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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 09-02-07, 05:54 PM   #1
SaiKaiTai
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800 miles on the LeMond

Yep. I went over yesterday, a beautiful day for a ride on the coast. Hard to believe I just bought the Reno in April, so -wow- 200 miles a month just on the LeMond since then (plus additional miles on the Kaitai in between spoke breakages). I was doing 100 miles a month this time last year. I didn't consciously set out to double it, I just did. What can I say? The LeMond makes me want to ride.

THIS is a "MapItPronto" of the more interesting part of the ride, the loop from the coast back into the Oddstad valley and back out again.

First, there's the little tester up and over to mile 1. I clocked this yesterday at 2.5 minutes to the top. Sometimes I take the parallel route (you can see it in "hybrid" or "satellite" mode that's like a mini Alp D'Huez).

This is followed by a 2 mile steady, uphill (or false flat. when does "false flat" become "uphill", anyway?) grind East, when you turn to make a 1 mile steady, uphill grind north. From 0 to 400 feet in 3 miles. Nothing severe by anyone's standards but I'm pedalling the whole time -no coasting- and there are a couple of little sharp "kickers" along the way. Up Linda Mar Blvd I can hold about 14 miles an hour without really straining. Things actually do go by pretty quick at 14 mph.

After the ride back down to the coast (Wheeeeeee!!!) I cross over to Crespi and then I can either take Highway or Roberts Road back north. I used to take the highway but it got boring and -really- not much of a challenge anymore. Now I almost always take Roberts Road. 1/2 mile at a 6% average (7.5% up front and 5.5% on the second half. I can hold about 6mph up this hill. It's amazing how 5.5% feels easy after 7.5%, I actually start to sprint for the summit, the "d" in Roberts Rd. on the map). I'm doing this climb now in 5 minutes 6 seconds. I'm curious to see how much that'll start coming down.

I've been using these opportunities to learn how to climb better. They're long enough to just be a grind and I always find I hit a couple of spots where I think, "I don't really want to be doing this " But it's just a head game and, after that, I fall into a rhythm and just keep pushing. I gut it out and it's never that bad when it's over. I'm learning to get my hands on top of the bars and to keep my upper body loose and light. While I never totally forget about it, the Brooks just sort of "disappears" under me and I find myself just sitting on it as I push the pedals, almost like a paddle boat. Sometimes I can only push 60rpm or a little less but it's not really a mash but more of a s...l...o...w spin. Pacing is key. I just find my groove and settle into a slow rhythm. I almost said "easy rhythm"... no, that's not quite right. Breathing, too, is a learned skill. At some point on Roberts Rd, I am huffing... really, breathing hard and fast -asthma, remember?- but that doesn't mean I have to be gasping like a fish. No, I just time my breaths to my stroke and it seems to work just fine. When I first climbed Roberts Rd, my HR hit 175bpm, easy. Now I can keep it under 165. I'm allowed 166 so I'm a winner there.

Next, I want to go back and try THIS again.
600 feet in 2 miles versus 400 feet in 3 miles (or to look at it a different way, it's 4 Roberts Roads).
Should be interesting.

I am learning how and from such small steps, the larger journey begins.
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Old 09-03-07, 07:03 AM   #2
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Hey, really nice stats and it sounds like you've made a lot of progress in your riding. I'm still on the very first leg of my journey (back) to fitness. Is your LeMond a steel-framed bike? I've been told that they are one of the few major manufacturers still using steel. I like steel...

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Old 09-03-07, 07:43 AM   #3
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WOW, SKT! I am impressed!
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Old 09-03-07, 01:41 PM   #4
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Steel? No, the Reno is aluminum with a carbon fork and seat post (whoopdie-doo). They do make steel framed bikes, though I can't recall the model just yet. I could look it up and let you know. Meanwhile, turn that first leg into a second leg... your fun has just begun. I've come a long way. I'm appreciative that I have a long way to go.

DenverFox - Wow, I REALLY appreictae the encouragement, I can use all I can get. As I said, right above this, I've made a lot of progress. Still, I don't know that 400 feet in 3 miles or a 1/2 mile at 6.5% in 5 minutes is really is all that impressive. I don't know, honestly. I do know I'm very, very happy with it though
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Old 09-03-07, 01:52 PM   #5
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Time to get the lights on the bike- Those evenings are drawing in so Night rides are the way to keep the milage up.

Good Milage and Keep those steps small on the Hill climbing. They take a bit of practice to defeat but hit thenm often enough with just the right amount of force and submit.

As to the HR. Glad to see you are keeping it under control. I didn't last sunday and it hit me for a few miles afterwards.
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Old 09-03-07, 02:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
...What can I say? The LeMond makes me want to ride.
Surprising how some bikes will do that, isn't it?
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Old 09-03-07, 02:56 PM   #7
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Yeah, when I saw the cardio the first time and told him what I had been doing with my heartrate, he essentially said "You can push without being stupid. 166 is it for you. Find a way" I listened to him.
I think it did more to drive home the concept of "pacing" than anything else. I really started to figure it out after that. It was nice to go back and tell him I was doing all the same things only more sensibly. Made him happy.
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