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Old 11-14-05, 07:26 PM   #1
magohn
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Newbie:Movved States Now Suffering!!

Hello All

Last month we moved from sunny California to cold and wet Washington State. Before the move I had been doing pretty good on my new cycling 'kick' and though only riding 7-8 miles per day I was seeing a slow change in weight and fitness level.

Before arriving in WA I had been cycling in CA on very flat terrain and in 80->90 degree weather. I got it down where I could really blast the seven miles out in no time while also having a lot of fun. This was big for me as I am about 40lb overweight.

Today I decided to get back on the bike after a 4 week hiatus (because of the move) and mapped out a 5 mile starter loop in my new WA area. WOW!!! What a difference that first mile is literally vertical ( we now live on a hill ) and I was pushing the pedals so hard the front wheel was 'popping' off the road. I had to stop briefly to fend off a possible heart attack but then made it to the top. The next 4 mile is a fairly straight forward 'up and down' meander and is not too bad except for the 'brutal' cold up here. The temp riding today was 49 degrees and the cold afterburn in my throat feels like fire.

Does anyone have any tips for cold weather,hilly riding? I know Im only going 7 mile or so but it works for me and the weight does slowly drop.

It sure was nice though to get back in the saddle ....
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Old 11-14-05, 07:47 PM   #2
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Where do you live? I ride in Seattle? (it's all hills) The past two weekends were pretty brutual, weren't they? Especially Sat. November 5th, now that was nasty!!!
The hills that don't kill you will make you strong (and skinny) if you live here long enough you're going to find that biking in weather above 70 is too much. (I'm serious)
You really need good gloves for your hands, and all your torso should be layered and
the material should be wicking. No stinkin' cotton to get all sweaty in and then freeze because it's wet. Wool sweaters are very nice. They breathe and they still feel warm if they get wet. Get a baclava for you head and mouth.(wear under helmet) A really cheap thin one.Keep you ears warm and you can pull it up over you mouth for now. Plastic shower caps are good for keeping rain out and heat in on your helmet. Wear it on the outside. sure it isn't as cool as gore-tex, but who cares? Metro trnsit can take you pretty much where ever you want to go in King County if you want to avoid hills.
Hey and there's no shame in walking. You have to start some where.
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Old 11-14-05, 09:04 PM   #3
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First, give yourself a longer warmup- find a place where you can either do small hills or (better yet) a flat road, and give yourself 15- 20 minutes just in warmup. I often have a problem where I live (moving from flat Chicago to hilly Virginia) where I start slow and I have to give myself a looooooooong warm up. Back when I used to ride with another forum member, he'd see how much I'd be struggling in the beginning, but then I'd be racing up and down those hills and I'd have this incredible ride.
There's going to be a time when you haven't built up that buffer in your legs, and that lactic acid is going to slow you down. But as soon as you have enough in your system and you start breathing more normally and you get more oxygen in you, then you'll perform much better.

The other part of things are definitely that you should find a way to layer for winter rain... check out the Winter Cycling forum for great tips on how to do that.

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Old 11-15-05, 04:12 AM   #4
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Yeah, take it easy at the beginning of your ride. I like to warm up for at least 30-minutes before pushing it even 50%. I find that with less warm-up than that, I cannot perform optimally for the remainder of the ride, be it a short 15-mile sprint-workout or a 150-mile endurance rice.

Also you might want to get some lower gearing. If you have compact crank, a 34t in front with 26t rear does wonders for hills. Or you can even go with a triple.
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Old 11-15-05, 12:33 PM   #5
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Thank you all so much for your feedback. Some really great ideas and suggestions. I think the key is for me to dress a little warmer and maybe do a little warm-up near the house. Thanks again
P.S. I am in Woodinville, Wa
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Old 11-15-05, 06:02 PM   #6
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you have some wicked hills in Woodinville!
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Old 11-15-05, 06:07 PM   #7
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If you get some layers of decent clothing and find the right combinations for different temperatures, you WILL get used to the weather. Hang in there, be strong. The hardest part is getting dressed and getting the bikeout. Once you're moving it's usually fun.
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Old 11-15-05, 07:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
you have some wicked hills in Woodinville!
Yes, Im finding that out. We are located at the top of the Wood-Duval road and no matter what I will be climbing someplace.

On a positive note I paced myself on the hill today and instead of attacking it like crazy, I droppped to my second to lowest gear and lo and behold if I didnt get tothe top without getting off the bike

Felt a lot better today. I think I'm getting my 'legs back'...
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