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-   -   I think my friends are out to kill me...:) (

Gary W. Graley 06-17-06 09:19 PM

I think my friends are out to kill me...:)
I've two guys at work, one half my age another quite a bit younger than me, they are very good
cyclist, they know that I ride around on errands at lunch time to get some riding in, so they brought
their bikes to work and rode at noon also, I rode for a short time with them, until they went to
this mountain, they normally don't ride around work, so they found this mountain to zip up and
travel along the top to drop back down into town, about 13 miles.
Well as I said, I tried to follow but knew I'd not be able to follow, the youngest one has a nice
Giant bike and the other fellow has a very light Felt bike, mine is a modest 30 year old Schwinn
Super le tour, not near as light nor does it have the gearing that they have, no way can I climb
that road! But now, each day I ride a little further up the hill, it's still barely up there and I get
so exhausted and winded from just doing that, but I hope by summers end that I can get about
half way up, today I took a ride, had to go into work on an emergency call so took the op to take
a ride after that was settled. BEAUTIFUL day, rode around the circuit, up the hill part way
and then did the circuit again and up the hill a second time, which was a little easier this time.

BUT, it's a very tough climb! :rolleyes:
So say a little prayer for me ;)

their route is up East Ave to Watercure Hill Road and cross over to Latta Brook Road and back down to Sullivan Street in Elmira NY

jppe 06-17-06 09:36 PM

The saying goes that the best way to get better at climbing is to climb more. Sounds like you're right on pace to conquer that thing by summer's end. I've upgraded bikes to a lighter one and with gearing just for climbing and it does make a world of difference, though.

Mojo Slim 06-17-06 09:39 PM

I'm working on one of those hills, too. Keep it up. Maybe by the end of the summer, we will have both conquered that hill!

Gary W. Graley 06-17-06 10:28 PM

Thanks guys, I surely hope so, you'd not believe how steep this thing is!
I may drive up there to get a picture to post...

Carusoswi 06-18-06 02:07 AM

I think it's great that you didn't feel intimidated by your friends. They may be winking to themselves mentally knowing that, given your equipment compared to theirs, there is no way you could match them on that climb. If they are true friends (and there is nothing in your post to indicate otherwise), it won't matter to them - all three of you will ride together where you can, they'll take the climb and you some alternate route when you must.

When I got back into cycling some five years ago, the bike I started with was my Schwinn LeTour (I don't know about Super Le Tours - I wonder what might be different about your bike).

Anyhow, my bike was totally stock when I started riding - and I thought it fast and considered myself so wise to have invested in it back in '73, that I gave no thought to upgrading - and, of course, there was absolutely no reason to buy a new bike.

I'm not suggesting that you need do anything more than what you're doing now - but, on my LeTour, the first thing to go (and they went pretty fast) were the stock tires and steel wheels. Those wheels are heavy and (someone else can be more precise with the description) do not lock in the tire bead, so I could not carry more than around 75 psi. Upgrading to a lighter tire/rim combination made a noticeable difference for me. Next, I upgraded the gearing - with the help of a very knowledgeable guy at a one-man LBS. That's when I began to realize how much cycling equipment has changed and improved. I actually had to have the wheels upgraded a second time - I'm not certain what happened, but the rear wheel collapsed on me one evening as I was rounding a curve - folded up like a bun around a hot dog.

For Father's Day last year, my kids bought me a new bike, so, except when one of them is home to ride with me, the LeTour sees little use these days - but it is still a very fast roller - very comfortable, and very reliable.

My guess is that you'll conquer that hill far sooner than you originally expected. Congrats and good luck.

PS: If you know the difference between a regular LeTour (1973) and a Super LeTour, please let me know - I'd be curious.


Gary W. Graley 06-18-06 08:05 AM

Hi Caruso, yes in reality they are not out to kill me, it just seems an end to a means ;)

I told them at the outset that I'd not be going the whole route with them but they don't
ride every day at work, but I do, I run my errands at lunch time and make a circuit of the
town and as I say, I've included going up that hill as far as I can and then back down to
continue on, climbing will make a better climber, we shall see!

As to the differences, not sure, but found this page see this]Link

What's odd is on there they state the Super le Tour came out in 1978, but I bought my bike in 1976 when
I got out of the Navy, not sure of the discrepancy on that but I like the ride, I had a light Cannodale for
a few weeks but the ride on that was too rough/hard, where the steel frame was more forgiving, but it
was a LIGHT bike! I've always thought to get a Trek 1500 and still may do so but need to plan that out better.


Gary W. Graley 06-25-06 05:33 PM

Well a short report, also found info on my Super Le Tour, did come out in 76' so I'm not going nuts ;)

The HILL, spelled with an i, :) I'm now going up much farther, almost to the top before turning around
but have a question for you guys and gals.

When I go up the hill, and it is STEEP, I go as far as I can, stop for a breather, then get back on and
continue climbing, stopping again when I can go no farther, short breather again and climb back on
and go up, on Friday I was at the top of the hill just before it turns to go even steeper, so on Monday
my plan is to make it ALL the way up, but, is this sound logic? should I keep doing this type of climbing?
If I try to go further without stopping, I think I'll pass out for lack of air and my legs are doing a lot better.

I 'feel' like I'm improving so I think it's a good plan but wanted to get some feed back if others have
gone this route too.
Thanks in advance,

nmichell 06-26-06 04:22 PM

Seems to me you need lower gearing on your bike. Either that or slow down your cadence to the point where you can still breathe as you climb. If those options don't sound appealing, then yeah, stop and catch your breath. No one on this forum wants you to keel over and drop dead :eek: Okay, there is another option that worked in my particular case on a similarly intimidating hill -- I lost some weight. The hill is quite a bit easier to climb now :)

Gary W. Graley 06-26-06 07:29 PM

Right nmichell, I surely don't want to keel over, so for now, it'll be stopping as needed, the cadence
going up isn't that fast, today, pouring rain most of the morning, it let up around 2 so I took a late
lunch and rode out to meet the hill, but, my legs, the tops of my thighs mostly, were very very sore
today, hard to ride on the flats let alone the hill I was pedaling towards, ended up not making it up
as far as I had on Friday but also the hill was still wet from the rain, I had hoped it would have drained
off and been dry, so I didn't want to chance a very steep, slippery hill on the way down.
It'll be a while before I can do something for lower gearing, may see if the local bike shop can put a
different set of sprockets on there but being 30years old this year, I may be limited as to what I
can slip on there, but worth the check!

Also riding to help lose the weight, so by next year or end of summer, it should be easier going ;)

stapfam 06-27-06 12:51 PM

Instead of Rear cassette or Freewheel= Have a look to see if a smaller front sprocket is a possibility- Couple on the forum have gone to Compact gearing with a 50/34? on the front and I have just bought a bike with a triple which is 52/42/30.

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