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So, there's this big hill

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

So, there's this big hill

Old 08-20-15, 11:34 PM
  #1  
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So, there's this big hill

My friends got me to sign up for Levi's GranFondo in Sonoma County here, it's our big local ride. We're doing the metric century part, which includes this climb. It's the steepest hill I've ever had to do as I've become a more serious rider. The most climbing I've done to date is 1700 feet over 2.9 miles up to Lake Sonoma near where I live. It was very hard for me but I never thought I wouldn't make it. Still, as I've become a stronger rider in all respects, I'm still not great at the steep hills. As my confidence as improved immensely, climbing still scares me. I think a lot of it at this point is mental. As some of you know, I ride with one lung but it's a very strong one lung (just had my V02 measured and even blew away the medical people - pun intended) but I still have moments on the bike where I'm gasping for air. Rarely have I yet pushed myself to where my legs are balking but part of this I think is that I'm careful when I ride and try to reserve effort when I can, enough so I know I can finish.

Anyway, all this is just blather. I'm freaking out over this climb. Freaking. Out. I haven't even seen it in person (only heard stories) and I'm already talking myself out of it. Does anyone else do this? I'm starting to do hill repeats now and there's a big climb in my backyard that I'm starting to try to conquer -- basically I do a little bit more of it each time out. But what about my stupid head? Any suggestions on how to prepare myself mentally? Or do I just have to go ride the thing until I feel okay about it?
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Old 08-20-15, 11:59 PM
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Tell yourself that you can drop to granny gear and spin through it as if you were riding any other stretch of a metric century. Aside from the differently angled posture. Sort of.

Although, I've only spent one month of my life down a lung*, and I didn't exercise during that time, so I really have no idea how it changes the characteristics of big hill climbs.

*Well, it was still technically there, just collapsed.
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Old 08-21-15, 12:17 AM
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Its not mental. It is physical. Really steep long climbs will tax the old lungs. Really long shallow climbs you can just sit down and spin away for an hour or two but when the road starts getting too steep to spin and you're riding only slightly faster than walking pace then the sheer physical effort can become your main limit.

Couple of things you can do to prepare. If you can, do the climb before the big day. Second time up a climb is always easier than the first because at least you know what to expect. And importantly you can have some idea on how to pace yourself.

You may like to think about swapping out your cassette for one with a bigger large sprocket. No law against changing your gearing to suit the terrain.

Know where you are on the climb. Note how long the climb is and at what mileage you started on it. That way you will know how much further to go. I recently rode a 2km 10% climb that I'd never seen before but I forgot to note when I started the climb. I had no idea where I was. Did I have 500m to go or another 1km? All I could do was keep plugging away hoping that the finish was around the next bend.
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Old 08-21-15, 12:18 AM
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Not an answer to your question, but thanks for mentioning this ride! I may just do it If I do, I'll go for the "Gran"!

Geoff
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Old 08-21-15, 12:21 AM
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Go do the climb ahead of time.

While on practice climbs, tell yourself that there is miles to go, & get into a steady pace & attitude that you can sustain indefinitely.

If you have decently low gears, you'll be fine.

At the event, have a gel just before the start of the hill.
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Old 08-21-15, 02:11 AM
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Isn't that twice as much downhill as uphill?

Looks like fun.

As I read the map, it starts with 400 feet of up hill over about a mile and a half.
Then some downhill
And another 400 feet of up hill over another mile or so.
Followed by quite a bit of downhill.

Originally Posted by shyonelung View Post
The most climbing I've done to date is 1700 feet over 2.9 miles up to Lake Sonoma near where I live. It was very hard for me but I never thought I wouldn't make it.
The hill on the map may not be as long or as intense as what you've already done (unless you do it in reverse).
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Old 08-21-15, 02:17 AM
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You haven't even mentioned what gearing you have, with a triple 28-30-50 it could be a piece of cake, you could maintain under 170 watts and a cadence of 80, with a compact 34-30 it would be a lower cadence, maybe 65 but till doable, with a standard crank 39-25 it will be tough... it all depends on your goal and your hw...
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Old 08-21-15, 02:27 AM
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I had similar, scary, thoughts ahead of my attempt at the Fred Whitton Challenge earlier in the year. The thing that helped me the most was remembering to pace myself at the bottom of the bigger climbs. If you have one, then a heart rate monitor can help a lot with that, because it's an impersonal measure that lets you know if you're working too hard.

I'd absolutely second the idea of lower gearing - I has a 34/32 setup for the Fred and I liked it so much I've left it on the bike for all of my riding. Having a gear that I know I can turn no matter what is a great psychological buffer against a really tough climb.

The final thing I'd say, and it's easy to do whilst I sit here and type this, is to relax about the climb. If you don't get a chance to have a go at it beforehand, divide it up into manageable sections as you do it on the day - pace yourself to the next tree, or building, or whatever and then, when you get there, pace yourself to the next one again, and so on. That way you don't have to deal with the whole thing in one go and you don't get as freaked by it.
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Old 08-21-15, 05:19 AM
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The advice about gearing is great of course, but aside from that, consider: what's the worst that could happen? If worst comes to worst, you can just pull over and stop for a minute, and it's not the end of the world if you do. If you have a mechanical, you'd have to pull over and stop, right? You might even find that you finish quicker by catching your breath and taking a nice, relaxed drink than you would if you continued trudging up, slower and slower all the way to the end. That might be disappointing, not what you intended to do, but the only reason you're 'freaking out' over the possibility is because you arbitrarily decided that climbing the hill non-stop is more important than catching your breath.
FWIW, back in May, the group I was with following the Giro did a couple of first category and HC climbs. I can't brag about them too much because I didn't manage to spin all the way up without stopping a time or two (or more), but I did finish them in one go, ahead of all but the assistant leader of our group (a champ), and still totally awesome - highlights of my cycling experience so far.
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Old 08-21-15, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by shyonelung View Post
My friends got me to sign up for Levi's GranFondo in Sonoma County here, it's our big local ride. We're doing the metric century part, which includes this climb. It's the steepest hill I've ever had to do as I've become a more serious rider. The most climbing I've done to date is 1700 feet over 2.9 miles up to Lake Sonoma near where I live. It was very hard for me but I never thought I wouldn't make it. Still, as I've become a stronger rider in all respects, I'm still not great at the steep hills. As my confidence as improved immensely, climbing still scares me. I think a lot of it at this point is mental. As some of you know, I ride with one lung but it's a very strong one lung (just had my V02 measured and even blew away the medical people - pun intended) but I still have moments on the bike where I'm gasping for air. Rarely have I yet pushed myself to where my legs are balking but part of this I think is that I'm careful when I ride and try to reserve effort when I can, enough so I know I can finish.

Anyway, all this is just blather. I'm freaking out over this climb. Freaking. Out. I haven't even seen it in person (only heard stories) and I'm already talking myself out of it. Does anyone else do this? I'm starting to do hill repeats now and there's a big climb in my backyard that I'm starting to try to conquer -- basically I do a little bit more of it each time out. But what about my stupid head? Any suggestions on how to prepare myself mentally? Or do I just have to go ride the thing until I feel okay about it?
My uncle had only one lung from complications of Rheumatic Fever which was common in the US before the widespread use of antibiotics. He couldn't smoke but he was quite active and lived a long life. He grew up in a family of thirteen during the Great Depression. The human body is marvelously adaptable and one lung can oxygenate your heart adequately to keep you going as my uncle proved from the time he was fourteen. The lung is just one part of the total biomechanical process. I've said this before but even though the muscles have no brain, they do have a memory. The legs can be taught to visit the house of pain and learn to be comfortable there. The brain is the teacher and it can show you how to develop a climbing style to master hills through practice. Attitude, desire and preparation are the keys to the kingdom.
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Old 08-21-15, 06:35 AM
  #11  
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the climb you do to Lake Sonoma averages 11% has more vertical feet.

According to the Strava segment, Coleman averages 10%.

If you're comfortable with the gearing you use for Lake Sonoma, your gears will be fine.

Start slow, pace yourself, and you'll be fine.
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Old 08-21-15, 08:47 AM
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If you have to walk part of it, no big deal.
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Old 08-21-15, 08:54 AM
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Lots of great advice here.
Let me add a few things and forgive me for stating the obvious.
How far into the ride is this climb? Early? AT the end? Are you riding it by yourself or with a group?
If in a group try to stay fresh by drafting several miles before the climb.
Someone suggested you have a gel right before the climb. I'd suggest you have it at least 15 minutes prior to the climb. Are you carrying full water bottles? Is the a rest stop after the climb? If so try to lighten the load preceding the climb but leave a bit to drink during or right after until you can refill your bottle(s). Carrying 2 full water bottles can add more then 4 lbs of unnecessary weight.
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Old 08-21-15, 10:09 AM
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My experience with hills that I'm freaked out about is that the reality is always less bad than the anticipation--once you're actually on the climb, you are in charge and doing something about it, instead of sitting helplessly and fretting. And from what I've caught on the forum of your accomplishments, I think you will own this hill!

And for a different perspective--a very strong rider I know is a big advocate of getting off and walking once you're close to walking speed. Even though he is strong enough to clear just about any hill that is possible to be biked up (and a few that aren't), he says that the break of walking--a different way of using the muscles and so on--refreshes him and makes him faster over all. He regularly walks steep sections of hills, and then once the grade lessens, gets back on the bike and passes a ton of people because his legs are fresh.
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Old 08-21-15, 12:24 PM
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I've done Levi's Granfondo twice. I think I can offer you some insight:

The first time, in 2013, I was a big fat guy (~290) on a mountain bike doing the 32-mile route with my 11 yr old daughter. At the time, it was the longest ride I'd ever done. Half way into the climb up to Occidental (which seemed like a terrifying mountain to us) I shifted my dérailleur into the spokes and ripped it off. An hour later, the SAG folks had me converted to single speed and I finished the second half of the ride in the lowest gear my 29er had to offer. Needless to say, my 11 yr old rode away from me, impatient with how slowly I was proceeding.

The second time, in 2014, I returned 50 lbs lighter and on a road bike. I decided to take on the Gran route as my first century. This time, my daughter did not join me. I drove there alone and rode alone. There were somewhere in the neighborhood of 7000 people at the start. The sheer epic-ness of the start can't be understated. That many people on bikes rolling out simultaneously (it takes a while) is quite something to behold.

Anyway, once we were underway, there were a couple of starts and stops along the way. With that many people, some of the police-controlled intersections were a bit bottleneck-y. Look out for the inevitable clip-in-fall-over people at those.

The riding was beautiful and I slipped in with a few pacelining groups here and there. We got to some rolling hills after the first rest stop and that's where the people from Nebraska who had never climbed any hills in their lives got in trouble. There were many people hopping off and walking their bikes. At every rise in the road, it happened.

I was feeling pretty confident with my triple (52/42/30 & 11-26) and some experience in hills. That served me okay for a while, but, eventually, I got to the actual Kings Ridge climb and I and blew up more than a few times. I had to hop off and walk it many times. I had to hop off and just lean on my bike to recover a few times. It's a serious friggin' hill.

I was not, however, alone in my struggles. Riders of all ages and strengths were doing the same. Eventually, through various twists and turns (every one of them eliciting 'are we there yet?' grunts from myself and the many other riders around me, we got to 'the top'. It was quite a feeling.

We then descended through some pretty farm-y country. The trees threw a lot of sun-dappled kind of shade on the road and there were plenty of patches and potholes to look out for. There were also a couple of infamous cattle-crossings to traverse, but the organizers placed 'LOOK OUT!!' signs and sometimes even flag-waving people ahead of the worst of them.

That didn't stop one guy from flying off the road and hurting himself fairly badly -- enough so that we were stopped at a rest stop for over an hour while they kept the roads clear for the ambulance(s) to come in to get him.

It was a frustrating delay, but it gave me plenty of time to bask in the glory of the massive mountain I'd just gone up.

Once the all-clear was given, we rolled out into a few rollers and then descended down to the sea.

The descent to the ocean was truly incredible -- in both the physical and mental senses. Here's a GoPro bit I took https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NicVD7EVLuc Unfortunately, that's just the part coming out of the woods and first seeing the ocean. The best part of the descent didn't get recorded as I was only just beginning to understand how to operate my GoPro at the time. I have one nice STILL PICTURE of the beginning of the descent -- I thought I was starting a video recording, only to later find out otherwise.

After some gloriously flat-ish miles along the coast, the ride turned inland again where I was dismayed to face another ridiculous climb. I made my way up this one in fits and starts (nursing an increasingly sore left knee/IT band.)

The crowd on the road was gone by this time as the Medio (metric) riders had long ago turned off onto their route and most of the other riders on the Gran route were stronger riders than me. There were still other riders on the road, but I was increasingly alone. The last few rest stops were in the middle of packing things up as I arrived, filled my water bottles without getting off the bike and rolled on.

By the time I got to Occidental, my sunglasses were getting to be too dark. I swapped to the lighter lenses I'd pocketed for this eventuality and continued.

For the last 20 miles, I went through plenty of emotions. I cried, I spit, I gritted my teeth. I finished.

Unfortunately, the finish line was being dismantled as I crossed over it. My food ticket was worthless because they were taking down the tents. My official result was DNF. I crossed the line, though, 11+ hours after I started.

I collapsed in the grass for about 15 minutes. I had to get going though, because I still had to ride the two miles through town to get to my motel and I hadn't brought any lights.

I made it to the motel without getting hit by a car and was able to navigate a shower and ordering a pizza (which I had to drive to pick up.) I can tell you, that was one time in my life that I was not ashamed to down an entire pizza and bottle of wine by myself. I slept well that night and have since walked a little taller.

I now look at any hill as conquerable. I might have to walk it, I might have to cry, but I now believe in myself.

All in all, it was the single hardest thing I've ever done, physically. Would I do it again? Sure. Not this year, though. This year I've signed up for Jens Voight's 'Shut Up Legs' route (a week after Levi's Granfondo.) Wish me luck.

Enjoy your ride. It'll be fine.




p.s. Strava recordings for reference (battery on phone died and I didn't notice for a while...) http://www.strava.com/activities/203359772 and http://www.strava.com/activities/203359722

Last edited by goenrdoug; 08-21-15 at 01:07 PM. Reason: strava or it didn't happen
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Old 08-21-15, 12:45 PM
  #16  
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Fantastic story. I can't wait to try something epic like that.
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Old 09-08-15, 12:04 AM
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Thanks for sharing this story. You're braver than me. I'm just going to try the 100K for now. I'm not sure this post will inspire me or make me run but I loved reading it. Thank you. :-D


Originally Posted by goenrdoug View Post
I've done Levi's Granfondo twice. I think I can offer you some insight:

The first time, in 2013, I was a big fat guy (~290) on a mountain bike doing the 32-mile route with my 11 yr old daughter. At the time, it was the longest ride I'd ever done. Half way into the climb up to Occidental (which seemed like a terrifying mountain to us) I shifted my dérailleur into the spokes and ripped it off. An hour later, the SAG folks had me converted to single speed and I finished the second half of the ride in the lowest gear my 29er had to offer. Needless to say, my 11 yr old rode away from me, impatient with how slowly I was proceeding.

The second time, in 2014, I returned 50 lbs lighter and on a road bike. I decided to take on the Gran route as my first century. This time, my daughter did not join me. I drove there alone and rode alone. There were somewhere in the neighborhood of 7000 people at the start. The sheer epic-ness of the start can't be understated. That many people on bikes rolling out simultaneously (it takes a while) is quite something to behold.

Anyway, once we were underway, there were a couple of starts and stops along the way. With that many people, some of the police-controlled intersections were a bit bottleneck-y. Look out for the inevitable clip-in-fall-over people at those.

The riding was beautiful and I slipped in with a few pacelining groups here and there. We got to some rolling hills after the first rest stop and that's where the people from Nebraska who had never climbed any hills in their lives got in trouble. There were many people hopping off and walking their bikes. At every rise in the road, it happened.

I was feeling pretty confident with my triple (52/42/30 & 11-26) and some experience in hills. That served me okay for a while, but, eventually, I got to the actual Kings Ridge climb and I and blew up more than a few times. I had to hop off and walk it many times. I had to hop off and just lean on my bike to recover a few times. It's a serious friggin' hill.

I was not, however, alone in my struggles. Riders of all ages and strengths were doing the same. Eventually, through various twists and turns (every one of them eliciting 'are we there yet?' grunts from myself and the many other riders around me, we got to 'the top'. It was quite a feeling.

We then descended through some pretty farm-y country. The trees threw a lot of sun-dappled kind of shade on the road and there were plenty of patches and potholes to look out for. There were also a couple of infamous cattle-crossings to traverse, but the organizers placed 'LOOK OUT!!' signs and sometimes even flag-waving people ahead of the worst of them.

That didn't stop one guy from flying off the road and hurting himself fairly badly -- enough so that we were stopped at a rest stop for over an hour while they kept the roads clear for the ambulance(s) to come in to get him.

It was a frustrating delay, but it gave me plenty of time to bask in the glory of the massive mountain I'd just gone up.

Once the all-clear was given, we rolled out into a few rollers and then descended down to the sea.

The descent to the ocean was truly incredible -- in both the physical and mental senses. Here's a GoPro bit I took https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NicVD7EVLuc Unfortunately, that's just the part coming out of the woods and first seeing the ocean. The best part of the descent didn't get recorded as I was only just beginning to understand how to operate my GoPro at the time. I have one nice STILL PICTURE of the beginning of the descent -- I thought I was starting a video recording, only to later find out otherwise.

After some gloriously flat-ish miles along the coast, the ride turned inland again where I was dismayed to face another ridiculous climb. I made my way up this one in fits and starts (nursing an increasingly sore left knee/IT band.)

The crowd on the road was gone by this time as the Medio (metric) riders had long ago turned off onto their route and most of the other riders on the Gran route were stronger riders than me. There were still other riders on the road, but I was increasingly alone. The last few rest stops were in the middle of packing things up as I arrived, filled my water bottles without getting off the bike and rolled on.

By the time I got to Occidental, my sunglasses were getting to be too dark. I swapped to the lighter lenses I'd pocketed for this eventuality and continued.

For the last 20 miles, I went through plenty of emotions. I cried, I spit, I gritted my teeth. I finished.

Unfortunately, the finish line was being dismantled as I crossed over it. My food ticket was worthless because they were taking down the tents. My official result was DNF. I crossed the line, though, 11+ hours after I started.

I collapsed in the grass for about 15 minutes. I had to get going though, because I still had to ride the two miles through town to get to my motel and I hadn't brought any lights.

I made it to the motel without getting hit by a car and was able to navigate a shower and ordering a pizza (which I had to drive to pick up.) I can tell you, that was one time in my life that I was not ashamed to down an entire pizza and bottle of wine by myself. I slept well that night and have since walked a little taller.

I now look at any hill as conquerable. I might have to walk it, I might have to cry, but I now believe in myself.

All in all, it was the single hardest thing I've ever done, physically. Would I do it again? Sure. Not this year, though. This year I've signed up for Jens Voight's 'Shut Up Legs' route (a week after Levi's Granfondo.) Wish me luck.

Enjoy your ride. It'll be fine.




p.s. Strava recordings for reference (battery on phone died and I didn't notice for a while...) Bike Ride Profile | Levi's Granfondo pt1 near Santa Rosa | Times and Records | Strava and Bike Ride Profile | Levi's Granfondo pt2 near Occidental | Times and Records | Strava
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Old 09-08-15, 12:19 AM
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A lot of good advice and guidance here. Thank you. I've been challenging myself on a few more and bigger climbs since I posted this and finding a mixed bag so far. I watch other people go up hills and they seem to spin at a higher cadence than me. I don't have a triple on my bike -- but it's a compact (granny gear I've heard it called) and for my set up (Ultegra) it's the best I can do. To convert to a triple would cost me a few hundred according to my local bike shop folks (who are great people and have been very kind, helpful and supportive of me on my journey).

I want to spin more on the steep climbs but all it's all I can do to just keep cranking the pedals. I think a good bit of this is in my head -- I get scared and I panic and my heart rate goes up and my breathing more labored and then, boom I have to clip out. Today I did the steep part of the road I fear on this Fondo, which is called Coleman Valley. My friend drove me over the whole course, which seems mostly doable and then we stopped at the bottom of Coleman and started up. I was panicky from the beginning I admit and while I promised myself I wouldn't look up, I did and had to stop not too far from where we started. I caught my breath, walked a few feet to a place where I could start again and got back on the bike. Then I stopped again and had to walk a bit and then on the third try got to the top.

By by the way, can I tell you how much I hate cattle guards? Jeez is there a trick to riding over them, especially when you're going up hill?

I'll probably go one more time before the ride itself, which is October 4.

I wish I had more clarity about what's keeping me from conquering these climbs without stopping. Sometimes I think it's simply an inability to get enough breath in and out of my chest and sometimes I think it's just in my head. Rarely, I feel like my legs give out though I feel they are the last to go in these situations. Today I was breathing pretty hard but my heart rate was fairly steady, which makes me wonder if it's really just in my head. Anyway, I had some very clear and unhappy thoughts today and in my not-so-near past, I would have given up completely but I eventually made it to the top, even though I had to get off and walk. So I'll take that as progressive and move on from there.

Here's a couple of shots from the ride, including the view from the ridge. Sure was spectacular. The photo of me getting to the top was taken by my cycling buddy.


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Old 09-08-15, 11:58 AM
  #19  
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Congrats! That Coleman climb is as bad as you'll face on the whole route. There's no shame in getting off an walking on that one a bit. The steep part you mentioned shortly after the start sure does slap you in the face, doesn't it? Easily 60-70% of the riders I saw got off an walked (or stood around getting their breathing/heart rate under control) on both King's Ridge and Coleman. If you made it up that monster, I think you're going to be fine.

Your buddy's name wouldn't happen to be Chuck, would it? My neighbor happens to be up there riding the last couple of days and mentioned having done Coleman too.

Also, if you want to come out to Westlake any weekend morning, I'd be happy to take a look at your gearing/technique an offer any suggestions I can, for what it's worth. I generally ride with the CVC club all around the hills out here every weekend (and some week days., like the Tuesday evening Rock Store ride.)

While going to a triple would require a good bit of parts-replacing, you can probably get lower, gear-wise, with <$50, depending on what's on your bike now. It might be as simple as a new cassette (maybe $30?) or a new slightly smaller front chain ring.
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Old 09-08-15, 05:36 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by goenrdoug View Post
Congrats! That Coleman climb is as bad as you'll face on the whole route. There's no shame in getting off an walking on that one a bit. The steep part you mentioned shortly after the start sure does slap you in the face, doesn't it? Easily 60-70% of the riders I saw got off an walked (or stood around getting their breathing/heart rate under control) on both King's Ridge and Coleman. If you made it up that monster, I think you're going to be fine.

Your buddy's name wouldn't happen to be Chuck, would it? My neighbor happens to be up there riding the last couple of days and mentioned having done Coleman too.

Also, if you want to come out to Westlake any weekend morning, I'd be happy to take a look at your gearing/technique an offer any suggestions I can, for what it's worth. I generally ride with the CVC club all around the hills out here every weekend (and some week days., like the Tuesday evening Rock Store ride.)

While going to a triple would require a good bit of parts-replacing, you can probably get lower, gear-wise, with <$50, depending on what's on your bike now. It might be as simple as a new cassette (maybe $30?) or a new slightly smaller front chain ring.

My my buddy is a girl. :-) She's been a big influence in getting me over the big stuff as she was where I am now a few years ago. I'm in NorCal except for about every 6 weeks or so and the bike is always up here. But thanks for the invite. It does make me feel a little better when I hear that even experienced cyclists have trouble with the hard stuff too.
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Old 09-09-15, 12:01 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by shyonelung View Post
A lot of good advice and guidance here. Thank you. I've been challenging myself on a few more and bigger climbs since I posted this and finding a mixed bag so far. I watch other people go up hills and they seem to spin at a higher cadence than me. I don't have a triple on my bike -- but it's a compact (granny gear I've heard it called) and for my set up (Ultegra) it's the best I can do. To convert to a triple would cost me a few hundred according to my local bike shop folks (who are great people and have been very kind, helpful and supportive of me on my journey).
How many teeth are on your lowest (most teeth) gear on the cassette? If it is a 28t, you can get a little easier by going to a 32t. You may have to get a new chain and/or a longer rear derailleur, but that's normally cheaper than getting a new crank/brifter.

GH
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Old 10-03-15, 12:29 AM
  #22  
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Tomorrow's the day. I'll check in at the end. The only thing that really worries me at this point is that the last few months I haven't felt like myself. that my riding and my workouts have regressed. I'm hoping that it has more to do with the onset of annoying menopause symptoms and perhaps a bit of overtraining. I did a solo ride of 30 yesterday and it was the worst numbers I've ever done on that route, one I've done dozens of times. In my defense there was a really heavy headwind, something like 20 mph at least. And, since I'm trying to look at the bright side, there was a time not so long ago when I wouldn't even have gotten on my bike if the wind was going to be greater than 10 to 11 mph. I think there's actually a thread I posted once asking how one is capable of riding in heavy winds. And by heavy winds, obviously I wasn't talking about heavy winds :-) Anyway, I know I've come a long way and I wish I could've ridden this route all the way through at least once but c'est la vie, YOLO, I'm in. All in. My focus is to have fun and finish. Time be damned. See you tomorrow :-)
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Old 10-03-15, 02:15 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by shyonelung View Post
Tomorrow's the day. I'll check in at the end. The only thing that really worries me at this point is that the last few months I haven't felt like myself. that my riding and my workouts have regressed. I'm hoping that it has more to do with the onset of annoying menopause symptoms and perhaps a bit of overtraining. I did a solo ride of 30 yesterday and it was the worst numbers I've ever done on that route, one I've done dozens of times. In my defense there was a really heavy headwind, something like 20 mph at least. And, since I'm trying to look at the bright side, there was a time not so long ago when I wouldn't even have gotten on my bike if the wind was going to be greater than 10 to 11 mph. I think there's actually a thread I posted once asking how one is capable of riding in heavy winds. And by heavy winds, obviously I wasn't talking about heavy winds :-) Anyway, I know I've come a long way and I wish I could've ridden this route all the way through at least once but c'est la vie, YOLO, I'm in. All in. My focus is to have fun and finish. Time be damned. See you tomorrow :-)

Good Luck with the ride Shyonelung. In my experience its purely mental. Everything in life is purely mental! Many people will disagree but when push comes to shove those that are really strong (and finish) tell themselves that they can and will do it even when others who think they are physically superior pull up stumps early. I have ridden many long cycle tours fully loaded (1000km +) and at times tow my 19 month old daughter while on a cycling & camping tour and have had to make some very steep inclines and at other times ride some very long stretches in horrendous headwind and when I'm on the edge of bonking out I simply telly myself that I can and will ride home even if it takes a bit longer than expected,. Always it takes much longer than normal (and hurts) however I always make it to the end. You will do it, just tell yours self that its not the hardest thing you will (or have) done in life and push on!

Best wishes!
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Old 10-03-15, 04:36 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by shyonelung View Post
The most climbing I've done to date is 1700 feet over 2.9 miles up to Lake Sonoma near where I live.
Really?
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Old 10-03-15, 04:45 AM
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This thread popped up just when I needed it. I'm tackling the Arbuckles in Oklahoma today on a tour that starts in about 3 hours. I've been really nervous about the elevations, but thankfully have some friends that I'm riding with. Since I'm only just short of two months into cycling... I'm a bit freaked out, but I keep telling myself I can do this.

I can't wait to hear how you did!
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