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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-23-08, 01:12 PM   #1
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Clydesdales-Athenas: Home of the cycling Heavy Artillery... Sprint at the end?

Sometimes I wonder if I hear voices ... yesterday, after an invigorating Easter Saturday Ride, I thought of this forum -- and I'm sure I wasn't the only one... and I thought "Clydesdales-Athenas: Home of the cycling Heavy Artillery"

I'd lost a lot of shape being sick recently, but with my newly built up ride having passed a few solid test rides, and myself just barely passing muster, I decided to crank it up a notch and go for the "big hill."

To some it's a mere bump, but for a Clyde and a damaged-goods clydesdale emeritus like myself (hey I'm still only 1/2 lb under the bar :{), the big hill means about a 3/4 of a mile to a mile of 7-15% gradients, with some spots approaching 18 % or so. This goliath comes about 4 minutes into my ride, to really get the blood pumping. Naturally, it reappears on the return trip, about 4 minutes from the end. It offers plenty of those double-digit gradients that make Clydes question their speedometers ("three-point what???") and grateful for any large sprockets they have in the back.

From the summit, you can see the Empire State Building some 20 miles away, when the trees are bare of leaves, and it's even more spectacular at night, adding the Throgg's Neck and Whitestone Bridges, The Chrysler Building and others.

Then it gives way to a 25 - 30 mph descent that is riddled with stop signs and intersections. Coming back downhill, ... well there is a speed limit in effect, that is easy to exceed even on a bike.

Then it gives way to a more moderate descent leading into one of two final climbs. This penultimate climb has a gentle 5 or 6 % grade that I just love crank hard standing up.

Knowing that the end is near it's great feeling to blast a sprint out of the saddle with a little momentum, making a otherwise stiff climb a feeling of triumph, and a grey-whiskered war horse feel like the heavy artillery again. Oooh Yeaah!

I'm betting there's quite a few of us gravity magnets that enjoy a good blast at the end of a ride.

Let's hear it from the rest of you...
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Old 03-23-08, 01:28 PM   #2
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I don't know about a blast at the end, but yesterday I did a 40 miler that finished with Novelty Hill (Redmond, WA: avg 6% grade, 2.25 miles long).
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Old 03-23-08, 04:12 PM   #3
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Its really not much at all but when I leave my house I have a .5 mile hill to coast down with about 200 feet of drop. I always make sure that I end my rides climbing it with the main goal to blast my HR right at the end to finish my workout. I'm shooting to complete a long training ride and still have the energy to make it up on the big chain ring. When I first started riding at the beginning of this year I was in the lowest of granny settings on my triple. Day before yesterday I went 35.5 miles (longest single ride to date) and still powered up on the middle chain ring and 4 down on my 9 speed cog set. The weather has been too cold and wet lately for me to go play where the big hills are. No big deal, summer will be here soon.
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Old 03-23-08, 04:18 PM   #4
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I live in the corn...the only hills are overpasses. However, I do love heading out into headwind, to turn around and return with a tail wind. So easy to cruise 18-20mph then
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Old 03-23-08, 06:18 PM   #5
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I did 4 passes over some bridges and ended up with 38 miles had a total of 750 ft of climbing. I know it's not much to you mountain area types, but I am 2 ft above sea level here, so I think that is pretty good.
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