How do you Prefer Your Hills?

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How do you prefer to conquer a mountain pass?

1 mile of 25%
3
11%
2 miles at 12-13%
4
14%
5 miles at a steady 5%
10
36%
5 miles of a mix of mostly uphill and level, with the occasional downhill bit. Steepest gradient of 10%
6
21%
20 miles at 1.25%
2
7%
100 miles, where climbing is on and off, never steeper than 3-4%
3
11%
 
Total votes: 28

Crazydave
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How do you Prefer Your Hills?

Postby Crazydave » 25 Jul 2007, 10:15am

If you have to gain 400 metres to get up over a mountain pass, how do you prefer to do it?

AlbionLass

Postby AlbionLass » 25 Jul 2007, 11:37am

Cable car




I don't (can't) do hills yet.

It's a major flaw I know, I discovered this weakness on my first CTC ride last week. 43 miles after only having ridden 25 at a time in the 7 weeks since I started cycling again. I think I was a little heat exhausted too. My legs were completely shot and by the last 10 miles I couldn't manage more than about 10 mph on the flat.
I felt absolutely crap that everyone else was having to wait for me every time we got to a hill.
I realize now that I'd subconsciously been avoiding training routes with hills.

Oh well, at least I know what I need to work on now.

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Si
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Postby Si » 25 Jul 2007, 11:52am

If I'm conquoring a hill then I like it to be steep enough to be worth conquoring. Of course, both steep and long would be better to make it really worth while. And steep and long with a cafe at the top even better.

reohn2

Postby reohn2 » 25 Jul 2007, 6:10pm

As they come :)

Crazydave
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Postby Crazydave » 26 Jul 2007, 9:34am

I myself think that for shorter height gains such as 100-150 metres, 12-15% is good, as it gets the whole thing over and done with. For the 400 metre hill, I would be gearing myself up for a big hill, and would probably never do more than 2 of that type of hill in a day. Given the strain of a 15% hill, I would prefer the 5% option here, as I can at least get into a steady rhythm. I would just have to accept the next 5 miles or so will be a bit slower, but then once I've been at that speed for 5-10 minutes, it won't feel slow anymore. In the right gear, that gradient shouldn't be too much of a strain. Of course, if you add in a headwind, that completely changes the game.
AlbionLass, it sounds in your bike ride as though you hit the wall. The defining features of this are immense physical effort to pedal on the flat, inability to cope with even the slightest hill, light headedness and a desire to just stop right where you are and not have to see the bike for several days.
It is interesting to see what people think though. I think the 1st option is worst, because with luggage, I can't physically climb up 25% without getting off and walking. Without luggage, I'm making a steady 2.5-3 mph up a 25% hill.

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 26 Jul 2007, 9:44am

Riding over Dartmoor is tough. Princetown/North Heessary is at 1500ft, with 1000+ ft peaks all the way over to Moretonhampstead.

Some of the hills are 'Steep and Short', some 'Steep and Long' and some 'Not Quite so Steep and of Indeterminable Length'. Anyway they come, it's a hard ride.

Funny, but lots of E2E'ers actually CHOOSE to to ride over Dartmoor! It must make it the toughest and possibly the highest leg in the whole route.
Mick F. Cornwall

AlbionLass

Postby AlbionLass » 26 Jul 2007, 10:03am

Crazydave wrote: AlbionLass, it sounds in your bike ride as though you hit the wall. The defining features of this are immense physical effort to pedal on the flat, inability to cope with even the slightest hill, light headedness and a desire to just stop right where you are and not have to see the bike for several days.


Interesting, on the day people kept reassuring me and telling me they were once in the same boat and that whatever I did not to let it put me off. No chance of that thankfully, I did enjoy the ride when I wasn't struggling, it was more the worry of holding the others up that spoilt the day a little rather than the actual physical effort.

I know I have to challenge my body in order to improve.
As for not wanting to see the bike for several days that wasn't a prob, I didn't have chance to ride the next day but two days later (Saturday) I had to cycle into Derby first thing and although I wasn't left with any aches and pains after the ride as soon as I got to even a slight uphill my legs were just like limp pasta still. I think I really must have taken it out of myself.

I'm going to do shorter training rides for a while, 20 miles or so but go for hilly routes, distance I can do no problem but throw a decent hill or two in and that ruins me for the rest of the ride at the moment.

The ride last week was supposed to be 25 miles but ended up being 43, I'm hoping to go on an easy paced 65 mile ride in 3 weeks ( at least as far as the morning stop and then see how I feel) I just hope that doesn't turn into a 90 mile ride. :D

Crazydave
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Postby Crazydave » 26 Jul 2007, 9:43pm

I rode over Dartmoor on my JOGLE ride, and loved it. The sun shone the whole time, it was cool (in comparison with everywhere else) and it was pretty. I also like the thought of cycling at adecent altitude. It feels like an achievement to cycle at a higher altitude. I must say, I found Slochd summit (sea level to 406 metres in 17 miles) much easiert than Dartmoor. Even Slochd had sections up to 10%. My maximum altitude on Dartmoor was 454m, according to the Ordnance Survey maps, starting from about 10-20 at the brige in Exeter, so I would have gained over 400 metres that time round. I found the hill coming into Moretonhampstead was the worst. Many of the others were walkable even fully laden.
I do think Dartmoor is the most scenic part of South West Britain. Most of Southern UK is just gentle rolling farmland, and can gettedious after a while, so its nice to have a change of scene. The reason so many End to enders go over there is because it is the CTC route. It is also more direct than most other routes, most other routes in Devon being really hilly anyway.

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horizon
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Postby horizon » 27 Jul 2007, 2:16am

AlbionLass wrote:Cable car




I don't (can't) do hills yet.

It's a major flaw I know, I discovered this weakness on my first CTC ride last week. 43 miles after only having ridden 25 at a time in the 7 weeks since I started cycling again. I think I was a little heat exhausted too. My legs were completely shot and by the last 10 miles I couldn't manage more than about 10 mph on the flat.
I felt absolutely crap that everyone else was having to wait for me every time we got to a hill.
I realize now that I'd subconsciously been avoiding training routes with hills.

Oh well, at least I know what I need to work on now.


I don't "do" hills, and never have. It's mainly because I'm usually carrying stuff for work or pleasure (22kg today on an overnight work trip, about the same on camping trips). I use the gears instead. I always thought that this was what bikes were about until I came across this message board and people talked about the effort of cycling up hills - I was genuinely surprised, it is a very different culture. I've camped in Spain, South of France, Wales, North Devon, Cornwall etc - all hilly but all done with low gears. It could be that when I got back into cycling after a gap, I plumped for a DSG with a 19" gear so I just assumed that that was what most bikes had. I'm also not afraid to walk up a hill, I enjoy the change. I suppose I am inherently lazy and am not interested in fitness as such. I also believed and still do that your cadence should stay the same and, theoretically, cycling up a hill should be no different from cycling on the flat, just slower. I can see why people might enjoy the challenge of a hill (and the physical high) but getting to the top for me is just part and parcel of the whole ride, it isn't an end in itself. The idea of tackling a hill with a double chainset is to me an alien world that I've discovered only by reading about it here. Who knows, one day I might get myself something light and fast and go for quick spins around the Cornish hills but for now it's the Cornish lugger that inspires me.

AlbionLass

Postby AlbionLass » 27 Jul 2007, 6:47am

My hybrid, that I was riding last week is low geared (theretically I should be able to climb walls on it) with a triple. still I couldn't get up those hills. I'm used to turning a cadence around 95 rpm but at times it literally felt like a was trying to pedal through knee deep treacle.

I know now that after 7 weeks or so of cycling I don't yet have the knack of spinning up hills but I guess, as I live in Derbyshire I'd better learn it fast. Also trying to drag my 18 stone bulk up the hills will hopefully get easier as I continue to lose the weight. I'm just glad I didn't try it 5 months and 5 stone ago, I'd have killed myself.
I don't have so much time for riding now it's the school hols.just a couple of times a week really so I'm doing some running in the hope of building a bit of leg strength.

It's not so much mind over matter, more weight over gravity.

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 27 Jul 2007, 8:47am

AlbionLass wrote:It's not so much mind over matter, more weight over gravity.


Love it! Good saying!

Funny, but I could ride a Super Carbon Bike weighing 15lbs, or a Gas Pipe Bike weighing 30lbs. Neither bike would make a great deal of difference to my nearly 14 stone!
Mick F. Cornwall

Tallis the Tortoise

Postby Tallis the Tortoise » 27 Jul 2007, 9:47am

Ultimately, most of us probably prefer our hills to be in the downward direction :wink:

As for "doing" hills and the effort of climbing them, I do use the gears fairly well. However, there comes a point (sooner in some regions than others) where you run out of them! I now wish that when I'd replaced the chainset on my bike recently I got 44/32/22 rather than sticking with 48/36/26. I have moved more to cycle camping from audax type riding and use hilly lanes more. Last week I had to get all my camping kit up what I reckon was 1 in 4. That took some serious effort!

Andy :-)

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nabre
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Postby nabre » 27 Jul 2007, 10:15am

Last week I had to get all my camping kit up what I reckon was 1 in 4. That took some serious effort!


nice to hear someone describe gradients in the way i was taught! i still cant fathom the % malarchy anyone care to enlighten me ?

Crazydave
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Postby Crazydave » 27 Jul 2007, 10:17am

I suffer from the temptation to use to high a gear on hills, as I find being in a low gear on a moderate gradient hill to be depressing. If I do use the right gears, it's much easier. My speed does tend to be much lower on the hills. On a 12% hill, which is what most big hills in my area are, I will be doing a little over 5mph, compared with 13-14 on the flat. If heavily laden, I will drop to about 4 mph on a 12% hill.
By the way, congrats on the weight loss, AlbionLass. 5 stone in 5 months is atremendous achievement. Do take it easy from now on though. I've heard that losing more than 2lbs is supposed to be bad for you.

AlbionLass

Postby AlbionLass » 27 Jul 2007, 11:29am

Crazydave wrote:I suffer from the temptation to use to high a gear on hills, as I find being in a low gear on a moderate gradient hill to be depressing. If I do use the right gears, it's much easier. My speed does tend to be much lower on the hills. On a 12% hill, which is what most big hills in my area are, I will be doing a little over 5mph, compared with 13-14 on the flat. If heavily laden, I will drop to about 4 mph on a 12% hill.
By the way, congrats on the weight loss, AlbionLass. 5 stone in 5 months is atremendous achievement. Do take it easy from now on though. I've heard that losing more than 2lbs is supposed to be bad for you.


That's true for those with a moderate amount of weight to lose 1-2 lbs a week is the recommended rate of weight loss.
I was 23 stone back in February though so needed to lose 9-10 stone to be anywhere near a healthy weight and my Doctor has said as long as I'm eating well and enough of all the right things that the weight will come off as fast or slow as it wants to. I was losing a stone every 3 weeks but now it's more like every 6 weeks as I'm not being quite so strict as I was with myself and allow myself a treat once a week. I'm doing it 50/50 through diet and exercise though ( I started by walking 5 miles a day 5 days a week).

I really would like to be better at hills though and I know that means getting out on the bike and doing them. I am the most stubborn, determined single minded person when I need to be though so I WILL get there.