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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by aicabsolut View Post
    Well that route gave me a few panic attacks when I thought, "Am I going to have to walk? How do I stop and unclip uphill without falling? I can't walk. Must keep going. I'm going to die. Whew! Made it. Oh no, there's another one." There is one section that my friend calls the "racecourse section" because you can get in a big gear and really fly. It just about makes all the torture worth it.

    If there's decent parking at Rileys Lock, then that sounds like a good start point to me...Shortens the drive time a little too getting out there. And yeah, would be good not to cycle up a hill you have to downshift to get up in your car!
    Starting at Rileys Lock will add about 2.6 miles total and about 150 feet of climbing right off the bat, before your legs have had a chance to warm up. It's doable, but not much fun. Check it out.

    Totally O/T question, but your comment about River Road got me thinking.. If you were in a city where cycling isn't too common but the only long routes with not too much stop and go are on some pretty major causeways with 45-55 speed limits (usually meaning cars are going at least 60-65), would you ride them? (nevermind that one of them has a drawbridge that probably means walking across for the grooves). Would it matter if it was 2 lane or 4 lane (easier passing)? And mostly flat? I'm trying to think about what I could do when I go home to coastal Georgia over the winter holidays.
    I have no problem (mentally) cycling on two-lane roads with a double yellow in the middle, or even limited riding on a four-lane divided road, providing that it's pretty continuous without a lot of busy intersection, active business driveways, etc. Of course, many riders have no problem at all in commuter traffic, etc. It's all about what you can deal with.

    The issue of flat vs hilly is firstly an issue about ease of the biking effort and secondly an issue about visibility: how easily you can be seen by motorists. A flat but winding road may be more dangerous than a straight but hilly road.
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
    --===--

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDHillSlug View Post
    Starting at Rileys Lock will add about 2.6 miles total and about 150 feet of climbing right off the bat, before your legs have had a chance to warm up. It's doable, but not much fun.
    So, we get the worst out of the way right in the beginning. aicabsolut can either spin her way to the top of the killer hill with Nicole, or stop with me at the turnoff to Montevideo to take a breather before finishing it.

    I guess this means we're now officially doing a 27 miler on the 19th?
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDHillSlug View Post

    The issue of flat vs hilly is firstly an issue about ease of the biking effort and secondly an issue about visibility: how easily you can be seen by motorists. A flat but winding road may be more dangerous than a straight but hilly road.
    True..I hadn't thought of that. I was mostly thinking about pace difference and visibility coming over a hill, and how much time an approaching car has to pass, particularly when those "hills" are really bridges with no shoulders...not that a few mph on my part would make a lot of difference when they're going 50+.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalidurga View Post
    So, we get the worst out of the way right in the beginning. aicabsolut can either spin her way to the top of the killer hill with Nicole, or stop with me at the turnoff to Montevideo to take a breather before finishing it.

    I guess this means we're now officially doing a 27 miler on the 19th?
    Good lord that looks rough. Umm... whatever y'all want to do....I'm sure I could find the other possible parking locations. BTW, my name is Catherine.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalidurga View Post
    I guess this means we're now officially doing a 27 miler on the 19th?
    The Poolesville loop is about 22 miles. If we add Rileys Lock we're nearing 25 miles.

    We could still start from Poolesville HS and maybe add some distance where you've mentioned. It would not be much further to the start for you or me, but it would add considerably for Catherine.

    I knew that starting hill was an effort but I didn't realize how big an effort until I saw it all by its lonesome like this. Let's give up the big ride and just do hill repeats

    I guess I'd favor a less strenuous route where we'll have a better chance of staying together and biking with less stops. I really didn't mind waiting for you except that my legs kept tightening up.
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
    --===--

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

  6. #21
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    It takes my muscles ages to warm up, and they do tighten up quickly at a stop too, so some way of sticking together sounds like the best plan. I'm going to have a pretty long drive anyway, because I'm going to grab my friend who lives waay off in NE DC on the way, because she's less experienced driving around here and I'm spending all this time online with the maps. But the drive can be done. Are there any other convenient shopping centers, post offices, schools, along the loop?

    My main goal out of joining this ride is to be able to just get on and go for a decent amount of miles without all the slowdowns of intersections and multiuse trails. I need to work on endurance, while my trail riding often feels like spin class with lower heart rates.

  7. #22
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    The hills are alive with the sound of bicycles!

    May I butt in here with some unsolicited advice? And I only do this because I was (am?) the same as you regarding hills - and still not convinced I'm not an exercise-induced asthmatic.

    Big thing: Don't let hills psych you out. Think of them as a CHALLENGE!!! Embrace hills as your friend or they will continue to hurt you.

    Another thing: I forget if the Riley's Lock parking lot is gravel or paved, but it might be good to do a bunch of laps in a LOW gear, spinning, before you start your ride to warm up. If it's cold out, just think of how toasty warm you will be when you hit the top of that first hill!

    Yet another thing..and this is something my DH told me, and I told a good friend of mine to almost too much success (she's become a much better climber and now beats me up more than a few hills!). "Be like Lance" on the hills. If you've ever watched videos of Lance Armstrong climbing L'Alp de Huez, the one thing the annoucers will all comment on is how he spins his legs at a high cadence - especially compared to the famously big gear masher of Jan Ulrich (which is how I tend to climb...I'm Jan at heart).

    Lastly, gear down and pedal circles. Don't pedal UP and DOWN...pedal circles. Move your feet like you are scraping dog-doo off the bottom of your shoe. It's really the most efficient pedal stroke and is much kinder on the quads (and it calls the hamstrings into doing some work, those lazy buggers).

    (edit: Oh, and another thing the owner of my LBS told me: Don't have a death grip on the handle bars when you're climbing. Move your fingers like you're playing piano up on the flats of the bar to make sure you're really loose. It keeps your chest open and allows your lungs to fill with air to get oxygen to your muscles (Again...like Jan, I tend to climb in the drops. Ugh).

    Have fun most of all! It's not a race, so enjoy. Wish I could go with you, and I may just say "To h*ll with it!" and go anyway....we'll see what kind of miracle my chiro can work over the next two weeks.....

    Regina

    p.s. Gasp! Kali...I never even considered a 'bent! You had me thinking about that all day today.....Nothing against recumbents....but I hope not! I don't think I'm ready to take that plunge just yet!
    Last edited by 7rider; 11-07-2006 at 04:28 PM.

  8. #23
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    All great advice.

    Couple thoughts:

    When my legs aren't warm, my core temp sure gets all toasty and I sweat like a maniac on that first hill, but my quads are still saying "wha...?" I'm all in favor of a real warmup. (My physoitherapist agreed that my leg muscles take a WHILE to get warm and loose).

    If only I were built for climbing, it might not be such a fight.

    A challenge, eh? Is that a dare?

    It'd be great if you could come too, but please don't hurt yourself!!

  9. #24
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    May 2006
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    Bicyclists Anonymous confession time: My name is Tam and I love to take breaks on my rides...

    Seriously, though, I do like to stop or slow down periodically on my rides, not only to give my body a rest, but also just to soak in my surroundings and enjoy the view. Since you ladies are much more serious about training than I am, and there's more chance of stiff muscles because it's chilly out, and because I have some time constraints since I'm meeting my family that afternoon, I'm gonnna bow out of the ride on the 19th. I very much want to ride with you all in the future, but it might be better to wait until either the weather's warmer or sometime when a more leisurely ride (with breaks! ) would be appropriate for all of us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Regina View Post
    "Be like Lance" on the hills. If you've ever watched videos of Lance Armstrong climbing L'Alp de Huez, the one thing the annoucers will all comment on is how he spins his legs at a high cadence - especially compared to the famously big gear masher of Jan Ulrich (which is how I tend to climb...I'm Jan at heart).
    That's too funny... I can't tell you how many times I've thought about my form using the Lance/Jan comparison! I'm usually more of a Lance, spinning at 90rpm or more, but I think I've realized that my cardiovascular system just can't handle that on hills or for long distances. I have to figure out how to increase my strength in that area (without aerobics- Yuck!) or maybe spend more time as a Jan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Regina View Post
    p.s. Gasp! Kali...I never even considered a 'bent! You had me thinking about that all day today.....Nothing against recumbents....but I hope not! I don't think I'm ready to take that plunge just yet!
    Now, when you say you're not ready to take the plunge, I hope that means financially. On behalf of all the 'bent riders I see out there, I hope you're not saying it would be a "plunge" in training or fitness or riding style...
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalidurga View Post
    Bicyclists Anonymous confession time: My name is Tam and I love to take breaks on my rides...
    ....

    I'm gonnna bow out of the ride on the 19th. I very much want to ride with you all in the future, but it might be better to wait until either the weather's warmer or sometime when a more leisurely ride (with breaks! ) would be appropriate for all of us.
    Kali,

    I'm used to doing all of my riding alone and basically pushing myself pretty hard but I want to also do more fun rides with others where there is more emphasis on socializing and appreciation of my surroundings. I'm trying to separate these in my mind so that the latter does not turn into the former. When I'm on the road I guess I'm still in a go-go-go mentality. I need to work on this and I thought the Poolesville loop would be a good compromise. Any chance you'll reconsider?

    That's too funny... I can't tell you how many times I've thought about my form using the Lance/Jan comparison! I'm usually more of a Lance, spinning at 90rpm or more
    I'm working at being a Lance but have trouble sustaining the speed and cadence on longer/steeper hills.

    I'm still interested in doing the Poolesville loop on Sunday the 19th. I have an idea on how to start from Rileys lock and lessen the impact of that first hill. Take a look at the beginning of this route. It starts at Rileys Lock and then makes a small loop before heading down River Road and into that big hill. It's got it's own hill, but it's smaller and will give us momentum going into the big hill. It adds 2.1 miles to the start of the loop and 1.3 to the end if we go directly into Riley Lock from River Road. That would bring the total distance to about 25.7 miles.
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
    --===--

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalidurga View Post
    Bicyclists Anonymous confession time: My name is Tam and I love to take breaks on my rides...

    Seriously, though, I do like to stop or slow down periodically on my rides, not only to give my body a rest, but also just to soak in my surroundings and enjoy the view. Since you ladies are much more serious about training than I am, and there's more chance of stiff muscles because it's chilly out, and because I have some time constraints since I'm meeting my family that afternoon,
    That's a little bit of a contradiction...you can't stop too much if you've got to get to your family thing . But while I like to push myself, it's hard to do that on my own sometimes without others setting the pace, particularly since i'm a no-ipod while riding person (music would help me keep cadence).

    But there are 2 main reasons for doing a group ride. 1) Training and having people to push you and to chase, or 2) a more social ride where the goal is to have fun, try new routes, and learn from each other. I'm plenty happy to do #2. I have no problems slowing down. Slowing down to coast a bit or even make a quick snack stop (FYI, I haven't mastered the eating and drinking thing on the bike yet, but I'm slowly getting better at taking my hands off to do other stuff) and sitting down at a coffee shop or taking a nap are 2 different things as far as my leg muscles are concerned.

    I thought this sounded like a good compromise too, since we don't really know each other's fitness and training levels, climbing skills, etc. Not really the point to treat it like a team ride, right? I also hope you'll reconsider.

    I also wish I had Lance's legs, and I try my hardest to spin as fast as I can. But when I get really frustrated, I sometimes shift up and get a little mash-y just so I can cover a little more ground per stroke. Bad I know but I hate going so slow.

    I like that proposed start. So would we go up all the way and back then turn left to start the rest of the loop or just add that Battlesquare part on at the end?

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by aicabsolut View Post
    I thought this sounded like a good compromise too, since we don't really know each other's fitness and training levels, climbing skills, etc. Not really the point to treat it like a team ride, right? I also hope you'll reconsider.

    I like that proposed start. So would we go up all the way and back then turn left to start the rest of the loop or just add that Battlesquare part on at the end?
    I propose that we start at Rileys Lock, do that little loop through Seneca Road, turn left onto RIver Road and then Right onto Friendship. We'll then do the 22 mile Poolesville loop, take a left onto River Road and a right onto Rileys Lock. It should be a little under 26 miles. If this is OK, I'll plot it into Routeslip and send a link later.
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
    --===--

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

  13. #28
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    Riding with other people is also new to me. We'll all have to adjust to different elements of group riding, but at least we can work on it together.

    Where hills are concerned, I think I'm the opposite of most people. Not being warmed up doesn't seem to be as much of a problem for me. I felt like my stops were shorter on the couple of hills at the beginning of last weekend's ride. I had more trouble with the hills later in the loop, when I was fatigued. I'm sure I'll still have to stop partway up the first killer hill, so maybe when you guys turn right to warm up, I'll go ahead and turn left and see how far I get before you catch up. Since the rest of the ride is less elevation than the Peach Tree Loop, hopefully we'll be able to stick together with no problems.

    Now, here's where the contradiction of my time constraint comes in: What time are we planning to meet and start riding?

    (After all this, just watch Mom Nature render it all moot by giving us rainstorms on the 19th... )
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

  14. #29
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    Here's the route with the start from Rileys Lock. I plotted it that we start by staying on River Road and do Partnership Road at the end. It could be replotted the other way.

    The extra stuff at the start and end takes a route that was averaging 40 feet of climbing per mile and brings it up to 50 feet. I guess the good news is that once the starter hill is out of the way the rest of the ride is easier.

    Kali, what time do you need to be packing up and leaving from the parking area? We can work back from there figuring 2.5-3 hours total riding time to get a start time.

    Catherine, is there a time that would be too early for you with having to pick up your friend?

    BTW I'm not trying to take over the ride so if it may seem that way I apologize. I just want to ride!
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
    --===--

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

  15. #30
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    That loop looks fine to me.

    I'm not saying later hills aren't hard, but a snack before them helps the fatigue problem. Be my guest chugging on up that first hill without me

    Usually, I'll leave 7:30-8am for a ride. But if I can snack in the car, I could leave home a little earlier than that. Going way out to NE and back northwest would make my drive hellish--I'll see if I can convince Morghan to just drive herself (I don't think we can take both bikes in one car anyway). At any rate, I could see potentially an hour or more for the drive. So 9ish might be safer. But really, I used to get up at 5 for horse shows, so I could deal if we need to get going earlier. Just work backwards from when Kali needs to leave. I'll figure out transportation for us DC kids.

 

 

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