the carbon fork/stays/post designs.

    So instead of your combo of narrower, high-pressure tires paired with suspension on an aluminum frame, these use the shock absorption of larger, lower-pressure tires paired with carbon fiber. My rides have shown them to not quite as smooth as the suspension hybrids on gravel trails, but provide a reasonably smooth ride. And they would certainly be faster, with the reduced weight along with elimination of the energy-absorbing suspension.
    Tom- If comfort is your goal, the bigger tires will cushion you. I have CF fork on an Aluminum Frame bike. That does not make for a smooth ride.
    Warning: If speed is your concern this idea of yours will not work. High pressure narrow tires make a big difference. I did this now on a Tandem going from 45 mm (50 PSI) down to 38 mm (80 PSI) and the Trek Hybrid from 38 mm (80 PSI) to 28 mm (120 PSI).
    I am seeing at least a 10% faster speed on both bikes. (probably more than that)
    Weight of the bike is less important on the flats. It will show some effect on acceleration but also not that much. Wisconsin has no real hills. The 3% inclines will not make that much difference.
    There is another argument to do away with the shocks: For very agressive biking, the shocks will absorb energy. Some Cyclocross type bikes come without shocks for that reason. But they are build for harsh racing and not comfort. I have looked at these for speed but have no illusion that they are comfortable.

  24. #24
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Wisconsin does have real hills, hundreds upon hundreds of them. You just don't see them on the rail trails. You'd see them on the Elroy-Sparta ride if they hadn't have made tunnels through the hills. And once you got to New Glarus, if you continued northwest on the back roads, you'd see lots of hills.

    I've been surprised by how comfortable the cushier tires & carbon parts combo has been, on some bikes. I've ridden several on gravel paths and roads, and a few of them have yielded smooth rides.

    And I think there is a good chance that I could improve speed on such a bike. At least as compared to my present bike, which has both cushier, lower-pressure tires and full suspension. The Fuji bike I'm looking at is 11 pounds lighter than my current bike. It would surprise me if a bike that is 11 pounds lighter, with rigid fork & 700x35 tires, would be no faster than the heavier bike with suspension fork and 700x38 tires. But can't say for sure.

  25. #25
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    Will, you're great. No kidding, just great. Thanks for showing the way.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

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