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Went to Mt. Baldy Ski lifts Saturday........question.(7 posts)

Went to Mt. Baldy Ski lifts Saturday........question.BIG RING
Aug 18, 2003 10:58 AM
I went with three guys I regularly ride with in Orange County on all of the hard O.C. climbs (except Park), listed a few days ago on this website. Although we all made it, I REALLY suffered and came in well behind the others. I am wondering why that happened when, I handle these guys on other climbs very easily. Bad day? Lack of mental toughness? I don't know. What I do know is that I need to be able to sustain more pedaling power over seriously long and steep grades. So how do I accomplish this? Squats, leg press, intervals. My HR was not the limiting factor, I wasn't blowing up inside. It was a lack of power to the pedals. Going 5-6 MPH for a series of 10 switchbacks is demoralizing. That last 400 feet at 15% torqued me pretty bad after GMR. Any suggestions besides EPO? Thanks,
re: Went to Mt. Baldy Ski lifts Saturday........question.MrCelloBoy
Aug 18, 2003 11:41 AM
Sounds like you wee just off that day. Especially givven you usually "handle" these guys.
Maybe you should have used...CHRoadie
Aug 18, 2003 11:54 AM
...the SMALL RING.
I was living there CHRoadie....thanks for the tip.BIG RING
Aug 18, 2003 12:13 PM
I feel your pain.STEELYeyed
Aug 18, 2003 2:47 PM
I did that climb 2 years ago in February. Being out of shape and about 20 lbs. overweight and from Iowa,one of the flattest states in the country, I suffered hard, even with a triple. On my way back to my hotel in Ontario, I was chased by a Pitbull in Upland, and flatted about 2 miles from the hotel. I get down to SoCal twice a year but havn't brought the bike since. I think to get good at climbing, you just have to do it. Having a low BMI I think helps also, but I have found if I lose to much weight my power suffers. I think climbing is much like time trialing, in that whoever can sustain the highest power output at VO2 max. wins. Wieghtlifting is probably the best way to get your power up, do presses, and curls one leg at a time 3 sets of 15 reps along with some core strengh lifting.
re: Went to Mt. Baldy Ski lifts Saturday........question.closet roadie
Aug 18, 2003 9:00 PM
Just the fact you made it is an accomplishment.....that's a tough climb.

I actually thought that the Hogsback (right after the tunnels) and the stretch from the top of the village to Ice House Canyon was the worst part. And I was right there with you at 5-6 MPH on the switchbacks, in my triple! Oh, and don't tell anyone I did "S" turns on part of the 15% stretch at the top! But hey, I didn't walk any of it!

I also MTB with 3 friends who are way better than me. I can usually hang with them, but on long climbs they drop me like a bad habit. It can be humiliating, but I just have to set a pace that works for me, or I'll blow up. They usually wait for me at the forks in the trail (or draw arrows in the dirt so I don't get lost!)

What works for me seems to be more climbing on the bike. I usually try at least one decent road bike climb per week (at least 2,000'or so)and most of my MTB rides include quite a bit of climbing. I live just south of Baldy, so I can do these rides right from my house, which really helps.
I'm definitely pushing bigger gears than I used to, but still have a long way to go.

Best of luck......
no replacement for vertical displacement!BergMann
Aug 19, 2003 8:07 AM
Climbing on a bike is a very specific kind of effort. While squats, lunges, & leg presses will definitely help your overall leg strength (I do most of my lifting through the winter months), the only way to improve at climbing is to climb _a lot_.

If you're serious about improving, mountain interval training will teach your body how to go hard up hill when it has to, recover, and then do it again. Even if you don't have long, sustained climbs where you live, you can do intervals on smaller hills by riding back down during recovery periods and hitting the same hill again.

Good luck!