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Old 01-31-09, 08:28 PM   #1
SaiKaiTai
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And it's haaaard, yes it is. It's haaaard, yes, it is

With Stephen Stills singing in my ear, I returned to the scene of an earlier defeat.

Radio Road.

First, I go up Sharp Park Road (~660' over 2 miles) eventually ending up at Guadalupe Canyon Parkway (~500' over 2 miles) and my reward after that? Radio Road. Another ~750' over 2 miles.
At the top, You sit at over 1200' and... the view?
Well, I wouldn't know.
I tried it once and 2/3 of the way up, the stuffing was just knocked right out of me.
That, and it was so overcast that, even where I quit and turned back around, there was no view.
Too much pain, no reward. Forget it.

Today, that wouldn't be a problem.
Sure, it should be raining -it's January- but we're in a drought and the skies have been pretty glorious.
So, I set out today to erase that stain from my CV.

The climb up Guadalupe was actually no real challenge...
I settled into a groove and just kept going until I reached the top of the saddle.
Funny, though, that this is considered "fun"... the thighs complain the whole way up, yet there's no real reason to stop so you just keep going... and going...
No wonder people think we're nuts.
Why would anyone willingly do this?

Then a quick break, a call home, a couple of Black Cherry Shot Blocks and a decision made: I'm going for it. At the first switchback, a glimpse north. Oh My! After the first two climbs (and another minor climb) to get here, I was feeling it. So, I made a few rest stops along the way. And then the top.

Was it worth it? You be the judge:

Sitting at the San Bruno Mountain saddle looking up at my goal, the top of radio Road


Why do you think they call it radio Road?



This is when I knew it would be worth it. Looking north at Mt. Tam.


A look toward the west.


Looking south at Montara Mountain at the end of Pacifica with a B-52 sailing overhead.


A look toward downtown San Francisco.
With high pressure dominating, there's sure a lot of garbage in the air.


The profile of my day.
That 600' blip at about mile 5 is Sharp Park Road. Doesn't look like much anymore


Do I look happy? I don't know but I sure look fat

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Old 01-31-09, 09:07 PM   #2
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Nice job! What's next? I bet you have a list of hills to own.
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Old 01-31-09, 09:39 PM   #3
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Only one thing missing! the KOM jersey...Good work, keep it up !
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Old 01-31-09, 09:42 PM   #4
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Can't see the profile of your ride...linky broken?
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Old 01-31-09, 11:17 PM   #5
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Okay, you've shown us a few miscellaneous photos but I won't believe you acually did the whole trip until you show us a photo of the bike at the top of one of those towers (you did go all the way didn't you?)

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Old 01-31-09, 11:58 PM   #6
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You ever try the hill to the top of the Portola discovery site on Sweeney Ridge? Once you get up to the top of Sharp Park Rd, hang a right onto Skyline and then up Sneath past the SF County Jail and on up old Sneath to the top of the ridge. I think it's steeper than the Radio Rd climb. Great views up there (same place as Gaspar de Portola and crew climbed up from the Pacific beach to discover San Francisco Bay). Best on a mountain bike for the descent back into Pacifica on Mori Ridge trail, though, as that's dirt rather than paved as the climb is, one ripping descent. http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisi...eeney-2008.pdf

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Old 02-01-09, 12:08 AM   #7
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From the title I thought it was the Bob Dylan song, and you were going to be complaining about the rain.
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Old 02-01-09, 01:14 AM   #8
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From the title I thought it was the Bob Dylan song, and you were going to be complaining about the rain.
Nope... from his first album:
Church (part of someone)

You see, it's my thing
To be part of someone
As a true friend is part of me
You know that there's so much
Oh, little girl, we've got to tell each other
About the whole world
And most especially one another, oh yeah, all right
And you know, and you know?

And it's hard, yes it is
It's hard, yes it is

And I wonder
I wonder could it be a dream?

And you know that the self made man, babe
Is truly shallow
He knows he's no one
But who he wants to be
So while you still sing, baby
You got to tell me, baby
Is it your thing to be part of anyone?
Anyone, anyone

And it's hard, yes it is
It's hard, yes it is
And I wonder
I wonder if it's a dream
And it's now, children, could it be a dream?
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Old 02-01-09, 01:43 AM   #9
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Main thing about hills is they are there to be beaten into submission.

You are beating them.

So what was the downhill like?

Good job and good training for the next hill.

And yea- do do look a little heavy for a hill climber.
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Old 02-01-09, 02:03 AM   #10
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And yea- do do look a little heavy for a hill climber
And, believe me, I'm very aware of that every time I ride up one.
Nice of you to point that out, though :\

It's funny... when I started all this almost 3 (!) years ago, I weighed over 220 lbs -none of it very usable- and dropped down to 190 within the first year.
I was feeling pretty pleased wirh myself.
Then the weight started creeping back up, yet my clothes still hung loose on me.
So I'm guessing the weight gain has been muscle mass... in the legs anyway.
The gut? Well....

As for the downhill... it was a blast.
Radio Road is one big twisty and Guadalupe Canyon is a straight drop.
You can go as fast as you have nerve to go.

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Old 02-01-09, 07:14 PM   #11
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I still miss that area...I grew up in Redwood City and San Carlos, and was just beginning to ride semi-seriously when I moved to Southern Cal in the '70s. I live in Reno now, with 7000-foot passes all around, but there's a lot of good riding between SF and Santa Cruz.
What really surprises me when I go back is the temperatures. As a California guy, I grew up thinking 55 degrees was pretty cold. It WARMED UP to 50 here today, and I was out in a T-shirt thinking it was spring.
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Old 02-02-09, 04:29 PM   #12
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Were you riding the Jamis or the Giant?

And yes weight makes a huge difference in both ease of climbing and speed of ascent. I've put on 6-7 pounds (normal for me this time of year) and I can tell a big difference on the hills. Like you I topped out at 220 lbs and now I'm typically around 170 lbs. Good job on your part. Keep it up.
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Old 02-02-09, 04:57 PM   #13
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Were you riding the Jamis or the Giant?

And yes weight makes a huge difference in both ease of climbing and speed of ascent. I've put on 6-7 pounds (normal for me this time of year) and I can tell a big difference on the hills. Like you I topped out at 220 lbs and now I'm typically around 170 lbs. Good job on your part. Keep it up.
Oh, the Giant without a doubt.
The Jamis is a great bike but it's not the climber the Giant is.
Man, talk about the difference a few pounds make

Still, I weighed myself today and I have dropped about 3 lbs or so.
Pretty soon I should be back under 200 again.. I don't know that I'll ever see 170 again.
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Old 02-02-09, 06:59 PM   #14
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Sure, weight makes a difference in climbing. I can feel a difference in climbing at 160 vs. my pre-cancer weight of 200 even though my strength and endurance have not yet returned enough to let me fully realize the change.

But let's not get so focused on weight and ultimate performance that we lose appreciation for what climbing is in bicycling. It is in many ways the ultimate test of rider determination. Being able to climb hills that once made us quit and turn around or get off and push is a huge victory. Being able to take a hill in one continuous effort when we used to have to stop a few times to catch our breath makes us feel superhuman. Seeing our time to climb a particularly difficult hill drop each time we do it is a rightful source of pride. To do all this while carrying a few extra pounds doesn't make it any less of an accomplishment, perhaps more in a way.

Not that there isn't merit in recognizing the weight as a limiting factor and addressing it as such. Just as working on your breathing, cadence, position and pedaling dynamics are ways to improve climbing, so is dropping a few pounds or using a lighter, better climbing bike. But the biggest victory is in doing it at all.

Wow, what a rambling rant. Anyway, way to go, SKT.
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Old 02-02-09, 07:29 PM   #15
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I climbed hills today and I loved it. Hills are fun, and you deceive one'sself into thinking that something has really been accomplished besides simply going from some place lower to some place higher and then returning to some place lower.
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Old 02-02-09, 07:53 PM   #16
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Sure, weight makes a difference in climbing. I can feel a difference in climbing at 160 vs. my pre-cancer weight of 200 even though my strength and endurance have not yet returned enough to let me fully realize the change.

But let's not get so focused on weight and ultimate performance that we lose appreciation for what climbing is in bicycling. It is in many ways the ultimate test of rider determination. Being able to climb hills that once made us quit and turn around or get off and push is a huge victory. Being able to take a hill in one continuous effort when we used to have to stop a few times to catch our breath makes us feel superhuman. Seeing our time to climb a particularly difficult hill drop each time we do it is a rightful source of pride. To do all this while carrying a few extra pounds doesn't make it any less of an accomplishment, perhaps more in a way.

Not that there isn't merit in recognizing the weight as a limiting factor and addressing it as such. Just as working on your breathing, cadence, position and pedaling dynamics are ways to improve climbing, so is dropping a few pounds or using a lighter, better climbing bike. But the biggest victory is in doing it at all.

Wow, what a rambling rant. Anyway, way to go, SKT.
You make some good points with your rant!! In my case probably improved endurance and just learning to push through the mental hurdles andn to give in to the inner voices screaming to stop and unclip came along with the weight loss so they really do go hand in hand.
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Old 02-03-09, 12:02 AM   #17
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When others climbing with me start moaning about the hill, I quote BD's sig line and they stop whining.

The body follows where the mind leads. We couldn't finish the last 200 yds. up Mt. Diablo (~ 18%) on the tandem because I let myself be intimidated -- I believed that I couldn't do it. And so I couldn't do it.

It really is like that sports guy said: Cycling is 50% physical and 90% mental. Or something like that.

Note to SKT: You rarely fail to inspire me. Thank you. And good job!
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Old 02-03-09, 12:07 PM   #18
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As I've said before, when I read of what so many others here in the 50+ world are doing, if my own little battles and victories inspire anyone, then I am truly humbled and honored. I do work pretty hard at it... maybe a little *too* hard... I could very well be setting myself up for something bad by pushing my limits but at least I'll go down fighting (and happy). I do try to be smart about it but I sure wish I could monitor my BP out on a ride.

I agree about the focus on weight. True, my weight dropped a fair amount and I was able to work harder which added more muscle and made me heavier again. It also made me categorically stronger.

No doubt climbing is soooo mental (in every sense of the word, really ).
I know there's always a point -just before I find a rhythm- where my legs get unpleasantly tired but I know it's only a game my body is playing with my head. So, I push the pedals over once more and once more and... then my head wins. It was a joy on Saturday to watch the pavement move ahead of my front wheel. I'd look up and see the top of the climb and it never got any closer. Kind of discouraging but then I'd look across the road and see just how fast it was actually going by at 6 or 7mph. This was on Guadalupe Canyon. On Radio Road I wasn't looking at anything other than what was straight ahead. When I would stop, I look at the climb to come and try to guess how far I'd make it over the next stint. I always made it past the point I'd pick

I will say though that there's no way I'd be doing any of this without my 30x27. On the other hand, where I used to spend my time going between my 30T and 39T, I now spend it between my 39T and my 52T. Life is good

Talk about crazy though
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