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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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A question:

How do you get better at riding hills? My commute to work is great, except that for 2 blocks right near the end, there are steep hills. For now, I'm just walking my bike up them, but I feel like kind of a tool, so I'd like to work up to being able to ride up them.

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Do you ride a ss/fixed? If so what gear ratio are you running? Are you getting out of the saddle to tackle the hills? I would recommend riding up them until you cant, then slowly progressing until you can make it up them.

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:33 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
A question:

How do you get better at riding hills? My commute to work is great, except that for 2 blocks right near the end, there are steep hills. For now, I'm just walking my bike up them, but I feel like kind of a tool, so I'd like to work up to being able to ride up them.


You take a deep breath, put The Runaways on your iPod, and KICK asparagus.

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Not NOT A Furry
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jordanpattern wrote:
A question:

How do you get better at riding hills? My commute to work is great, except that for 2 blocks right near the end, there are steep hills. For now, I'm just walking my bike up them, but I feel like kind of a tool, so I'd like to work up to being able to ride up them.


yes, basically what they said up there- ride more hills is the simple answer!
a little bit further, a little bit faster each subsequent time you come to the same hill. keep that in mind and don't beat yourself up if you have to get off and push some, you'll soon build up the fitness/strength to be able to ride them with (relative) ease!

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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Ugh. I thought that would be the answer, but was hoping there were a few tricks to it!

I'm in pretty good overall shape - I feel like with the hills, the biggest thing is that I'm carrying a lot of weight. That makes it harder to stand up, for one, and is just harder, I guess. Oh well. I'll tough it out!

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:32 pm 
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Those cycling muscles are, in my experience, only improved on by more cycling. But, you'll be surprised at how fast they develop and you make progress! I mean, I'm no fitness expert, but we're close in age and it sounds like you're in better shape than me!


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:57 pm 
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youll have to get use to standing up and cranking with weight on you back and/or panniers. It is a bit different at first but youll get the hang of it. Nonethless if you have the wrong gear ratio youll be hardpressed to make it up certain hills.

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:12 pm 
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And if you get tired halfway through, no shame stopping and walking, and then trying again next time. Cycling isn't an end goal, it's a continual process, you're always doing/learning/trying something new!

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:26 pm 
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maygles wrote:
And if you get tired halfway through, no shame stopping and walking, and then trying again next time. Cycling isn't an end goal, it's a continual process, you're always doing/learning/trying something new!


Yep.

I feel you on the hills. People think LA is all flat...and it is for the most part, but we also have serious hills in certain parts of the city. There is one on my route home from the northern part of the city to the southern that gets me almost every time. Some days, if I've had a good amount of coffee, I can get 1/2 way through it. Other days, I just get off my bike before it gets bad.

Standing up while peddling tends to really help me.

It really depends on the hill, too. Some hills, especially in SF, are intensely steep. There are hills that even messengers have to avoid or navigate around. I have no idea how steep your hill is...but maybe it's steeper than you think. Give yourself credit for tackling it.

Also, it's probably not a bad idea to see if there are alternate routes to your work or home that avoid the bad hills. Maybe you have to ride more to get around them, but if you aren't in the mood for steep hills, at least you have options!

If your city has a special route just to get around hills, you should already be patting yourself on the back:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wiggle


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:12 pm 
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It's really just practice. I say this after some climbs today, where I was damning every christmas cookie and skipped workout. I was measuring my progress in FEET sometimes. It gets easier, I swear!

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:54 pm 
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There's been a lot of complaining in Chicago about parking difficulties ever since the blizzard, but I don't see what all the fuss is about. :) I've thoroughly enjoyed the winter riding, I'm almost sad that its going to start warming up pretty soon, and then the bike lanes will be full of other bikers again. Almost, but not quite.
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bike on snow by c_topps, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:34 am 
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Hail Seitan!
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Bluebird! I have been biking in Chicago nearly every day this winter, and...I really like it! Other than having to put so much more time into maintaining my chain and stuff. (Last winter I had a chain guard but it broke this fall and for some silly reason I haven't gotten a new one.) Since lots of streets are down a lane, traffic has been terrible since the blizzard, but it doesn't affect my commute time on a bike. Although drivers have been just god-awful...up until this past week I've only gotten positive winter biking responses, but lately people have been shouting rude things at me, and doing such reckless and inconsiderate things with their vehicles.

But! I am so much warmer this winter than in previous winters, and in such a good mood generally because I'm still getting outside and exercising and taking in what sun is available every day. Even biking to work the other day when it was -11, I hardly noticed. It helped that a cute bike mechanic gave me a pair of goggles recently so my brain didn't freeze. I am now a convert to the "no such thing as too cold, just inappropriately dressed" school of thought. Last winter, when I only forced myself to bike maybe once a week throughout December and January, I was so over cold winters and ready to move to the west coast. But this winter I am just not bothered by the cold and am totally loving the snow. Yay winter biking!


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:17 pm 
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I'm also pretty sad the snow is going away. There was nothing better than riding home from work at night through a snowfall when the streets were empty. The snow is surely going to melt this week so I'm accepting winter's end. It'll probably still get in another round of cold, but without the snow it's over for me. On the upside we can get out our other bikes and start getting them ready for spring and summer.

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:53 pm 
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as much as riding in the winter is fun... i like being able to throw on some clothes and jump on the bike, rather than spending 10+ minutes getting ready for the cold climate. im ready for warmer weather :D

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:12 pm 
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Location: Soy City
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This is my Goodwill find of the century! It's a Sekai 1000 racer that I found at a Goodwill shop in Springfield for less than $20. It was a little dusty but in perfect working condition. There's no date on it but googling around places it around late 1970's to early 1980's. I've been staying off of it because of the snow and ice but it's dry now so I rode it around campus between classes all day!

This thing is amazing. So much lighter and faster than my mountain bike! I just need to do something about the brake handles, the way they're positioned make it really awkward to use them.


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:38 pm 
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brian wrote:
Image
This is my Goodwill find of the century! .


Amazing luck! I'm hoping to find something cheap at a yardsale or on craiglist this spring.


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:00 pm 
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brian wrote:
Image
This is my Goodwill find of the century! It's a Sekai 1000 racer that I found at a Goodwill shop in Springfield for less than $20. It was a little dusty but in perfect working condition. There's no date on it but googling around places it around late 1970's to early 1980's. I've been staying off of it because of the snow and ice but it's dry now so I rode it around campus between classes all day!

This thing is amazing. So much lighter and faster than my mountain bike! I just need to do something about the brake handles, the way they're positioned make it really awkward to use them.

sweet find! Those brake levers are in an odd place.

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:08 pm 
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Chip Strong
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brian wrote:
Image
This is my Goodwill find of the century! It's a Sekai 1000 racer that I found at a Goodwill shop in Springfield for less than $20. It was a little dusty but in perfect working condition. There's no date on it but googling around places it around late 1970's to early 1980's. I've been staying off of it because of the snow and ice but it's dry now so I rode it around campus between classes all day!

This thing is amazing. So much lighter and faster than my mountain bike! I just need to do something about the brake handles, the way they're positioned make it really awkward to use them.

That is a gigantic pie plate.

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:41 pm 
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Eric. wrote:
as much as riding in the winter is fun... i like being able to throw on some clothes and jump on the bike, rather than spending 10+ minutes getting ready for the cold climate. im ready for warmer weather :D

I'm with you. It was in the 50s here today. I had a wonderful ride to class!


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:54 pm 
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katiejayne wrote:
sweet find! Those brake levers are in an odd place.

Yeah, I've already lowered the whole handlebar assembly into a proper place. Feels better!
Imitation Of Chris wrote:
That is a gigantic pie plate.

I had to google what you meant by this. Apparently my bike is an affront to humanity!


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:53 pm 
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i do love this weather but dont liek the preparation when riding into work and its in the 20s-30s and leaving work (if i make it out before the sun goes down) when its in the 50-60s. too many layer choices! but just a jersey could come out today for the ride home... w NO base layer??! :D

was thinking too... maybe we should show off our stable of bike/s at home up, and maybe our normal rides are, ect. get to know everyone a bit better.

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:02 pm 
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That bike is a cutie patootie!

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:11 pm 
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Eric. wrote:
i do love this weather but dont liek the preparation when riding into work and its in the 20s-30s and leaving work (if i make it out before the sun goes down) when its in the 50-60s. too many layer choices! but just a jersey could come out today for the ride home... w NO base layer??! :D



I work nights, so I had the opposite problem this winter. Weather that seemed reasonable at 5 PM was a different story at 1 AM this winter. And yeah, not layering up these past few days has been amazing!


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:03 pm 
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ahh, im not sure which would be better now... it hasnt been bad when i leave my place at 6am, get to work around 7am and leave work around 5pm, but now with the weather i keep wanting to ditch out a bit early and catch some rays :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bicycling Badazzes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:32 pm 
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Today was perfect. My winter bike is done for the season and my Surly is back out. I forgot how much better it is to ride a bike that fits. Even though it's supposed to snow in a few days I know spring is right around the corner.

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