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Old 05-04-08, 09:57 PM   #1
Yen
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This time, the hill was easy

We participated in the City of Angels Fun Ride today, a benefit ride for the Childrens Hospital Bloodmobile Fund. Like the memorial ride in February, it started and ended at the Los Angeles Police Academy, with the same big hill at the end. Today's route was different in that it included other hills (though shorter ones) in addition to this hill -- the memorial ride did not.

Last time, I huffed and puffed to the top on my 30+ pound hybrid. I thought my chest would explode. This time, I was riding my Roubaix. Not feeling quite up to par after not riding much the past several weeks -- and knowing what that hill is like -- I dreaded it but tried to stay optimistic until that point. I knew what to do on the bike, I just needed to keep my mind strong.

As we approached, I shifted into the granny in front to prepare for the hill. This hill is where riders get off and walk. As I began to ascend, I reminded myself "You can do this... you did it on the hybrid and you can do it now." I reminded myself to not look up, just focus. I thought of my dad.

Suddenly I realized - "hey, this isn't as bad as I remembered!" Unbelievably, I was passing other riders like they were standing still. Halfway up, I looked down at the RD -- I still had two more rings left! Whoohooo! I'm doing this well, and I still have more rings! I shifted down to conserve my energy. I glanced into my mirror to check on Hubby... he's still riding! I made it to the crest with energy to spare, prepared for the next section, and made it to the top.

1-1/2 miles from bottom to top (with a short crest in the middle)... I have no idea the grade, but trust me, it's tough for a typical recreational rider (and some roadies too).

I was pulling approximately 22 fewer pounds this time (about 17 fewer on the bike and about 5 fewer on me), and I noticed the difference. Was it the bike? Was it me? I'll never know. But I do know this: I'm no longer afraid of that hill.

EDIT: The ride was 34+ miles and we completed it in 3.11 hours. There were two groups of riders - advanced and recreational. We chose the recreational group/route, but both ended with "the hill".
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Old 05-04-08, 10:01 PM   #2
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Woo-hooo!!! Congratulations, Jen!
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Old 05-04-08, 10:24 PM   #3
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High five, Jen! And you were sooo worried.
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Old 05-04-08, 10:41 PM   #4
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See? That's how it's supposed to work. Way to go!
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Old 05-04-08, 11:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
See? That's how it's supposed to work. Way to go!
We've got another hill climber on the forum. Damn-- Now others will try them and see how easy they are.

Great ride Yen. Bike -Dad -You 0r us- Can't tell you what worked- but you did it.
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Old 05-05-08, 05:55 AM   #6
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Don't you just love those indicators of improvements? They are very rewarding and motivating plus there are many more to come.
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Old 05-05-08, 06:06 AM   #7
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Congratulations! Having a lighter bike does make a difference but the main difference is always the improvement of the rider
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Old 05-05-08, 06:21 AM   #8
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There were many reasons you made that hill easy this time, 1) better & lighter bike, 2) you were thinking positive & you knew you could do it, 3) your body is getting stronger even if it doesn't feel like it is. Congrats on conquering the hill & having a great time out on the bike.
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Old 05-05-08, 06:39 AM   #9
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Nice report. Hope to see more of similar accomplishments in the future.
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Old 05-05-08, 08:19 AM   #10
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Super congrats, Yen! Great job (we'll stop at three- don't want to gain back that weight )
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Old 05-05-08, 08:53 AM   #11
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I pedal in awe of anyone who uses "hill" and "easy" in the same sentence!
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Old 05-05-08, 09:02 AM   #12
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Congratulations, that's a great story.

When I was studying music as a little kid, I would sometimes get frustrated to the point of tears. My mom (a piano teacher) would then drag out a piece of music I had struggled with a year earlier and make me play it. Of course, I could rip right through it.

Riding an "old" hill is like that - you never know how far you've come until you look back!
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Old 05-05-08, 09:33 AM   #13
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Great job Yen! I think you're ready for "Breathless Agony" next year! Yeah, it's just a little more climbing, but you can do it!

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Old 05-05-08, 09:41 AM   #14
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Way to go!!

We really have to get out on the SGRT soon...
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Old 05-05-08, 10:26 AM   #15
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Right on Jen! Glad you both got in a good ride!
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Old 05-05-08, 12:24 PM   #16
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That's great!

I only wish that I could write a post like that!
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Old 05-05-08, 01:18 PM   #17
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Congratulations Yen!, We are so proud of you, now just make sure you don't leave your hubby too far behind on your mirror how do you like this City ride?
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Old 05-05-08, 04:16 PM   #18
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I am another that is in awe when a rider says "hill" and "easy". I will keep working at it, and some day will be able to say that also. Your story is inspiring.
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Old 05-05-08, 05:11 PM   #19
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Way to go Yen. I knew you could do it.
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Old 05-05-08, 07:00 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone! I felt elated at the end and very pleased with the relative ease of climbing the hill.

When I say "easy", I don't mean I was spinning effortlessly up the hill -- no way! I was pushing and breathing hard.... twice I had to dig in and say "push... push... push" to stay focused. However, I was amazed that I was passing so many riders with less effort and feeling much better than last time.

In the interest of full disclosure, we did enter the hill near the back of the pack. However, not because we fell behind -- we left the rest stop later than most because we were still waiting in line at the porta-potties when the rest break ended and 95% of the group was leaving. The one suggestion I would offer for next year's event is this -- wait until ALL riders have left the porta-potty lines before resuming the ride!!! Even so, we passed some on the way back.

Total mileage was 34+ miles in 3.11 hours. It was a slow ride, escorted by LAPD motor officers the entire route, with a few slow-downs through town. Overall we had a great time.
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