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2007-07-16 12:48:53.340468+00 by ebradway 12 comments

I finally got out Sunday for a group bike ride. The bike shop in the town I live in, Niwot Cycles, hosts regular rides. I went out with the group that's supposed to be a step above the "stroll in the park" level. I was the only fat-tire rider but I was confident. My bike is outfitted for commuting with combo-tires. We were going about 40 miles, so I took it easy on the way out at about 15mph. On the way back, I tried to keep up with th e faster rides at about 22mph. I found an interesting scale of sensation:

At 15mph, I feel pain in my ass from the saddle.
At 18-20mph, I feel pain in my quads.
At 22mph, I feel pain in my chest.

I'm going to try to make it a regular ride. It's very convenient for me and they do a barbeque after everyone gets back. I might also look into renting a road bike!

[ related topics: Food Bicycling ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-16 14:41:45.888243+00 by: meuon

Good experiencial comments. 20+mph is something I have to work up to, but once my body gets used to it.. (after a 5+ mile warmup), it feels really good. I enjoy riding the riverwalk to the dam.. (5-10mph for about 8miles) and then taking Amnicola highway back to downtown, as fast as I can. The air rushing by keeps me cool, and doing 16-30mph (slight rolling hills) keeps me going. I don't get chest pain, but I do run out of breath eventually and have to slow down. My ankles hurt first, but I get no butt-pain, wrist pain.. etc.. on my big 'bent.

And what's the max tire pressure on your tires? my MTB has some armadillo's that run at 75psi and it rolls almost like a road bike. I run 75+ on my 'bent as well.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-16 15:27:28.276043+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I'm on a diamond frame upright, but if it's been enough days that I'm down to 80 PSI or so on the tires and I forget to top 'em off, I really feel it.

Eric, are you on a 'bent or an upright? And I know at least one mountain bike rider out this way who'll go out and toy with the C level road bikers, pulling a pack upright. But he's got amazing calves.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-16 17:02:24.322421+00 by: ebradway

I'm on an early 90s Diamond Back MTB with a cro-moly frame. The tires are fat but the center-line is almost smooth. I keep them inflated to about 65psi (the max rating). I learned about tire pressure on my 'bent. With all my weight on the back, the little 20" rear wheel would bog down unless I kept the pressure high - usually at the 115psi max rating on the tires.

But I sold the 'bent because I just wasn't using it. It was too much of a hassle to load on the bus. I take my new (to me) bike with me every day. It shortens my commute by 15 minutes each way.

I got this bike through Boulder Community Cycles' Earn-a-Bike program. For 15 hours of volunteer time, I got to refurbish a bike for myself. I'll probably go back to do it again to build a road bike if I keep this up. I won't buy a road bike until I'm riding at least twice a week.

The chest pains are good ones - just cardiovascular stress. I found it interesting that I didn't really feel much cardiovascular effort below 20mph but I did feel effort in my quads. That, of course, is just the fact that my quads are that strong yet.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-16 17:07:54.894543+00 by: meuon [edit history]

My Cool Neon Electroluminescent Wire order showed up over the weekend.. Time to light up some bikes for evening rides :) Not aerodynamic, but lots of fun.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-16 19:48:03.457071+00 by: jeff [edit history]

I have to admit I'm jealous. I'd like to borrow your legs for a week, Eric! I'm walking/hiking/climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro the second week in August.

I just got into bicycling along with my girlfriend about two months ago (thanks for all of the recommendations, Dan!), and I've never approached sustained 20mph riding for any length of time. I've been limiting my riding to about 12-14mph for about 20 miles. I'm going to try to get at least one 40-mile ride in before August. Most of my "training" has been hiking with a boots and a weighted backpack. I can already foresee "feeling the pain" at 15,000 feet, and at 19,340 feet Kili is nearly a full mile higher than any of the fourteeners I've hiked/climbed to date (Mt. Whitney, Longs Peak).

Not having put much effort into training, I'm going to really be cognizant of hydration levels and proper altitude acclimatization.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-16 20:27:52.307128+00 by: ebradway

Jeff: Yep. Long's is about as good a prep for Kili as anything on this continent. You have to go up fast and early. And, as you know, it's not so much strength as it is acclimatization. No secrets there. Drink lots of water and avoid fatty foods. I have heard that Viagara can speed up acclimatization but haven't tried it yet.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-16 21:36:53.659019+00 by: topspin

Diamox might come in handy, Jeff.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-16 21:37:32.993493+00 by: jeff [edit history]

Boy do I remember "fast and early" when climbing Longs, Eric. I think we were at the trailhead at 3:15 a.m. and moving by 3:30 (in order to avoid the possible afternoon storms and lightning strikes). As it turned out, we had a beautiful day with no storms forming at any time. Viagara? I'll have to ask Diane if I need that. <grin>

The early morning wind at the Keyhole that particular day was "something to be felt," and turned one of our hikers back down the mountain (I'm not sure, but when we passed through it could have been sustained 30+ mph). That was a fun climb, with some light class II/III scrambles thrown in near the summit.

I will probably obtain some Diamox for this climb, Topspin. For Mt. Whitney and Longs Peak, I made sure I was well hydrated and took baby aspirin every couple of hours. That may also work well for Kili, but I'd like to have some Diamox on hand.

But for now, I'm going to just keep pedaling ...

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-17 12:20:31.906967+00 by: jeff [edit history]

As a footnote, I did no training for Mt. Whitney (Oct, 2001) and was living at 50 feet of altitude at the time (Novato, CA). For Longs Peak (Sep, 2002), I trained for about a month, living at 200 feet of altitude (Milford, CT). For Kili, I've been training for about two months, living at 850 feet altitude (Dublin, OH).

When climbing Longs Peak with my friend Barry I was quite envious. He lives in Evergreen, CO, and trained and bicycled regularly at just under 8,000 feet. But at the end of the day, I truly believe that proper hydration and altitude acclimatization during the ascent ARE the two key determinants of success, along with at least a basic level of health and fitness. The "emotional drive to summit" will also help. I will need all of that for Kili.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-17 16:18:54.14032+00 by: ebradway

I was looking at the WikiPedia entry on Kili. Your final camp is around 15K feet. That's good - especially if you can get a couple days there.

I live at 5K feet in Boulder County and still feel it when I go above 11K. I did the math once, you lose 3% of your available oxygen for every 1000 feet of elevation gain (but it's not actually linear, so it's more of an estimate). So, for me, going from 5K to 11K puts me at an 18% loss of available oxygen (compared to what my body is used to). For you, going from 850 feet to 18000 feet puts you at a loss of over 50% of your available oxygen. That's pretty extreme.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-17 16:39:10.721976+00 by: jeff [edit history]

Eric--you're right, we're taking the "easy" Marangu route.

Our final ascent will begin from the Kibo hut at about 15.5K feet (just under 4K feet elevation gain on summit day; that will be brutal). We're taking an extra day (optional) to acclimatize at the Horombo hut at 12.5K feet (I wish it were higher). Other than that, we'll be up and down the volcano in 6 days total. I'll probably be "hurting" during and after! I'm preparing myself emotionally for that probability.

Here is a link to the climb organizer. Click on the "Climbing Kili" link on the left side of the page for more details.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-19 12:04:40.584109+00 by: jeff [edit history]

Update: (I hate hijacking this thread, but I can't post my own).

Due to some kind of disconnect with the outfitter, Paresh and I are now going with a smaller group using the less-traveled Rongai route to the summit (we found this out yesterday). Once we get to Kibo Camp it's the same route as Marangu to the summit and back down. Here is a thread where I've been posting more details about the adventure (no, I'm not taking one of my motorcycles to the top).

The 4x4 ride to the trailhead is now pretty lengthy (might take more than several hours), and parallels the border with Kenya, just inside Tanzania, before heading SW to the north flank of the volcano. The good news is that we will be able to experience the Rongai route going up, and the Marangu route going down. Summit day (ascending from Kibo Camp to the summit and descending to Horombo Camp in one LONG day beginning at midnight) is going to be brutal, regardless. Here is a somewhat accentuated elevation profile of the Rongai route:

We also found out that we'll be tenting instead of sleeping in huts. This should be quite interesting.