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KERSTIN814's Photo KERSTIN814 SparkPoints: (21,691)
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3/2/11 11:35 A

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It's only a week? I am eyeballing RAGBRAI 2012 but I would have to find an ace team like Porkbellies, I am too old to set up my tent every night after riding 80-100 miles and then have to pack up in the AM. I may have to bribe Scottsu to let me on her team! I'll gladly pay WHATEVER

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Living well is the best revenge. George Herbert, 1593-1633

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GIANT-STEPS SparkPoints: (65,379)
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3/2/11 11:15 A

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RAGBRAI in on my bucket list as well. Chances are I won't be able to do it until I retire though. Just like the fact that I probably won't be able to race bikes or play much trombone again until I retire. I like my job (most days anyway) but having to earn a living is tedious.

KERSTIN814's Photo KERSTIN814 SparkPoints: (21,691)
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3/2/11 10:28 A

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Check the RAGBRAI website. There are team connections.

Rescue people rock!
Leader PugLovers4Ever

Living well is the best revenge. George Herbert, 1593-1633

Perfect is the enemy of good. Voltaire, 1694-1778

Keep your eyes on the prize. Alice Wine, 1956


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SCOTTSU's Photo SCOTTSU SparkPoints: (0)
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3/2/11 6:11 A

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It's a long drive from Columbus, OH-IO to get to the west side of Iowa to begin the ride, but we think it's worth it. People come from all over the states. Put the word out, there may be a team closer to you than you think that you could get a ride with. :)

It's amazing how how we often can exert some control over an otherwise chaotic life one pedal stroke at a time. - Lou Mazzante

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.

If a hurricane doesn't leave you dead, it will make you strong. Jimmy Buffet

Gotta kick at darkness until it bleeds light,. Bruce Cockburn
DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
3/1/11 9:28 P

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*pouts* I want to do RAGBRAI! It's been on the bucket list for a while, and just haven't been able to get there (I live in Maryland). I guess being there in spirit is the best I can do for 2011. And dream about 2012...



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3/1/11 3:34 P

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Riding with wild horses sounds marvelous! I've had a herd of sheep run alongside on the other side of a fence. Not quite the same as the beautiful horses, but still... :)

It's amazing how how we often can exert some control over an otherwise chaotic life one pedal stroke at a time. - Lou Mazzante

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.

If a hurricane doesn't leave you dead, it will make you strong. Jimmy Buffet

Gotta kick at darkness until it bleeds light,. Bruce Cockburn
KERSTIN814's Photo KERSTIN814 SparkPoints: (21,691)
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3/1/11 1:44 P

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@Giant Steps,
The horse thing happened to me while doing the Amishland ride in NE Indiana. Two gorgeous orange-blond males (or something, what do I know, but they were big, muscular working horses, I think) where kind of running together along the road, but higher than the road, on a field with trees and sky behind them, with the bikers, no cars around, perfect weather. Something you never forget. Wish I had had a camera.

Rescue people rock!
Leader PugLovers4Ever

Living well is the best revenge. George Herbert, 1593-1633

Perfect is the enemy of good. Voltaire, 1694-1778

Keep your eyes on the prize. Alice Wine, 1956


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GIANT-STEPS SparkPoints: (65,379)
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3/1/11 1:39 P

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I've had some close calls with cattle. In Texas a lot of people have cattle and sometimes cows will get loose and start eating the virgin grass between their fence and the road. Several times I startled cows who darted right into the road in front of me. Considering collisions with cattle can total a car I don't think my bike would have much of a chance.

While cows can be a drag when they are in the road the great thing about riding in the country is sometimes riding with horses. Sometimes while riding next to a coral horses will start galloping with you on the other side of the fence. I always found that to be especially inspiring.

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2/26/11 2:01 P

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Hey Giant Steps! 60 mph is wild. Too big for me.

Scariest down hill i've experienced... RAGBBRAI 2001. Hit 40 plus mph and see a bull at the bottom of the hill. He was very agitated as you might imagine, charging back and forth across the road. No way to stop or even slow down by much. Just hope you dodge right while he charges left. The bull made the the Register paper that day. No one got creamed as far as we knew. :)

It's amazing how how we often can exert some control over an otherwise chaotic life one pedal stroke at a time. - Lou Mazzante

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.

If a hurricane doesn't leave you dead, it will make you strong. Jimmy Buffet

Gotta kick at darkness until it bleeds light,. Bruce Cockburn
MOLLYKITTY's Photo MOLLYKITTY SparkPoints: (0)
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2/26/11 8:30 A

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We don't have a ton of long hills here where I ride, but I totally just try to spin through the big ones saying "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..." But there are a few things, technically, that I try to focus on when I do have to climb.

First, try to time your gear shifts so that they come 3 or 4 rotations before you really need to shift. That will start you up the hill with a faster cadence, and if you can maintain that RPM you should see improvement in your time. Follow the same logic if you know you'll have to change gears again during your climb... I like to try to increase my cadence enough to see my speed bump up for a bit when I shift to an easier gear.

Also, focus on your weight transfer. Even if you're not out of the saddle the whole time, your weight should be way forward over your handlebars when you climb a steep hill. This will improve your front wheel traction and help you climb. (I sometimes picture myself as being on a stair climber machine at this point to help me visualize the mechanics of pedaling when my chest is leaning way over my handlebars.)

Your body is a machine, give it the fuel it needs:

*Eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty. The machine works better when it's well primed.

*Plan ahead. You wouldn't drive through the desert on a quarter-tank of gas, would you?

*Quality in, quality out. Proper nutrition will help you get maximum benefit from your workout.


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TOOTHFUL99's Photo TOOTHFUL99 Posts: 499
2/25/11 7:50 P

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Your gearing is something you could look at. I ride a triple with a 12 X 28 cassette. I tend to spin up the mountains, passing up people who are having to work WAY too hard. I also have friends who have had mountain bike cassettes put on their bikes. I guess it depends on how much climbing you do. Being a heavier rider, this might help you.

There's a hill near here we call "The Female Dog." You can only imagine how it got that name!

...and then in the middle of everything, you realize you're alive right now, and the time to live is right now!


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GIANT-STEPS SparkPoints: (65,379)
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2/25/11 3:34 P

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I found a short intensely steep descent where I used to live. A highway was cut through a hill and the access road on both sides started higher and plunged steeply down to an underpass at the bottom of the hill. It is the steepest paved surface I have ever seen and I nick-named it "the wall." Last I heard cyclists still called it that.
Since it is short you have to hit the top at near sprint speeds not to run out of hill before reaching terminal velocity.
I don't know my exact top speed because I didn't have a cyclometer (they weren't common then because of their size). One time I rode it with a friend who had a cyclometer we both sprinted toward the descent the peddled down until we couldn't pedal any faster then got into a tuck. He hit a max speed of 60.1 MPH and said I was very slightly pulling away from him when we were both in a tuck.
Flying down a hill 60 MPH in a tuck is quite intense; I always have in the back of my mind how bad it could turn out if I had a front blowout at such an inopportune time.
Riding back up on the other side is an experience as well. At the bottom it looks so steep that you wonder if a bicycle could even climb it.

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2/25/11 2:44 P

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50 MPH is too fast for me. I've gotten up to 47 and i was scared silly.

It's amazing how how we often can exert some control over an otherwise chaotic life one pedal stroke at a time. - Lou Mazzante

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.

If a hurricane doesn't leave you dead, it will make you strong. Jimmy Buffet

Gotta kick at darkness until it bleeds light,. Bruce Cockburn
DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,800
2/25/11 2:15 P

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Yep, gotta LOVE those long, sweeping downhills where the road is smooth, traffic is light. Almost hit 50 mph going down Bear Spring Mountain in Delaware Co. last year...yee HAH!

Sometimes gravity is one's friend...! :-)

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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KERSTIN814's Photo KERSTIN814 SparkPoints: (21,691)
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2/25/11 2:08 P

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@ Giant-Steps, uphills are hard for larger riders, but we do have an advantage with our down hill muscles! emoticon

Rescue people rock!
Leader PugLovers4Ever

Living well is the best revenge. George Herbert, 1593-1633

Perfect is the enemy of good. Voltaire, 1694-1778

Keep your eyes on the prize. Alice Wine, 1956


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2/25/11 12:41 P

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Wise words on climbing. I just ordered a new Specialized Ruby compact purposely with a triple. When i need it, i don't want to do in my knees- it's spin to win.
I'll add something else about hills. Don't underestimate when they are over. Keep spinning ' you get ALL the way to the top. It's easy to get almost there and quit working.
I LOVE hills now. A hill always ends and you have the feeling of accomplishment that you made it up, or you nailed it with the right gears, or you kicked its butt.
HEADWIND on the other hand never quits, never gives in. i'll take the hills any day.

It's amazing how how we often can exert some control over an otherwise chaotic life one pedal stroke at a time. - Lou Mazzante

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.

If a hurricane doesn't leave you dead, it will make you strong. Jimmy Buffet

Gotta kick at darkness until it bleeds light,. Bruce Cockburn
GIANT-STEPS SparkPoints: (65,379)
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2/25/11 12:21 P

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Being a larger rider means hills have always been a challenge to me. In bike racing you will note that climbing speciallists are small.

The strategy for short climbs is often to power through them to keep your momentum and recover on the next downhill; rolling hills are often like this. Longer climbs require pacing. You have to ride your own pace, you run the danger of blowing up before you get to the top if you try to keep up with better climbers. I can't tell you the number of times I got dropped at the bottom of a climb but riding a comfortable and steady pace I caught up with the rabbits who were struggling to reach the top. It is more important to finish a long climb strong than to start it strong.

The limiting factor in short climbs is anaerobic fitness and in long climbs aerobic fitness. There are techniques for building both kinds of fitness.

Even though hills are a challenge for large riders like me I've learned to like hills. I like the challenge of the climb and the payoff of effortless speed in descents.

Above all, there is no shame in riding a triple or compact double crankset. Use whatever equipment gives you the gears you need.

SIGLED's Photo SIGLED Posts: 461
2/25/11 12:13 P

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Yeah, I hear ya on that walk of shame. Last year I went up a surprise hill. You know the ones that are there when you make a turn and SURPRISE it's there with a steep incline. I made it. My knees were screaming at the top. Because of that hill, there were two more that I ended doing the dreaded "walk of shame". haha

I live in southern KS where the hills are just mounds. I have to go northern KS to ride the hills which I do a couple times a year. I try to train. But there is nothing like the real hill to train on.

Along with all the advice, there are times I become the little choo-choo who could: I think I can! I think I can! I know I can! I know I can! I did it! I did it! Also, remember, hills burn your energy. Carry something energy giving to replenish as you ride the hills.

I don't ride the bike to lose weight, but I lose weight to ride the bike!

To GOD be the Glory!



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2/25/11 11:20 A

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the pressure is mounting Don. I know you didn't think you have the time this summer, but we would be having fun without you, and you don't want that. :)


It's amazing how how we often can exert some control over an otherwise chaotic life one pedal stroke at a time. - Lou Mazzante

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.

If a hurricane doesn't leave you dead, it will make you strong. Jimmy Buffet

Gotta kick at darkness until it bleeds light,. Bruce Cockburn
DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,800
2/25/11 9:39 A

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We ARE building quite the head of STEAM here aren't we...?

How can we all NOT do RAGBRAI...? :-)

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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2/25/11 8:05 A

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I can hear a Spark party building momentum in Iowa!

Today my school is on a 2 hour delay- no biking outside in OH-IO real soon. i did get my first miles in a week ago though, We had a thaw and it went all the way up to 43 degrees. Still have my bike in its "traveling bike house". ( i own an Element, and i bought it purposely to be a house for my bike) My license plate reads HOPELVS. The season begins soon. Greyangel, you will absolutely love biking through the seasons. You see every detail of the changes, as you have miles and miles to almost literally watch the corn grow. Somehow it is completely different than enjoying nature any other way. :)

It's amazing how how we often can exert some control over an otherwise chaotic life one pedal stroke at a time. - Lou Mazzante

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.

If a hurricane doesn't leave you dead, it will make you strong. Jimmy Buffet

Gotta kick at darkness until it bleeds light,. Bruce Cockburn
GREYANGEL's Photo GREYANGEL Posts: 26
2/25/11 1:28 A

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Don,
I hear your bucket list a callin' You should try and find a way to come ride too. We'll have a big Sparkpeople Party. WOOT WOOT!!!!!!

Life isnít about waiting for the storm to passÖ.
itís about learning to dance in the rain.



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GREYANGEL's Photo GREYANGEL Posts: 26
2/25/11 1:21 A

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SCOTTSU..
You rock! Thanks for having my back. Can't wait. I get more excited each day. Will be telling my training buddies here at home....NAH NAH I got a veteran on my side!
emoticon

Life isnít about waiting for the storm to passÖ.
itís about learning to dance in the rain.



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2/24/11 11:51 P

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We're scaring greyangel. :) Hills are the best!! you have a goal... get to the top... you achieve the goal... you are at the top... you see the next hill ( on RAGBRAI) as soon as you get to the top... you smile... you bitch... you do it again! It works. Greyangel... there is no hill in Iowa you can't get up, really! And because you will have 20,000 people alongside as you go up the next and the next you'll be O.K.! And i will climb at least some of those hills alongside you!! i'm right now letting my Sparkpeople friends know that. So they will be listening, watching and being there in spirit- right guys? !!! Greyangel... we will make places to meet and ride. Ride on!!!

It's amazing how how we often can exert some control over an otherwise chaotic life one pedal stroke at a time. - Lou Mazzante

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.

If a hurricane doesn't leave you dead, it will make you strong. Jimmy Buffet

Gotta kick at darkness until it bleeds light,. Bruce Cockburn
KERSTIN814's Photo KERSTIN814 SparkPoints: (21,691)
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2/24/11 10:20 P

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Truer words were never spoken!

Rescue people rock!
Leader PugLovers4Ever

Living well is the best revenge. George Herbert, 1593-1633

Perfect is the enemy of good. Voltaire, 1694-1778

Keep your eyes on the prize. Alice Wine, 1956


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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,800
2/24/11 10:14 P

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Oh that was said tongue in cheek...sorta...lol!

Our bike club veteran sez: "I never met I hill I couldn't...walk up!" :-)

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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KERSTIN814's Photo KERSTIN814 SparkPoints: (21,691)
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2/24/11 10:06 P

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Don, you are too hard on yourself, the "walk of shame?" All you are doing is taking a breathing break, right? No shame in that! emoticon

Rescue people rock!
Leader PugLovers4Ever

Living well is the best revenge. George Herbert, 1593-1633

Perfect is the enemy of good. Voltaire, 1694-1778

Keep your eyes on the prize. Alice Wine, 1956


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TOOTHFUL99's Photo TOOTHFUL99 Posts: 499
2/24/11 9:47 P

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Down here, in Southeastern Tennessee, it's ALL hills. The only flat ride is in Walmart's parking lot!

We say the only way to get better at hills is to climb them. Find all of the hills in your area and just keep riding them.

Have a blast on RAGBRAI!!

(Then, next year, come down here for the 3 State/3 Mountain Challenge!!)



...and then in the middle of everything, you realize you're alive right now, and the time to live is right now!


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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,800
2/24/11 9:40 P

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Yeah, just HATE it when something trips me up while crawling up a hill and I have to stop. I usually give up and do the "walk of shame" at that point...lol!

Best advice? Keep going after those hills! Shed any pounds you can to make it a tad easier on yourself...lighten your load! :-)

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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HISTORIKELL's Photo HISTORIKELL Posts: 293
2/24/11 9:22 P

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Don't stop peddling. Just get into your lowest gear and go for it! If you stop it's ten times harder to get going again on an uphill.

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that is your own self.

--Aldous Huxley

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

--Benjamin Franklin


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KERSTIN814's Photo KERSTIN814 SparkPoints: (21,691)
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2/24/11 9:03 P

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Look down on the pavement, the pavement is always flat! LOL, that is what people said. Don't look at the hill, look at the road. This of course doesn't help fitness wise. Best I can do though. Look forward to some real advise emoticon

Rescue people rock!
Leader PugLovers4Ever

Living well is the best revenge. George Herbert, 1593-1633

Perfect is the enemy of good. Voltaire, 1694-1778

Keep your eyes on the prize. Alice Wine, 1956


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GREYANGEL's Photo GREYANGEL Posts: 26
2/24/11 8:47 P

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As some of you know I am training for RAGBRAI this year. Would love some advice for conquering hills. emoticon

Life isnít about waiting for the storm to passÖ.
itís about learning to dance in the rain.



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