Today I played "Let's Pretend"
Let's pretend we have a compact crank
Bear with me.
(Noto Bene: I've always guessed at my gears... well, no more: The Ultegra 10 speed is: 12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,24,27)
One gauge for my improvement is my 1/2 mile climb of Roberts Road.
Way, way back when -like, in January, maybe?- I had to climb this with my custom 30/30
Since I got the Giant, I've worked up to the 27 ('cause it has no 30. what choice did i have?).. the the 24...
Now I start the steepest part of the climb with the 21 and drop back down to the 24 about halfway up.
The 27? Just there for peace of mind and a little extra weight, I guess :)
But I've heard so much about using a compact crank and how easy it makes climbing (easy? yeah, compared to a standard crank, i suppose).
And here am I using my triple to make it up...well, just about anything.
Well, today, for grins, I went ahead and just used my 39T middle ring -pretty much the bottom of a compact crank- and my 24 in the back (yeah, I had to fall back to the 27 half way up; it got a little stout for me).
HR stayed good all the way up, too.
What's really cool is that it only took me 9 seconds longer over my last personal best with my 30/24.
For comparison: 30/24 = 32.5" , 39/24 = 42.2" and 39/27 = 37.5"
There is a difference. Is 5 gear-inches much of one?
All-in-all, you know... it wasn't really all that tough.
Guess I just have a little masochist in me.
I admit I don't know anything about gear ratios and how they relate to gear inches.
I *do* understand riding a triple in the middle chain ring up your most challenging hill when you've used granny previously.
So I get what you've done, and well done at that.
I ride my compact all the time now. Just sprinted up Diablo last week and never saw granny -- my heart rate was in my throat for 37 min. but mayan, what a rush!
Congrats on finding a new level of performance. :thumb:
In the essence of fair reporting, though, I can't really say this stretch of road is my challenging hill.
There're are couple of others that might take that honor and even one of those isn't that bad any more.
In fact, I rode that one twice, back-to-back last week, for the first time.
But I ride Roberts Road a lot -like 2,3,4 times a week- and for a long time (over a year) so I can gauge myself pretty well. I can feel the effort required, I can see my HR, I know my breathing and I certainly know the time it takes me to do the 1/2 hour climb.
I guess, I'm excited because I know that what I learned today -what I learned about myself- will lead to dividends -dare I say it- down the road.
What you learned today --what you learned about yourself -- is part of the big picture -- part of your cycling destiny. Be sure to share what you find down the road.
If I'd had any idea, 3 years ago, of what I'd be doing now on a bike, I'd have started a journal. Instead, I registered on BF, and hope to inspire others with my successes, much as you are doing.
So...what's the next goal? A NorCal Group ride?
I can relate and it is indeed motivating to see such progress. I've been back riding about 6 years now. There are spots along the roads in the mountains where I've ridden that have vivid memories. I used to have to stop on various climbs to take a moment to put my heart back in my chest or to just give my legs a break. Now after 30,000 miles and losing 50+ lbs I just spin right past those spots and grin. It's a good feeling and continues to reinforce the good habits which just fuels even more improvements.
And as far as gears-yesterday I did a 100+ miler with 9000 ft of climbing on a route I've done numerous times. I intentionally spun a higher cadence in easier gears as best I could. I finished slightly faster than I had before and felt so much better at the end. I was working the cardio a little harder but saving the legs and had a lot more left at the finish than others in my group.
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