These are great stories folks.
But to Bees original concern, I’m 220lbs so I know what you’re talking about. I’ve walked a couple of hills in my day, Potter hill was one. I’d hoped to make it up but got cut off and lost momentum (that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!!).
But for us big guys I have a couple of suggestions.
1- Learn to spin. What I mean is it’s a lot easier to spin fast in a really low gear than to try and muscle through a higher gear. So practice a fast pace rotation of your legs as often as possible to build up that technique.
2- Learn to alternate “pulling” and “pushing”. Try only pulling up on the pedals for 3 or 4 strokes, then only push down for three or four. You’ll find you don’t burn out either muscle quite so fast
3- Look into lower gearing. I was amazed how easy I got up some hills on my new touring bike (touring bikes are geared really low to carry all that weight up hills) compared to my regular road bike. A friend of mine got up Potter hill by himself on a TANDEM! He’s a good rider, but the low gearing really helped him out.
4- Practice Standing on the pedals. This is an okay way of helping to improve climbing. Get in a really high gear and stand while pedaling. It does help.
I’ve done all these things and still gotten beat on a few hills. Don’t worry about it. No one cares, if somebody has a problem with it then they’re the one with the problem. Enjoy the ride.