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Rode my first "Bike Through the Forest and the Hills" this past weekend

Rode my first "Bike Through the Forest and the Hills" this past weekend

Old 01-30-11, 09:06 AM
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Thumbs up Rode my first "Bike Through the Forest and the Hills" this past weekend

All I have to say is the ending is brutal for a Houston rider. I normally only ride flats and this just kicked my butt with all the hills. I did the 33-mile route. The beginning is pretty fast, but it just evolves into a hill frenzy, leaving a big set of climbs (to me at least) in the last 7K or so (rarely getting out of my lowest gear). My legs were burning and I had to dig very deep to force myself to stay on the bike and not walk it. Overall elevation gained was about 1000ft. Not huge, but for a flat rider, it was an experience.

I liked the ride a lot. Not all that big as far as groups go, maybe 400-ish riders out there in Coldspring. Take it easy in the big group until the 33/46 and the 12/25 mile rides split, then things open up and the ride is much safer (i.e. smaller groups). I recommend that ride for anyone who wants to get in good with the hills. I think if you can force yourself around the 33 or 46 mile course, you can make the Houston to Austin climbs no problem!

I will do the ride again next year. Anyone else make it out there besides myself?
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Old 01-30-11, 09:39 AM
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When I first started riding more seriously, I was riding a single-speed and intentionally avoided hilly routes. But after a while, I figured out that if I was going to get better, I needed to seek out the hills rather than avoiding them, and that seems to have been a good strategy. I've been riding a geared bike the last 18 months or so, but I find that the average Texas hill isn't a problem. Wind is, and heat is, and too many hills too big are, but otherwise hills are just fine.

One thing I did with the single-speed was that I tried to never walk a hill, and think I just did that twice on small rises that were too steep. But whenever necessary, I would stop on the way up and rest a moment. Pacing also becomes an issue, and if you find yourself already exhausted at the bottom of the hill, you're not going to do yourself proud going up it, either. I ride with some groups that are basically just faster than I am, and there are times when I can hang with them and times when I need to do the ride at my speed.

I've been ever-so-slowly losing weight and that helps. Having a good light so I can ride year-round helps (I've got over 800 miles in January). Riding into the wind (either solo or pulling) sucks, but does make you stronger.
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Old 01-30-11, 10:44 AM
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Most of the rides I do are solo rides, so wind does not bother me as much as it used to.

I think I may drag my friend out there one Friday so he can get a taste of the route I did. I talked him into riding the MS150 with me this year, and I think the hills will be great for him to (1) build strength and (2) just know what it feels like to tackle several hills back to back.

It was harsh, but fun at the same time. I am a little behind you in that I have only logged around 400 miles this month. I need to pull it together and push myself if I am to see results. Those hilly rides are just the ticket.

I do need to change my style though. I was exhausted after a climb, yet I still powered myself down the other side, only to be faced with another big hill. I need to tell myself it is ok to be tired and take my time to the next hill, not hitting 25mph, and that way I can conserve some energy for the next climb. I just need to get out there more and gain experience.
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Old 01-30-11, 01:03 PM
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I still have some trouble with the pacing. Riding the single-speed got me used to going all-out on the uphills and then coasting on the downhills to recuperate. I don't go all-out on the uphills now, but don't work as hard going down as I do up, either. But I'm still learning, too. I'll catch other people on the uphills and get dropped on the downhills sometimes.
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Old 01-30-11, 03:38 PM
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We were planning on doing it on the tandem but slept in. Did a local group ride instead. I have never taken the long bike over any substantial hills but have a feeling that the coldspring ride would be tough.
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Old 01-31-11, 06:17 AM
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I really wanted to do the ride, but the 80 mi drive from home didn't lend itself to being there at 7 AM to register. I would like to do the route solo or with a small group. If anybody wants to do this route on a Saturday let me know.

I used to ride hills in Oklahoma. Tulsa has some steep ones. I miss them.
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Old 01-31-11, 08:16 AM
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I have ridden the hilly section several times before. It's one of my training routs in form Coldspring to the Lake Livingston dam then back. I must that is the fastest start I've ever had. I hit my max heart rate of 169 and max speed of 37 mph. Part adrenalin rush and wondering if my bike can take the strain.

I am a senior citizen and over weight by 60 lbs The bike and me went out at about 290 lbs (Clyde forum also). So I have done longer rides ( last Saturday I did 57 miles in Florida and 70 miles three weeks ago ( Porter to Montgomery) So I knew going out I was in for a 6 hr ride.

I sign up for the 46 mile rout and at noon I had made the u turn and was back to Shepherd at the rest stop. My second stop at this rest stop the sag wagon arrived and told me they were shutting the rest stops down and this was the last pick up for the SAG wagon. I declined

I rolled into Coldspring about ten after two pm. I had needed to rest on the last hill several times to keep my heart rate below 140. Although tired I thought the last climb into town was never this hard. I was right to think that. One of my rear spokes had become loose from the rough roads and the rim being out of round was rubbing on the break pad. ( just insult to injury i guess)

Apparently i was the last to finish the 46 mile route. I do like the ride but can do without the start


PS The reason I needed to finish , and turned down the SAG wagon. After the u turn and half way back to Shepherd two of the Kingwood Fillies were north bound riding a tandem and yelled across the road at a worn out bike rider "You cannn Do IT"
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Old 01-31-11, 03:40 PM
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JamesW2
Congratulations! I think it is great that you didn't give up.
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Old 01-31-11, 04:52 PM
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Hills are a good challenge for us flat land riders. I have ridden out there before. You must use your gears and spin up the hills. You must also pedal down the hill to use the momentum to help with going up the other side. Good exercise for the MS150.
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Old 01-31-11, 08:29 PM
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Thanks gtragitt
It is those darn "break pads" (brake) that get you every time. The ride shook my handlebars loose also. and for some reason when i think i have the front derailleur adjusted on the stand it would not drop onto the 28 ring on the first hill.
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Old 01-31-11, 08:29 PM
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Thanks gtragitt
It is those darn "break pads" (brake) that get you every time. The ride shook my handlebars loose also. and for some reason when i think i have the front derailleur adjusted on the stand it would not drop onto the 28 ring on the first hill.
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Old 01-31-11, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by aggarcia View Post
Hills are a good challenge for us flat land riders. I have ridden out there before. You must use your gears and spin up the hills. You must also pedal down the hill to use the momentum to help with going up the other side. Good exercise for the MS150.
I'll ride it with you if you want to do it in Feb.
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Old 01-31-11, 11:34 PM
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I was there for the ride too. I did the 25 mile ride, though I thought about the 33 miler route. I rode the next day in Deer Park and didn't know if those extra 8 miles would have killed me the next day. It was my first time too. Good practice for the MS150. Jamesw2- you're my hero. For some reason I have this "fear" of being the only person still riding. I don't know why. But it's bad because it keeps me from doing longer rides. I admire your determination.
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Old 02-01-11, 06:37 AM
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Jamesw2- you're my hero. For some reason I have this "fear" of being the only person still riding. I don't know why. But it's bad because it keeps me from doing longer rides. I admire your determination.[/QUOTE]

A long time ago they made a movie about the lonely feeling of a long distance runner ( something like that) I like being out their alone. Time stops for me and I don't think about being socially awkward, jobless, or my aches and pains. I see myself as riding off into the sunset with my trekking gear. ( then being able to afford a room at the Mariot)
I am not a hero. A hero is the dad that was killed, while riding his bike, the other day by a drunk driver. The dad was trying to save money by not having a car so his kids could have some college money

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Old 02-01-11, 05:02 PM
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If you liked this ride, you should sign up for Pedal Through the Pines in March. It's a great ride with lots of short and steep hills in Bastrop State Park. Very fun ride in a beautiful part of Texas. It will also be great prep for the MS Challenge Route since it's the "Challenge" part of the route.
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Old 02-01-11, 06:10 PM
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Excellent suggestion! Since it is a Saturday, that would work great for me too since I am stuck working every Sunday. Thanks for recommending the ride.
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