Notices
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.

A bridge too far

Old 09-30-14, 09:00 AM
  #1  
Rolling roadblock
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Casselberry, FL
Posts: 160

Bikes: 2013 Specialized Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A bridge too far

Went for a nice ride with my riding club (Florida Freewheelers) this morning. Did 21.3 miles total (second longest ride ever). Dragged a bit on the last three miles.

Sadly, I must report that my nemesis won today. The route we rode has three bridge crossings, and the last is my old friend, the bridge over route 434 on the Cross Seminole trail. Being 345 pounds at the moment, I am not one of nature's natural born climbers (who would have guessed?). My usual method for climbing these bridges is to attack the heck out of it, accelerating as best I can towards the bridge, then dropping a couple gears and burning my legs up it, usually with a mighty yawp half way up. Worked fine the first two climbs, but the last one was feeble.

I went to accelerate toward the last bridge (about 17 miles into the ride), and I had squat. Bupkis. Nothing. The legs gave me the big "bite me" and I ground to a halt about 1/2 way up (even though I had downshifted dramatically) and did the walk of shame to the top.

Bridge: 1
Me: 0

There will be a reckoning. The next time we meet, my legs will be fresher, and I will even up the score.....

The ride itself was nice, though: MattL1082's Profile
MattInFla is offline  
Old 09-30-14, 09:07 AM
  #2  
Just Plain Slow
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 6,026

Bikes: Lynskey R230

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 297 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
The way I see it, the score is

Matt: 2.5
Bridges: 0.5

Nice job!
PhotoJoe is offline  
Old 09-30-14, 09:33 AM
  #3  
The Improbable Bulk
 
Little Darwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Posts: 8,379

Bikes: Many

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
As I understand the rules of road racing, the King of the Mountain points apply as long as rider and bike reach the top... It doesn't matter if the bike is ridden, pushed or carried. So, why hold yourself to a higher standard? So it is possibly Matt 3, Bridges 0.

However you compute your points on this one, good luck on your next attempt! I rode a hill recently that I have never ridden up before, so it can be done, and I understand the challenge to make it... and at 315 I am not an elite climber either.
__________________
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Little Darwin is offline  
Old 09-30-14, 11:26 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 39,497
Mentioned: 211 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18523 Post(s)
Liked 15,869 Times in 7,451 Posts
Heh. Reminds me of this past weekend's MS 150 ride I did for the 29th consecutive year. After 70+ miles there are two bridges over back bay areas. This year, there was a stiff headwind on the first one and a crosswind to slightly tail wind on the second. My legs were screaming near the tops of both. As usual, some people had/chose to walk.
indyfabz is online now  
Old 09-30-14, 01:30 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
LGHT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Irvine
Posts: 1,416

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL3, Nishiki Pro Hybrid SL

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I have a set of 5 mountains I'm riding in preparation for a 50K ride in a few weeks. What has worked for me was just the opposite. Instead of racing to the hill at 12-15mph I now cruise to the hill at 7-10pmh and when I get to the hill I go down to 5-6mph. I actually get over the hills faster because I don't have to get off and rest like I did in the past. Plus I found my legs are getting stronger with every attempt at the hills. Not sure if it will work for you, but it has worked so far.
LGHT is offline  
Old 09-30-14, 02:02 PM
  #6  
The Improbable Bulk
 
Little Darwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Posts: 8,379

Bikes: Many

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by LGHT
I have a set of 5 mountains I'm riding in preparation for a 50K ride in a few weeks. What has worked for me was just the opposite. Instead of racing to the hill at 12-15mph I now cruise to the hill at 7-10pmh and when I get to the hill I go down to 5-6mph. I actually get over the hills faster because I don't have to get off and rest like I did in the past. Plus I found my legs are getting stronger with every attempt at the hills. Not sure if it will work for you, but it has worked so far.
The technique for me varies depending on the hill. For what some people call "rollers" (they are still hills to me) I prefer to attack, as the momentum helps get me up a significant part of the hill. The bridges I have ridden tend to fall into this category for me.

For longer/steeper hills, I just try to survive, so not exerting too much early on does help... and I suspect it would be the same for bridges or "rollers" when I an tired.
__________________
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Little Darwin is offline  
Old 09-30-14, 04:28 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
baron von trail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 3,509

Bikes: 3 good used ones

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Give it hell; don't give up.
baron von trail is offline  
Old 09-30-14, 06:15 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
LGHT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Irvine
Posts: 1,416

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL3, Nishiki Pro Hybrid SL

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Little Darwin
The technique for me varies depending on the hill. For what some people call "rollers" (they are still hills to me) I prefer to attack, as the momentum helps get me up a significant part of the hill. The bridges I have ridden tend to fall into this category for me.

For longer/steeper hills, I just try to survive, so not exerting too much early on does help... and I suspect it would be the same for bridges or "rollers" when I an tired.
Ahh ok so there is a nice slope right before the hill?? That makes since as I try and do the same when I run into those and build up a good amount of momentum... However I had to cross train on foot more than once when I don't make it...
LGHT is offline  
Old 09-30-14, 08:50 PM
  #9  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I used to employ a similar strategy of sprinting into climbs and down shifting as I slowed. It never seemed to be effective except on small hills. I'm a few weeks into standing up on the pedals and climbing in a middle gear, putting a lot of my weight on the handle bars and letting gravity bring me down on the pedals. It is a bit more vigorous and strenuous but also much much faster. So while I'm totally exhausted and eventually have to sit down on bigger hills I am reducing the climb duration by a large margin. The big hill on my ride used to be 12 minutes on the granny gear is now 7-8 minutes with a lot of ground covered by standing before I settle down to the granny gear 4-5 mph pace. Food for thought for you.
Clmason is offline  
Old 10-01-14, 11:02 AM
  #10  
SuperGimp
 
TrojanHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 13,346

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 147 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1107 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 47 Posts
Wait, you have hills in Casselberry?

Keep after the hills - they're just flat out harder for bigger people but you will get to the point where they are less painful.
TrojanHorse is offline  
Old 10-01-14, 11:50 AM
  #11  
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Posts: 11,758
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 190 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 32 Posts
When I first started back riding, I was on a singlespeed and avoided hills. Then I figured out that if I was going to get better, I needed to ride more hills, not fewer.

On some hills, if I've done them before and know low gearing is involved, I'll be sure to downshift early on so I'm not frantically downshifting as a I grind to a halt halfway up. So if you try that exact same route again, try downshifting all the way earlier (and maybe take it easier on the first two hills), and see what works best. The "power over the hill" works great if the hill isn't too big, but misjudge it, and you're downshifting 8 gears at a whack under severe load while you try to keep from falling over!
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline  
Old 10-01-14, 12:17 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
volosong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 2,809

Bikes: n + 1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 15 Posts
MattInFla, just curious...have you ever tried 'slow and steady'? Hit the hill at the bottom with just a minor bit of speed, very quickly shift into the lowest gear you have, then just grind it out 'slow and steady' to the top.
volosong is offline  
Old 10-01-14, 05:05 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
breadbin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: West of Ireland
Posts: 753

Bikes: Raleigh 531c, Marin Muirwoods, Brodie Romax

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by volosong
MattInFla, just curious...have you ever tried 'slow and steady'? Hit the hill at the bottom with just a minor bit of speed, very quickly shift into the lowest gear you have, then just grind it out 'slow and steady' to the top.
i try this but i am out of breath within seconds! there is a really steep bit of my route and it works better for me to get it over with as fast as possible. i sprint up it and then lower the gear and just about make it over the top. just as well its only short. i'd say about 20 seconds of pain and then relief hoping it gets easier as the weeks go by but no such luck yet
breadbin is offline  
Old 10-01-14, 09:04 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Black wallnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ellensburg,WA
Posts: 3,193

Bikes: Schwinn Broadway, Specialized Secteur Sport(crashed) Spec. Roubaix Sport, Spec. Crux

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 186 Post(s)
Liked 176 Times in 88 Posts
Originally Posted by PhotoJoe
The way I see it, the score is

Matt: 2.5
Bridges: 0.5

Nice job!
+1
__________________
Sir Mark, Knight of Sufferlandria
Black wallnut is offline  
Old 10-01-14, 09:46 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
LGHT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Irvine
Posts: 1,416

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL3, Nishiki Pro Hybrid SL

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Clmason
I used to employ a similar strategy of sprinting into climbs and down shifting as I slowed. It never seemed to be effective except on small hills. I'm a few weeks into standing up on the pedals and climbing in a middle gear, putting a lot of my weight on the handle bars and letting gravity bring me down on the pedals. It is a bit more vigorous and strenuous but also much much faster. So while I'm totally exhausted and eventually have to sit down on bigger hills I am reducing the climb duration by a large margin. The big hill on my ride used to be 12 minutes on the granny gear is now 7-8 minutes with a lot of ground covered by standing before I settle down to the granny gear 4-5 mph pace. Food for thought for you.
I tried doing this and failed quickly. About what elevation of a hill do you try to stand an peddle up? I've seen others switch up and go from sitting at a slow and steady 4-5mph just to mix it up, but when I try standing seems to sap all my energy after a few strokes and I'm back to sitting a few seconds later, but a lot more tired and wishing I've never done that. What am I doing wrong or does it just take some time to build up those muscles?
LGHT is offline  
Old 10-01-14, 10:46 PM
  #16  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by LGHT
I tried doing this and failed quickly. About what elevation of a hill do you try to stand an peddle up? I've seen others switch up and go from sitting at a slow and steady 4-5mph just to mix it up, but when I try standing seems to sap all my energy after a few strokes and I'm back to sitting a few seconds later, but a lot more tired and wishing I've never done that. What am I doing wrong or does it just take some time to build up those muscles?
i had the exact same experience as you. I learned though experience the trick to climbing while standing. The problem i experienced with being zapped right away when standing is because I (& likely you) are in too high of a gear and was not benifiting from gravity pulling me down. So try instead of standing while in the highest or near highest gear (1 in the front and 1-3 in the back) stand and climb in a middle gear. (For me that is a more typical gear for cruising, 2 in the front and 5-6 in the back. ) when you do this each pedal cycle is much more productive and has a lot more resistance. This is good because you can hold your weight on the handle bars and then release your weight on the downstroke, using gravity to do a lot of the work.

as far as my hills, they are legit( I think). My ride last weekend had 2,000' of ascent over 30 miles. The big hill on my route is about 500' on a 1.8% grade.

let me know if this gearing strategy works for your hill climbs. Good luck and enjoy!

Last edited by Clmason; 10-01-14 at 11:00 PM.
Clmason is offline  
Old 10-01-14, 11:57 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 68

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac Pro 08

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bridge too Far - What a great Movie
bauhaus92 is offline  
Old 10-02-14, 03:36 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
breadbin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: West of Ireland
Posts: 753

Bikes: Raleigh 531c, Marin Muirwoods, Brodie Romax

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by bauhaus92
Bridge too Far - What a great Movie
always reminds me of the simpsons episode ' a fridge too far'
breadbin is offline  
Old 10-02-14, 09:41 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 106

Bikes: 2014 Genesis GS29 (Yellow Fork)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I hear ya on the hills. I've got about 50 lbs on my girl but I have more power but every hill we get to she acts like she's going to be killed by the hill we're climbing AS SHE'S PASSING ME lol Seriously, every time she's cranking it up the hill and I'm plodding up in the lowest gear of whatever I'm riding. I sure do make it up on the way down though!
Maxillius is offline  
Old 10-02-14, 09:44 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 106

Bikes: 2014 Genesis GS29 (Yellow Fork)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Clmason
i had the exact same experience as you. I learned though experience the trick to climbing while standing. The problem i experienced with being zapped right away when standing is because I (& likely you) are in too high of a gear and was not benifiting from gravity pulling me down. So try instead of standing while in the highest or near highest gear (1 in the front and 1-3 in the back) stand and climb in a middle gear. (For me that is a more typical gear for cruising, 2 in the front and 5-6 in the back. ) when you do this each pedal cycle is much more productive and has a lot more resistance. This is good because you can hold your weight on the handle bars and then release your weight on the downstroke, using gravity to do a lot of the work.

as far as my hills, they are legit( I think). My ride last weekend had 2,000' of ascent over 30 miles. The big hill on my route is about 500' on a 1.8% grade.

let me know if this gearing strategy works for your hill climbs. Good luck and enjoy!
When I was younger I'd stand up for hills or for power but then I started adjusting my seat height for optimum thrust 100% of the time so standing has become counterproductive for me. Whatever works, right?
Maxillius is offline  
Old 10-02-14, 10:34 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
LGHT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Irvine
Posts: 1,416

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL3, Nishiki Pro Hybrid SL

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Clmason
i had the exact same experience as you. I learned though experience the trick to climbing while standing. The problem i experienced with being zapped right away when standing is because I (& likely you) are in too high of a gear and was not benifiting from gravity pulling me down. So try instead of standing while in the highest or near highest gear (1 in the front and 1-3 in the back) stand and climb in a middle gear. (For me that is a more typical gear for cruising, 2 in the front and 5-6 in the back. ) when you do this each pedal cycle is much more productive and has a lot more resistance. This is good because you can hold your weight on the handle bars and then release your weight on the downstroke, using gravity to do a lot of the work.

as far as my hills, they are legit( I think). My ride last weekend had 2,000' of ascent over 30 miles. The big hill on my route is about 500' on a 1.8% grade.

let me know if this gearing strategy works for your hill climbs. Good luck and enjoy!
Ahhh ok I think your right. I know it was hard trying to turn over the peddles fast enough in a lower gear so I'll give that a try.
LGHT is offline  
Old 10-05-14, 05:55 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: PNW
Posts: 197

Bikes: Cutthroat, Scalpel, Roubaix, Sequoia, SuperX, Diverge

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
so hills whup my butt too.

I have a nice hill about 10 minutes into my morning commute and after a good 15-20 rides I still haven't figured out a way to really attack it consistently. It has a bit of a dip leading up to the hill so I try to attack it in highest gear then downshift, but I'm never sure if I should downshift somewhat and do the stand-up-and-pedal method or downshift further and just kinda spin up the hill slowly but surely in a low gear
sgtrobo is offline  
Old 10-05-14, 08:13 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
LGHT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Irvine
Posts: 1,416

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac SL3, Nishiki Pro Hybrid SL

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I tried standing on a few hills that I normally **** into low on and just cruise through at 5-6mph. I actually upshifted 3 gears and leaned over the handle bars and shifted the blike right / left and made it through the hill in half the time. The downfall is my heart rate got up to around 153 by the time I got to the top of the hill and I felt a little more spent. However I usually end up with the same heart rate in low, but don't feel as spent after I breach the hill. Seems like it uses different muscles that I haven't worked out like arms, shoulders, but it does keep my legs a little fresher. So overall it's a nice alternative to just spinning in low, but it's a technique I really need to practice to get the fill of. That was my 11th ride on the bike and I'm really starting to get the hang of things and feeling stronger every ride. Thanks all for the tips.
LGHT is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
MattInFla
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
35
09-12-13 01:41 PM
Fangowolf
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
2
03-04-13 11:17 AM
Mrs.Hill-Pumper
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
6
07-30-12 11:22 PM
cyclinfool
Fifty Plus (50+)
10
06-29-12 11:16 AM
wfournier
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
18
09-05-11 12:44 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.