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White rose classic...... general cheering up needed.

Discussion in 'Audax, Brevet and Randonnee' started by andyfromotley, 20 Apr 2008.

  1. andyfromotley

    andyfromotley New Member

    Location:
    Otley, west yorks
    Hi Guys,

    am doing the WRC (short option) to get fit, lose weight.... yada yada yada.

    Despite being a million miles away from where i was when i started training, am still a million miles away from where i want to be. Did 38 miles to Burnsall this morning but the hills are KILLING me, and theyre nowhere near as big as the ones on the course.
    apart from first 10lbs, weight remains steadfastly around middle!!!

    Cheer me up and tell me i'll do it, coz for the first time i am beggining to doubt myself. :smile:

    andy
     
  2. ColinJ

    ColinJ Slow Hill Climber/Station lift avoider!

    Okay - Andy, you'll do it!

    My climbing hasn't been great since I put weight on, but I can still get over virtually anything in the North of England without walking because I've got adequately low gears on my Basso. I've down-geared to a 52/39/30 triple chainset and use a 14-28 cassette. If you don't have gears approaching that low, I'd strongly recommend that you get your setup changed. It will make your cycling much more pleasurable so you'll hit the hills more often, which will get you fitter, which will help you lose weight, which will mean... that you could switch back to your original gearing! If you already have ultra low-gears... er, you just need to keep on riding until it gets easier.
     
  3. andyfromotley

    andyfromotley New Member

    Location:
    Otley, west yorks
    Hi Col.................. errrrrrrmmm....... granny ring fitted and abused i'm afraid!:smile:

    Plus as you live in Hebden Bridge .............please tell me that there is at least one hill in that town that you cant get up or i really will kill myself. My car weeps when we arrive there!

    thanks for the encouragement though

    andy
     
  4. ColinJ

    ColinJ Slow Hill Climber/Station lift avoider!

    Okay then... I have managed to get up Mytholm Steeps a few times, but have also been forced to dismount on other occasions - last year's Pain in the Pennines being one. I think I could just have cleared the 25% section but it was very wet and I was afraid to stand for fear of my rear wheel sliding out. That's where picture 24 in this collection was taken. I uploaded the pictures in the wrong sequence, so if you want to view as a slideshow, go to the last picture and play the slideshow backwards. Even very fit guys found that hill tough!
     
  5. Disgruntled Goat

    Disgruntled Goat New Member

    Andy, I would like to say it's ok but I won't. The WRC is a beast and will hurt you if you are not prepared.

    Why not opt for one of the shorter routes - they are still challenging and they will set you up nicely for next year.
     
  6. andyfromotley

    andyfromotley New Member

    Location:
    Otley, west yorks
    ohhhhhhhhhhhhh bugger
     
  7. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Where's that, then, Colin? The only candidate I can see on Tracklogs is the climb from Luddenden up Tower Hill, so I assume it's on a backroad the OS doesn't put gradient arrows on.

    Just so that I can pedal over there, look at the bottom 100 yards, and slink back home to Leeds.
     
  8. ColinJ

    ColinJ Slow Hill Climber/Station lift avoider!

    There are some nice steep climbs round Luddenden. The National Hill Climb championships have been held there.

    Mytholm Steeps is the local name for the climb up to Blackshaw Head from the A646 just on the Todmorden side of Hebden Bridge. You can see the start of it in picture 1, Church Lane is the name of the road. It's tough at the bottom, probably about 15%, but if you have a go, be sure to pace yourself - there is a 25% stretch halfway up! Beyond that it feels relatively easy compared to what you have just done, though there is still a fair climb up to the village above.

    Here it is on Multimap.
     
  9. andyfromotley

    andyfromotley New Member

    Location:
    Otley, west yorks
    errmmmmmmm .. hello ....... the title was 'cheer me up' !!!!
     
  10. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Well that rules it out for ASC1951 - he's genetically wired to be incapable of pacing. Something to do with "we never got an empire through pacing...." etc.

    But Andy: perhaps you need to take a more long term approach to this? Keep riding, keep eating less (the key to weight loss) and you will eventually get better at hills. If this improvement doesn't coincide with your set targets, perhaps it's the targets that were unrealistic?

    But don't beat yourself up over it. Break it down into smaller, more easily measurable improvements. Tackle each bit in turn. One thing to check if your weight is remaining constant is that you haven't upped your calorie intake because all the exercise is giving you an appetite! It's easily done.
     
  11. ColinJ

    ColinJ Slow Hill Climber/Station lift avoider!

    Okay Andy, I'll have one last go. You've asked for it, but please forgive the length of this post. I've told the story before online, but I hope it helps to motivate you!

    I cycled as a child but got my bike nicked from the school bike sheds and that was that until...

    [Fast forward to 1989] I had an office job, spent all day sat in front of a computer, got a lift to and from work. The only exercise I got was walking up and down stairs at home, and the stroll to and from my mate's car in the company car park. I piled the weight on until I reached 16 st 5 lbs. One day we pulled up at the car park and our usual spot was occupied. We ended up at the wrong end of the car park and I started whingeing about the 'long walk' to the office block. Suddenly, a thunderstorm broke out, and we were getting blasted by torrential rain. My mate was a skinny guy 25 years older than me and he took off like a scalded cat. I tried running after him but my legs were turning to jelly and I was gasping for breath. I had to slow to a walking pace.

    Eventually, I squelched my way into the office block. I was so out of breath that it took me minutes to climb a few flights of stairs to my floor. By the time I got to my desk I was red-faced and completely knackered. My nearing-retirement-age mate was looking relaxed sitting at his desk working. He'd had time to make himself a cup of coffee and boot his PC by the time I got there. I had to face facts - I was 33 years old and terribly unfit; my lifestyle was slowly killing me...

    I decided that something had to be done. I'd heard about a new craze imported from the USA, called Mountain Biking. It sounded fun. Well, here in West Yorkshire there aren't many mountains but there are hundreds of big hills! Bridleways all over the place. Perhaps I'd get an MTB? I decided to try one out first so I went to see a guy who had MTBs for hire. I looked forward to the day of my first MTB ride, but when it came to it there were several problems:

    (1) The bike I hired was awful. It weighed about 40 lbs and nothing worked properly. The gears kept slipping and the brakes hardly slowed me down.

    (2) It was a really hot summer day. I got sunburnt and really dehydrated.

    (3) As I said above - I was 33 years old and terribly unfit!

    The ride almost killed me and put me right off mountain biking.

    I watched the Tour de France on TV that July and decided that a skinny-tyred racer was what I really needed. I got on the train and went to Harry Hall's famous bike shop in Manchester. A few hours later I came back with a nice new red racing bike. I jumped on it at Hebden Bridge station, wondering whether all the stuff I'd read about modern bikes was true. 10 seconds later I knew the answer! I hadn't ridden a road bike since I was a teenager and this machine was vastly better than the bikes I'd had then, and compared to the MTB tractor I'd suffered recently - it was like it had a motor - fantastic!

    Still, in reality, I was the motor and once I got off the flat valley roads, I had your problem Andy - the hills were killing me! You think you suffer uphill - read my story of The Trauma of Trawden! I had a long way to go...

    I stuck at it and things got better. At times, it was hard work, but here I am in my 50s, fitter than I was aged 33. I did the ride of my life last summer, if you want to know more, read Hebden Bridge to Coventry by bicycle.

    I've been complaining recently about being 'unfit' after a long winter layoff, but I'm going to jump on my bike this evening and go out on the hills for a couple of hours with some mates and I know that I'll be okay. It takes time to build up fitness, but it also takes time to lose it.

    I've even grown to love mountain biking too, but it took riding a decent MTB to get me interested again.

    Andy, if I can do it, you can too! It takes time and hard work, but it is worth it - keep on pedaling! What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

    PS The first time I went up Mytholm Steeps, I fell off my bike on the steep section. I lay in the road still attached to my bike as cars full of giggling children drove past me. I decided that I'd got a bit ahead of myself and avoided the climb for a while but when I was ready I went back and bagged the beast.
     
  12. andyfromotley

    andyfromotley New Member

    Location:
    Otley, west yorks
    wow.cool story. Thats much more the inspirational type of stuff i had in mind.
    thanks
    andy
     
  13. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Ah, got it. God, it looks hideous. Even worse than Park Rash and that stinker from Lofthouse over to Masham, both of which made my eyes water last year.

    I think I may have done it years ago on an MTB - descending. I might have to train up. :biggrin:
     
  14. ColinJ

    ColinJ Slow Hill Climber/Station lift avoider!

    I climbed Park Rash in autumn 2006 and I think that was harder. When I get to the steep section of the Steeps, I think that I can just about do it but I might have to stand. When I looked up Park Rash, I gulped and got straight out of the saddle without even thinking about it and I normally climb sitting down. There were a lot of sightseers about and they looked gobsmacked to see someone riding up the climb on a bike. I even got spontaneous applause from one family. I just smiled at them, shook my head and said "I think I'm getting too old for this!"

    Here's a picture, not of me, taken on an 'easier' section of Park Rash, higher up. The bottom bit is the real killer!

    a072.jpg

    I did Park Rash on a 200 km route of my own choosing. It was spectacularly hard but rewarding - Hebden Bridge, Oxenhope, Haworth, Oakworth, Lane Ends, Broughton, Gargrave, Grassington, Kettlewell, Park Rash!, Coverdale, East Witton, Abbey Hill, Leighton, descent to Lofthouse (I remember thinking that it looked tough on the way down!), Pateley Bridge, Craven Moor, Grassington, Burnsall, Bolton Abbey, Addingham, Silsden, Steeton, Keighley, Haworth, Oxenhope, Pecket Well (was going to descend to HB there but realised I'd be short of my 200 km target so I diverted...) Old Town, Midgley, Luddenden Foot, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge. Phew!!!
     
  15. andyfromotley

    andyfromotley New Member

    Location:
    Otley, west yorks
    colin... wil you marry me?