Climbing

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
thelawnet
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Climbing

Postby thelawnet » 13 Jun 2018, 3:08pm

Was thinking of doing a quick tour around my local area in Sumatra, am at around 200 metres, when I go off to the next town (6 miles), the difference in elevation (steady increase of only around 70 metres) is quite noticeable (I dont like it that much!). My 'hill' technique (on the shorter sharper variety) tends to be pedal hard to get it over with (but that works much better when the hill is 10 metres higher than when you are climbing presumably for several hours). So I don't have any experience with a proper hill.

However I'm looking at cycling up to a peak of around 1900 metres. The first likely stop over is 80km away and @ 1000 metresish (sort of most the way up the hill), and then 40km from there to the next stop @ 1400 metres. There's another stop @ 1600 metres 40km from there, up to just over 1900 metres & down to 1100 metres @ 100km. (might stay a day or two at some places, as they are all tourist spots really, and most of the activities are things like walking/hiking, etc.)

I'm quite heavy (er, not sure atm 85kg 182cm?), and would be doing this on a MTB (as some roads here are terrible) carrying clothes, etc.

Any thoughts?

reohn2
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Re: Climbing

Postby reohn2 » 13 Jun 2018, 4:23pm

Make friends with the incline engage a very low gear and twiddle,it stopping when you feel like it!
It's no use trying to "beat the hill" it doesn't work with longer stuff you just end up knackered,gently,gently catch a monkey :wink:
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thelawnet
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Re: Climbing

Postby thelawnet » 13 Jun 2018, 4:54pm

reohn2 wrote:Make friends with the incline engage a very low gear and twiddle,it stopping when you feel like it!
It's no use trying to "beat the hill" it doesn't work with longer stuff you just end up knackered,gently,gently catch a monkey :wink:


It looks like there's around 15 miles of climb starting around an average of 1%

https://www.strava.com/segments/15785752

and the last half around 4% average

https://www.strava.com/segments/15785721

Around 40 miles to the start, basically flat, should be around 3 hours moving time and another couple of hours up the hill. Doesn't sound that bad? Except maybe the two hours fighting gravity continuously in granny gear. :?

chris_suffolk
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Re: Climbing

Postby chris_suffolk » 13 Jun 2018, 6:07pm

Would be interested in replies to this one - off to the Alps in a few weeks and just wondering how people get their head around going up hill for 20 miles or so. Fitness side, not overly worried, mental side - well that's a different issue.

reohn2
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Re: Climbing

Postby reohn2 » 13 Jun 2018, 6:11pm

chris_suffolk wrote:Would be interested in replies to this one - off to the Alps in a few weeks and just wondering how people get their head around going up hill for 20 miles or so. Fitness side, not overly worried, mental side - well that's a different issue.

Enjoy the view :wink:
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foxyrider
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Re: Climbing

Postby foxyrider » 13 Jun 2018, 9:15pm

chris_suffolk wrote:Would be interested in replies to this one - off to the Alps in a few weeks and just wondering how people get their head around going up hill for 20 miles or so. Fitness side, not overly worried, mental side - well that's a different issue.


To paraphrase the Hitchhikers Guide, the first hour is the worst, and then the second, the third isn't much fun either.

IME it really has been about trying to keep a comfortable cadence, sometimes you can scoot along at a reasonable pace, just an extra degree of slope can have you down to a crawl. Break up the climb into shorter chunks, stop, have a rest/break. After my first couple of alpine passes I got over the fear, my confidence increasing with each one crossed.

Living where I do I can practice on some of the long Pennine climbs and simulate the long alpine stuff with rides like the Derwent valley from Derby direction up to Ladybower and maybe on to the Snake summit - a good couple of hours climbing for most mortals!
Convention? what's that then?

Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

peetee
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Re: Climbing

Postby peetee » 13 Jun 2018, 10:28pm

The best tip I was given to get uphill quick was to control your breathing. Concentrate on exhaling as much air as you can. Most people when breathing rapidly leave a lot of air in their lungs when they exhale. Usually because the brain is desperate to get the next breath in. It's counter intuitive and not easy but give it a try. If you feel you are struggling, slower deeper breaths can make all the difference.
I knew as guy who was thin as a rake, a hopeless time triallist and struggled to keep pace on a club run but by crickey could he get up them hills. He said his advantage was down to attitude. Most people look at a hill and mentally waved a white flag before they have even turned a pedal. He looked at a hill and said "you're not beating me. I'm going to hammer you flat sunshine".
There are only two true challenges we face as cyclists. Hills and headwinds. Hills can add interest and reward to a ride. Headwinds will never do either.

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fausto copy
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Re: Climbing

Postby fausto copy » 13 Jun 2018, 11:07pm

chris_suffolk wrote:Would be interested in replies to this one - off to the Alps in a few weeks and just wondering how people get their head around going up hill for 20 miles or so. Fitness side, not overly worried, mental side - well that's a different issue.


Did the Routes des Grandes Alpes a few years ago and found that as the days went on, I got more used to just getting into a rhythm (if you can call it that at 2.5mph :lol: ). As reohn2 says, try and twiddle.
On the real long ones, in high temperatures, we basically stopped every kilometre to take a drink and enjoy the scenery.
Some of the passes have those wonderful little markers stones at the roadside, indicating gradient over the next kilometre, distance to the top etc., and are a great way of breaking the ride down into sections.
The worst thing of all were the damn flies buzzing around my sweaty forehead, but that seemed to induce a sudden burst of energy to try and outride them.

Enjoy.

fausto.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Climbing

Postby The utility cyclist » 15 Jun 2018, 1:14am

chris_suffolk wrote:Would be interested in replies to this one - off to the Alps in a few weeks and just wondering how people get their head around going up hill for 20 miles or so. Fitness side, not overly worried, mental side - well that's a different issue.


I'd never done mountains before I went back in 2011, @ circa 102-107kg it's not on my list of kicks/things to knock off, so first time ever with zero prep I went straight into it after an unexpected chance to take my bike in a van to Chamonix (help fix a friends house). Despite having driven for 10 hours day before I did 4875feet over 44 miles on a 28/25 low which was on my hybrid. I only averaged 11mph but I certainly wasn't on the ragged edge.
Just kept admiring the views, kept thinking what a plank I was that I was pretty much on my low gear straight from the off and that I'd have some lovely descents in between the hard bits. Thinking not about how far left to go or the gradient but thinking about the pedalling action, counting sometimes helps me as id a bit of mental singing. I also stopped a couple of time briefly to get photos.

The longest single continuous uphill bit for me was about 6 miles.
Each person has their own way of dealing with the difficlty/hardship.

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Audax67
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Re: Climbing

Postby Audax67 » 15 Jun 2018, 11:06am

chris_suffolk wrote:Would be interested in replies to this one - off to the Alps in a few weeks and just wondering how people get their head around going up hill for 20 miles or so. Fitness side, not overly worried, mental side - well that's a different issue.


Don't worry about it. If you find a local pimple and do that a few times in succession for a dozen rides or so before going you should be fine.

Oh, and carry a camera. "What a great view!" is a much better excuse for a breather than "God, I'm pooped!"

(Memories of chum stopped halfway up the Ventoux, bending over with a camera and gasping "pretty flower" as I rode by.)
Have we got time for another cuppa?

pwa
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Re: Climbing

Postby pwa » 15 Jun 2018, 11:19am

chris_suffolk wrote:Would be interested in replies to this one - off to the Alps in a few weeks and just wondering how people get their head around going up hill for 20 miles or so. Fitness side, not overly worried, mental side - well that's a different issue.

Find a gear that you can tap out, mile after mile, and don't get tempted into short bursts in the red.

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Audax67
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Re: Climbing

Postby Audax67 » 15 Jun 2018, 5:19pm

I used to have a Ciclosport HAC4 which, given total weight of bike+rider+load, would tell you whatever wattage you were developing. Obviously it took no account of wind or road surface, and the figure it showed was probably inaccurate but it was consistent, and for climbing mountains it was great. I learnt early on that I could output 140 "HAC4 Watts" long enough to climb 2000 metres, so I rode to get that figure on the display and keep it there.

I don't know if any current counters do this. I had a VDO some years ago that did, but it was unreliable, ditto the Ciclosport that I bought in 2015.

Obviously the best answer is a power meter, but they're damnably expensive.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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bigjim
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Re: Climbing

Postby bigjim » 15 Jun 2018, 5:54pm

On long hills I just tend to look at the tarmac in front and get "into the zone". In other words think of something else, nothing to do with cycling. An odd lift of the head for parked vehicle etc and then back to the tarmac. I never ride looking up at a hill or look at the scenery. I can stop and do that at the top. If you are lucky enough to have another rider in front of you it is amazing how much easier it becomes if you can latch onto their wheel.
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ricardito
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Re: Climbing

Postby ricardito » 16 Jun 2018, 7:32am

Audax67 wrote:I used to have a Ciclosport HAC4 which, given total weight of bike+rider+load, would tell you whatever wattage you were developing. Obviously it took no account of wind or road surface, and the figure it showed was probably inaccurate but it was consistent, and for climbing mountains it was great. I learnt early on that I could output 140 "HAC4 Watts" long enough to climb 2000 metres, so I rode to get that figure on the display and keep it there.

I don't know if any current counters do this. I had a VDO some years ago that did, but it was unreliable, ditto the Ciclosport that I bought in 2015.

Obviously the best answer is a power meter, but they're damnably expensive.


Maybe a good use case for a PowerPod? It might not be the most accurate, but it's (relatively) cheap, and does take account of wind.

rfryer
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Re: Climbing

Postby rfryer » 16 Jun 2018, 11:03am

ricardito wrote:Maybe a good use case for a PowerPod? It might not be the most accurate, but it's (relatively) cheap, and does take account of wind.

Good call! I used mine to good effect last week, knocking 90s off what had been a 10 minute climb by being able to recognise when I was slacking off excessively after a burst of effort.