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Old 08-03-08, 08:24 PM   #1
cyclinfool
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Today I hit the wall

I have been saving this route this season until I felt strong. This morning at 7:00AM I picked up my riding buddy and off we went to tackle "The Wall". What makes this little gem of a route so special is that right in the middle is a 1000' climb over a distance of 2.6 miles with several spots of 11% grade. I have routes which have steeper grades in them and I have routes that climb 1000' without a break but over a longer distance - but this one packs it all in in one wallop. Put this smack in the middle of a 35 mile loop and you have one good workout. I was quite happy with the climb - I did most of it in a 39/24 gear, only used the 25 on the 11.6% grade spot and never dropped into the 30. On the way to the climb I kept my HR at 150 - saving myself for the attack. During the climb I kept it at 170 and it shot up to 178 on the 11.6%section. After the glorious downhill I cranked the HR up to 165 for 12 miles and then cooled down for the last 3 miles. The average speed for this ride was 16mph. I made a point never to draft my buddy - if I was following him I swung out wide to stay out of his shadow.

All I can say is the last month working with the Joe Friel books and following his principles has helped more than anything else I have done before. Thanks to those of you who have mentioned his books here before - I took that advice and acted on it. I feel as though I am at the peak of my cycling abilities - even when I rode in college was I able to maintain this level of endurance and speed. Life just gets better over 50.

On the 10th I have an 85 mile club ride in the Adirondaks (The TR Ride) with 5600' of climbing. We go over two mountains with a third climb thrown in for fun. This will be a fast group and a I know I will get dropped quickly - but I feel confident that I will be able to complete the ride and not feel like I was hit by a truck. I'll probably do "The Wall" again on Thursday night and then stay off the bike Fri & Sat.

The following weekend on the 17th is the Ididaride also in the Adirondaks - 75 miles and 5400' of climbing. I am hoping these two rides will set me up for a fast century on Sept 6th.
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Old 08-03-08, 08:34 PM   #2
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Hey cyclinfool, that sounds like you had a heck of a climb and ride. I wish I had more hills here to practice on. I've read Joe Friels book and I'm reading it again, now.
The problem I'm having now is, my legs aren't strong enough to get my heart rate up. If it's not one thing it's another. Last year I was getting my heart rate up to 160, now I'm having a hard time getting past 140.
Anyway congratulations on a great ride.
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Old 08-03-08, 08:38 PM   #3
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It sounds like the training has really paid off. I just don't seem to have the ability to actually "train". I'm a bit envious. I'm thinking you won't get dropped on your next ride, afterall.
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Old 08-03-08, 09:00 PM   #4
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Congratulations, cyclinfool, on a great ride and climb. Not having to go to the pie-plate cog has got to be a confidence builder. Well done!
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Old 08-03-08, 09:10 PM   #5
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Looks like a great ride, congratulations!

A little bit off-topic, but I really liked the elevation/grade screenshot, much more detail than the Motion-Based service I use. So I went and took a look at SportTracks, but I'd appreciate your comments about their service. Also, what type of computer do you use to download into their system?
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Old 08-03-08, 09:15 PM   #6
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Great ride and report. I wish you continued success applying Friel's principals to your cycling. Keep it up.
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Old 08-04-08, 05:06 AM   #7
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Looks like a great ride, congratulations!

A little bit off-topic, but I really liked the elevation/grade screenshot, much more detail than the Motion-Based service I use. So I went and took a look at SportTracks, but I'd appreciate your comments about their service. Also, what type of computer do you use to download into their system?
I use an old Garmen forerunner 201. Sportstracks is not a service - just a program you download into your system. I like the program for a freebee - it is a little clunky in that I am still learning how to use it and can't always get it do what I want.

Thanks all for the encouragement - I will update everyone on the ride next Sunday, I will try to remember to take my camera. The views in the Adirondaks are just fantastic.
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Old 08-04-08, 07:00 AM   #8
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Awesome! When I was statioed at Griffiss AFB in Rome, NY...There was a place called star hill out in the country. It had a single lane maintenance road to an antenna system at the top. It is winding, narrow and steep. When you got there, you could see for miles in all directions. Great fall color spot. What part of upstate NY are you in? I am originally from the Buffalo area about 20 miles north of the pennsylvania border.

God bless!

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Old 08-04-08, 11:05 AM   #9
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What part of upstate NY are you in?
-Ron
Ron - Between Schenectady and Albany on the Mohawk river
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Old 08-04-08, 01:26 PM   #10
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Nice area for cycling! I really loved it at Rome.
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Old 08-04-08, 04:04 PM   #11
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Yep - NY may be going bankrupt but they sure have great roads with really good shoulders.
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Old 08-04-08, 04:23 PM   #12
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That's something I really miss since I came here. I was stationed here and my inlaws were in poor health here in Missouri. we stayed. They have passed, but we are still here due to career problems and finances. The roads here are terrible. No tax money, lousy roads.
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Old 08-05-08, 03:00 PM   #13
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Sounds like a great ride; I can ride up an 11% grade, but only in my 30/25 gear, and really slowly at that

+1 on Joe Friel's books, I have a couple of them.
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Old 08-06-08, 01:45 PM   #14
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I followed the "Only way to get good at riding hills is to ride more hills" training method for my recent Colorado trip.

Worked a charm. Besides Mt. Evans, on Saturday rode 80 miles with 5,500+ feet of climbing, most of it in a single 14-mile stretch. I can do it, so you'll have no problem either.

Sorry I'll miss you at Ididaride. Although, I have a new ride partner who just returned from cycling in Tuscany. Maybe he'll be interested...
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