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Old 06-16-11, 12:13 PM   #1
freighttraininguphill
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Snows Road climb question

Snows Road is rated the toughest climb in El Dorado County. I've been wanting to climb it since last year, but have been holding off due to being overweight.

Well, now I only have about 20 more pounds to lose to be a halfway decent climber and I feel like saying "what the heck" and giving it a shot this weekend. Anyone on here who is not ideal weight ever climb it? The last thing I want is to have to do the "walk of shame" because I'm still too fat for this sport. I can honestly say that I've made it up every road climb I've ever started. I'd like to continue to be able to make that claim.
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Old 06-17-11, 02:01 PM   #2
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Oh boy, this isn't good! I take it nobody with any excess weight on them has ever climbed this road? Oh well, this'll be a very interesting ride. I climbed a short 25% grade in the saddle May 1 and have climbed lesser grades in the saddle as well, thanks to ultra-low gears. Maybe the "walk of shame" won't happen after all.
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Old 06-17-11, 02:33 PM   #3
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I've just never climbed it. So can't comment at all. When I was "heavy" (at that point, about 45 pounds more than where I am now), I was climbing all kinds of hills. Fitness is more important.
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Old 06-17-11, 02:42 PM   #4
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I've just never climbed it. So can't comment at all. When I was "heavy" (at that point, about 45 pounds more than where I am now), I was climbing all kinds of hills. Fitness is more important.
Yeah, you're probably right. All my friends have been insisting for months that I'm ready to climb it and I have gained quite a bit of strength over the past few months, so I guess I'll be there with my video camera on my handlebars this weekend.
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Old 06-17-11, 02:43 PM   #5
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I've never climbed it either, but I just wanted to post on this thread to say I like your style, FTU.
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Old 06-17-11, 02:50 PM   #6
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I've never climbed it either, but I just wanted to post on this thread to say I like your style, FTU.
Thanks! I'll post the ride report, pictures, and video here when I do this climb, probably tomorrow. Should be interesting!
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Old 06-17-11, 05:49 PM   #7
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I've never climbed it either, but it looks like an interesting ride. I was hoping someone would give more details as I need a little more climbing in my life.

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Old 06-18-11, 12:08 AM   #8
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I'll give all the juicy details when I get back in town and edit and upload the video, pics, and Garmin Connect data.

Met a Cat 2 racer today, showed him some of my videos (which he really enjoyed), and told him my concern about being forced to do the "walk of shame". He thinks I'll make it just fine. I'm crossing my fingers.
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Old 06-18-11, 05:45 PM   #9
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MADE IT! No "walk of shame", no stopping to rest on climbs. I did finally have to use my lowest gear so I could spin on the steepest parts, though.

I started at Carson Road. Forgot to start the timer on my Garmin at first and didn't hear the "movement detected" beep because I was too busy looking at the cyclists you see coming up to Carson in the beginning of the video. Near the top of the first short climb that goes under Highway 50 I looked down and saw the message telling me to start the timer, so I did. That's okay, I made up for my goof on the way back when I overshot the 11% grade sign I wanted to take a picture of and had to go back up the same climb.

I measured lots of grades in the teens and twenties, but I don't trust the highest readings because the Garmin likes to go crazy at low speeds on steep climbs.

The climbs to Newtown Road weren't as hard as I thought they would be when I looked at the grade from the seat of a car last year. Coming back from Newtown to Carson was another story though. I finally had to shift to my lowest gear so I could spin on the steepest parts. I did all the climbing in the saddle, thanks to my ultra-low gearing.

After I reached Carson I made a right and took a nice relaxing climb to Pollock Pines. That climb was painless until the muscle on the right side of my lower back started cramping. Climbing out of the saddle for a few seconds didn't help. What did help was the smile and wave from a descending female cyclist. I returned the favor and the pain magically disappeared. It's amazing what positive interactions with other people can do for you!

Garmin Connect data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/93251973

Here's some pictures.

11% grade sign at the top of the climb from Newtown Road to Carson Road:


Snows Road 11% grade sign by kittyz202, on Flickr

Before turning around at Newtown Road:


Specialized Sirrus at Snows Road & Newtown Road by kittyz202, on Flickr

Funny sign at the top of one of the climbs on the way back from Newtown Road:



After finishing the climb at Carson Road:


Specialized Sirrus at Snows Road & Carson Road by kittyz202, on Flickr

View of snow-capped Sierras from the Shell gas station parking lot in Pollock Pines:


view of Sierras from Pollock Pines Shell by kittyz202, on Flickr

I think they forgot a sport:



I didn't want to ruin my fun descent, so I went back up this climb to get this picture:


Specialized Sirrus at Camino elevation sign by kittyz202, on Flickr

Here's the video. For those who don't know me and my editing style, I'm a female cyclist who prefers raw video, so there's lots of suffer sounds. That means heavy breathing, so be forewarned.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhq9SmyAaVQ
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Old 06-18-11, 05:53 PM   #10
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Nice job! Quick Q: out of curiousity do you find having the bars level with your saddle means that you're pulling your weight away from the front wheel? I was wondering if it might be any easier on a road bike?

Kudos for all these climbs anyway, keep it up
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Old 06-18-11, 05:55 PM   #11
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Well done!
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Old 06-18-11, 06:09 PM   #12
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Nice job! Quick Q: out of curiousity do you find having the bars level with your saddle means that you're pulling your weight away from the front wheel? I was wondering if it might be any easier on a road bike?

Kudos for all these climbs anyway, keep it up
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Well done!
Thanks! Believe it or not the front wheel only came off the ground one time, despite the fact that I rode into the steepest part of the steepest switchback on the climb back to Carson Road.

I do have a road bike, but I love the wider bars on the Sirrus, which is basically a flat-bar road bike. I also like the 38t middle chainring. The LBS claimed they couldn't order a smaller middle chainring for my road triple.

Both bikes have 24t small chainrings and Shimano MegaRange 11-34 cassettes, so they're a godsend on climbs like these!
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Old 06-18-11, 08:39 PM   #13
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Great job! If I ever get off my butt to drive to a ride, this will be on my list.
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Old 06-18-11, 08:49 PM   #14
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Great job! If I ever get off my butt to drive to a ride, this will be on my list.
Thanks! It was fun!

When I drove this road with a non-cycling friend of mine last year, he called it the "temple of pain". It definitely lived up to that nickname.
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Old 06-19-11, 06:36 PM   #15
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You're awesome to do these climbs....and quite motivating!

Question - I think I read you ride almost every day. Are you able to climb the next day after a climb like this - or any of your sufferfests?

Next question - Is the climbing the only change you've made to lose the weight, or has diet changed too?
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Old 06-19-11, 09:49 PM   #16
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You're awesome to do these climbs....and quite motivating!

Question - I think I read you ride almost every day. Are you able to climb the next day after a climb like this - or any of your sufferfests?

Next question - Is the climbing the only change you've made to lose the weight, or has diet changed too?
Thank you. I climbed today in Nevada City before watching the Nevada City Classic bike race. I was riding my very heavy Trek 7000 WSD hybrid with rack, rack bag, lights, and kickstand. I rode this bike so I could carry all my camera crap and any stuff I bought. It was a long climb with grades up to 17% (Red Dog Road). I had to climb 720 feet just riding around the course trying to find the best place to watch the race. Red Dog Road brought the climbing to 2,100 feet. It was a sufferfest and it's on video. . After watching and recording the Masters men and Pro women, I was motivated to climb another 1,200 feet on a few more roads. It became a sufferfest on the last long climb. That's on video too.

I'm going to make a video of these climbs to show people what bike NOT to take on a climbing ride, although I'm sure it was great strength training. The scenery was beautiful too. It looked like the high altitude mountains.

Normally I only climb once or twice a week and do flatland riding here in Sacramento the rest of the time.

I had to permanently modify my eating habits too. If I eat too much crap my weight loss stalls out.
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Old 06-29-11, 06:59 AM   #17
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Loved the video ... not only do we see the suffrage, but we hear it as well. Liked your other videos on youtube as well.
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Old 06-29-11, 11:38 AM   #18
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Loved the video ... not only do we see the suffrage, but we hear it as well. Liked your other videos on youtube as well.
Thank you. I am a huge fan of raw footage climbing videos. I love the sights and sounds of a good sufferfest.

I love watching your climbing videos too. The latest Potrero one is the best! I would love to make a video of that climb, especially that last steep section in your video.

Don't worry about the 4x speed one I just uploaded yesterday. I realize now that those kinds of videos are too shaky, so I will keep all my climbing videos normal speed from now on.
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Old 06-29-11, 06:07 PM   #19
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With all the wearable video cams around now, maybe we need a climbing video thread ... actually, seeing your video inspired me to capture the essence of climbing Potrero. Maybe I'll look for some climb this weekend. Can't really hear me breathing too much, with the camera mounted on my helmet ... otherwise you might hear more cussing from me.

LMAO
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Old 06-29-11, 06:16 PM   #20
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With all the wearable video cams around now, maybe we need a climbing video thread ... actually, seeing your video inspired me to capture the essence of climbing Potrero. Maybe I'll look for some climb this weekend. Can't really hear me breathing too much, with the camera mounted on my helmet ... otherwise you might hear more cussing from me.

LMAO
That would be a great idea!

Actually, I can hear the breathing on my desktop, as I have the output of the sound card plugged into an aux input on my home stereo. I have to turn the volume WAY up, but I can hear it. Yours is still much quieter than mine though. Even when I wasn't overweight I think mine was somewhat loud.

BTW, I didn't hear any cussing (not that it would have bothered me, I can relate ).

My computer is my do-it-all entertainment center. I listen to all my music and watch all videos and movies on it.

I plan on doing my first high altitude climb of the summer this weekend, so that should be a good video.
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