Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Our "Hilly" Local Route

We're getting ready for a ride in hills at the end of the month.  Since Highlands County is at the southern end of the Lake Wales Ridge, we have only a few climbs available here.  "Hilly Florida" is up west of Orlando by Clermont and Mt. Dora.

A View of Lake June from North Main Street
We've added a local loop route through Lake Placid to do a 30-plus mile ride with the best hills in the area.  Those are all found in a 3 mile stretch on North Main Street between downtown Lake Placid and Highway 27.  Our route does two loops of the hilly section of Main Street before heading back toward home with a 10 mile loop near our little airport.  It's a nice route, and it is the closest thing to hill climbing practice available.

We used to live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northeast Georgia.  Hill training was easy there: there was no flat area to ride.  Luckily, once you learn to climb, you never really loose the skill. But unless you are really good, climbing is never pretty.  You simply find your rhythm and don't rush and over-extend yourself.  It let's you pedal up any climb.  (If a lot slower than you might like.)  The more climbing you do, the better you get, and the faster you go up the hills.

We felt pretty good this morning about our beginning of season climbing efforts.  We did the hilly stretch about 10 miles into our ride, and it wasn't much of a strain.  I imagine I'd have a different opinion if we'd done 30 miles first, but for now we are happy.

We also made the final adjustments to our new Adamo road saddles.  I put the seatpost adjustment up a quarter inch, and put the saddle itself farther back, not quite to it's farthest position, but close.  I like riding on the drops, and this is the most comfortable saddle position for me.  Al has also put his seat back, but he went to the farthest back position.

Al's bike is heading to the bike shop tomorrow.  He jammed his chain when he shifted too quickly going up a hill.  We freed the chain, but now there's an audible rub of something up front.  The bike shop will sort it out.