I'll do the 200k length of the Horribly Hilly Hundred next month.
10,000 ft of climbing & 126 miles!
There are 40 climbs from 50 feet (vertical) to 800 feet.
At 215 lbs with a 25 lbs bike, I'll have some work to do. I'll use a 50, 39 & 30t road triple with a 12-27 cassette and a Heart Rate monitor to help me avoid over-exertion. I'm planning on crawling up the hills in the 6 to 12 mph range.
The following weekend I have a flat 200 miles one-day event planned.
I did this ride many years ago, it wasn't "Horrible" back then, just Hilly. One of the guys in our bike club from Ft. Wayne did it on a fixie. Those downhills must have been murder.
Oh, that last hill looks like a fun way to end the day.
I rode 54 miles of the route yesterday. I think the route included all the big climbs. It was murder, I have years of hard work ahead of me before I become an elite cyclist... ...I need to lose 30 lbs too.
I would say that all the climbs are more than 10 percent and 3 of the climbs have near 20% sections. These are simple country roads, no effort was made to reduce the grade before they were paved. I lived in central New Hampshire when I was in high school, these hills in Wisconsin Kettle Moraine are steeper, if much shorter.
The third climb of the day was brutal. I was trying to climb it on the bike. I was using a 30t granny gear and a 27 rear cog. I was out of the saddle with my head and shoulders ahead of the handlebars. I was lifting the front wheel with every turn of the crank and I still could not maintain 6 mph. After walking about 200 yards to the summit, I got back on the bike. On the back side I hit 53 mph without a single turn of the crank and while keeping my head and upper body upright. Yes, those hills are steep, as steep as Regulator Johnson at Snowbird.
Michael, that sounds brutal. Fortunately, most of our climbs here are much shallower than that, although they can be pretty long. I've been working on my climbing, but I still can't carry the final pitch in my climb to Ward. It's only about 12-14% and a third of a mile long, but it comes at mile 15 of a 3400 foot climb. I don't even try to climb it anymore, just hop off the bike and walk for that bit, then get back on and finish the rest of the mile (8-11% grade).
I know what you mean about the weight thing. It's all about power to weight ratio in climbing. While I've dropped 60 lbs in a bit more than a year and am 25 lbs lighter than I was last year at this point in my training, I'd be a much stronger rider if I lost another 20 lbs. Guess that's the training goal for next season, as the workload is too high to focus on losing weight at this point in my training.
That ride was a complete wake-up call. I'll complete the 100k event on these same roads in 3 weeks, the 200k is an impossible goal at this point.
It is motivating.
Up to now, I was happy with my total miles ridden and my speed. I need to set more challenging goals.
Hills are completely unforgiving and will require me to do what you have been doing. I know you train like hell and have been cutting the weight. I also do not like to diet while riding longer rides during the riding season. I'll try to lose 30 lbs starting in October.
I should find a coach/trainer to help me set goals. My wife thinks I'm addicted.
I don't think there is any doubt you are addicted. I have an advantage in that I've got decent climbing within the range of my training rides. It's a bit harder to train for climbing in Chicago (that's where you live, right)?
Given how much you are training, it would be a mistake to make weight loss a priority right now.. You need the calories to recover. Starving yourself after a big ride only depletes your glycogen levels and makes it difficult to train. That being said, you can cut back on the low mileage days. I'm dropping about 5 lbs a month while in heavy training mode.
If you'd like, I can PM you the contact data for my coach. He works primarily by email (even though he is local to me) and trains quite a few folk, including some pros. He's the reason I am where I am both ride wise and weight wise.
One suggestion: will your crank take a 28 granny? You might try it; it could help on those steep climbs. I'm running a 32 grann (Q rings) with an 11/28 cassette. I've thought about going back to an 11/32 (which I ran last year) but haven't done it.
Your wife is right. You are addicted. How addicted are you? Let's suppose you needed to have surgery that would cost you either your ski season or your bike season. Which one would you choose to forgo?
Hey, re: the training.... don't forget this is supposed to be fun. I hate climbing, and I suck at it, but I got better at it when I decided that it hurts no matter what. Just go ahead and push and then it doesn't hurt for as long.
It's ironic that I began cycling to improve my skiing and now the tail wags the dog. I've spent most of my middle-aged years overweight and insufficiently active. I'm glad I've becoming fit again. Recreational cycling will produce fitness results that skiing alone cannot.
Fortunately, my knees are good, but I would want to recover in time for cycling. If I lived in Utah, that decision might be different.
There really isn't a bike season most places. It's very rare that you couldn't ride, if you really wanted to ride. I've only missed a couple of days this year. I rode this morning at 6am, it was coming down in buckets.