Big Gear Climbing

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I have been riding some and have pretty much had to stay seated nearly the whole ride because my left shoulder has been hurting.  That isn’t “my normal” climbing position.  I can climb seated, but tend to stand pretty often.  I think that is to relieve the pressure and to add more power.  It seems like the older I get, the longer I can stand, which seems counterintuitive.

Anyway, I haven’t been climbing all that much, but enough.  And my knees seem to hate me for it.  Both my knees have been a little achy recently and I am sure it is from riding too long seated. Yesterday I couldn’t stand it anymore and started riding some standing up.  I was mildly surprised that my shoulder was somewhat working.

Anyway, any injury worries me now as I age.  Things just take longer to heal.  So I try to be observant and fix the problems before they become chronic.   Cycling is a pretty great sport because it is easy to fix positional and minor issues that arise.

I was thinking about my knees and wondering why they might hurt and then I remembered riding with Eric Heiden when he took a bet to climb Loveland Pass in a 53 x 12.  I wrote a few paragraphs about it a few years ago.   Eric climbed Loveland Pass, doing like 25 rpms and then a couple days later, had to go to Denver, to see a doctor, because his knees hurt.  Eric has unbelievable power, so that doesn’t surprise me so much.  But, I figure if Eric Heiden’s knees can’t stand too much seated climbing, overgeared, then for sure, my knees won’t.

I did a MRI on my shoulder yesterday and the results weren’t a surprise.  I have a screwed up rotator cuff.  It isn’t as bad as the right one I destroyed at cyclocross Nationals in Madison a few years ago, but it isn’t good.  I’ve felt the problem for a few months, but exacerbated it in Moab. Maybe that was a good thing, time will tell.  I wouldn’t have addressed it without making it worse.

I’m going to get a cortisone shot tomorrow and try to do some personal rehab.  Time will tell whether I get it professionally fixed, ie surgery, or just live with it.  The last time I can’t say I was all that happy with how it turned out.  Maybe it would be a good time to swing by Park City and visit Eric?

Eric Heiden leading me at the Coor’s Classic. Alexi is behind me.



22 thoughts on “Big Gear Climbing

  1. Robo

    Jeezus! Look at Eric’s arms! They don’t build many cyclists like that anymore. Brad Huff may be the last of that variety.

  2. Kevin Burnett

    The first time I saw Eric at a race walking around with his shirt off I thought he was a bodybuilder.

  3. krakatoaeastofjava

    Love it. Alexi’s riding a Gios (with a can of Coors beer in the seat tube bottle cage).

    I’ll bet Heiden would have been a hell of a track sprinter (had he gone that route).

  4. scott

    i’ve never met him, but have always thought that heiden was, and seems still to be, a very classy guy, on and off the bike.

  5. DR

    He looked like a real-life Superman. The first time I saw him he was walking around the Capitol Square in Madison Wisconsin after my race, hours before the Cat1,2 race.

  6. FreddieJ

    If I remember correctly, right after the 1980 Winter Olympics, Heiden immediately went into training on the track and tried out for the US team in the 1980 Summer Olympics (which we boycotted). He made the team as the alternate in the 1km time trial, a sprinter event. He was more muscular then than in the picture above; he “slimmed down” for road racing.

  7. mv

    His skate training regimen was off the chart for the then elite skaters. Winning the sprint- the middle -and the long distances has never (and will never) been accomplished since then.

  8. LA LA 70.2

    Always fun to Berto the climbs out of saddle that small gear in the saddle climbing like I developed only works for Froomie?! Ah Eric 5 Golds yessss.

  9. Jay

    Used to see the trampoline he had in his yard on Old La Honda road (the classic Silicon Valley climb) for many years. He was apparently a bit of thorn in the side of area hikers while on his mountain bike. I think recently he was part of a four-man RAAM team that did a cross country ride in about seven days. A doctor as Steve points out also. How many people would have liked to be like Eric?

  10. jrem

    Jeezus! Look at Eric’s thighs! He and his sister Beth were well-known in Madison for their duck-walk workouts.

  11. Mikelikebikehike

    Some of that came from supposedly training with a backpack full of bricks, or rocks, or something heavy, while hiking uphill.

  12. Mikelikebikehike

    That could be Keith Cierra to the left of Grewal. And that’s Wayne Stetina over Grewal’s right shoulder.


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