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backinthesaddle 09-04-05 10:24 AM

rode up the hill!
I've been sharing that I'm back to cycling after a 15 year layoff. Hard to get back into shape, especially hill climbs.

Where I live (SF East Bay Area) so many of the good rides start out with a strong climb.

So after 8 weeks of riding, yesterday for the first time I climbed a good hill, maybe 1000 ft. (for those of you who know the area: Old Tunnel Road to Skyline). It turns out I still knew every turn of the road, every minor shift in the gradient. I've been up this road hundreds of times, but so long ago.

I made it about 2/3 up on my middle chainring, then the rest of the way on my granny gear. Cyclists passed me on the up, and I was a little chagrinned, especially since I'm now running granny gear, but I kept going.

One more observation: So many more cyclists than 15 years ago, so many more with good gear, so many more in full regalia. On the way down the hill, I passed the entire U.C. Berkeley cycling team going uphill on a training run, must have been 40 in their "peloton".

Today (day after) feel great, I'm taking a rest day today, then keep plugging again.

Thanks for listening :)

John E 09-04-05 04:31 PM

Congrats! I love hills.

KeithA 09-04-05 05:19 PM

Yep, congratulations from me as well.

I get more satisfaction from hills than anything.

GrannyGear 09-04-05 07:16 PM

You've every right to feel good about yourself and your rededication. The first "hill" many of us have overcome is middle-aged inertia which is sooo easy to succomb to. Every rider in this section has climbed that steep hill and left many of our age-peers behind us. As for me, there are some local "real" hills that leave me wishing for a third lung!

backinthesaddle 09-04-05 09:37 PM

Thanks for the encouragement, that 3rd lung would be great, I never knew about something called lung capacity until my recent entry into these forums, I used to just ride.

I just remembered how in my early twenties I used to jam to the top of the same hill (probably 3.5 miles uphill) so I could smoke a cigarette while waiting for the others to catch up. Fortunately I gave that up some 30 years ago.

Little Darwin 09-04-05 10:17 PM


I have never rode up that hill, but I did drive up it. Definitely a "real" hill! :)

Your comment about all of the high end equipment struck a chord with me, because I read a message in another forum a while back about bike thefts being so frequent... I haven't found it since I have had time to reply, but I think bike thefts are up because the number of bikes that are worth 3 months' salary is greater. :)

The amazing thing is that most of those people riding the high end bikes probably gain just a few seconds on the length of the climb based on their equipment... The engines are also getting much better now, I think in great part due to the influence of Greg Lemond, Lance Armstrong and others.

jppe 09-05-05 01:20 PM

Great job on the hill!! So what will be more rewarding. Being at the level you once were at or where you might get should you keep riding for a while?

I completely agree about more riders and equipment. I've only been riding for 4 years but have seen many, many more cyclists at various events I go to.

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