Was given a HRM as a gift, and used it on my ride yesterday. Never used one before, and was interested to see how the rate compared to how I usually judge effort by feel. 85% seemed to correspond to what I would normally consider a bit of an effort - starting to breathe harder & couldn't keep it up for a long period of time. When I got to the climbs on the ride (mostly shortish but steep), my heart rate consistently went to about 205bpm, with a max. recorded of 207. I'm thirty, so according to the 220-age thing, max. HR should be 190. Obviously, this is only a guideline, and there are lots of different formula about, but it still seems like the maximum I recorded was a bit high. I certainly wasn't pushing as hard as I could (it was a 100 mile ride, so I didn't want to tire out my legs), so I'm guessing if I did a max heart rate test, it would be a bit higher. For info. I'm 30, female, have been cycling for years and years, but have never 'trained' - I just go out for rides at the weekends (50 - 100 miles) & do a bit of touring. Quite like riding up hills. Do a bit of mountain biking & hill walking too. The question (finally) is: Is this normal? Or is my heart going to give out next time I ride up Cairn O'Mount?