Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - Long shallow upslopes...
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08-04-06, 12:35 PM
Do you find yourself looking down at your tires or gears going up sneaky shallow grades wondering if your having a flat or a bad legs day? I know I do, especially on nice improved highways that give no visual clue to tell me I'm climbing. I'm not saying it's a big problem or anything serious, but when going several kilometers uphill without knowing it sometimes can be unsettling.
08-04-06, 02:23 PM
There is a hill called Helmet Peak on the Arizona Brevets 400k that is like that. I have grown accustomed to it but it wasn't until I ran it the other way on the 600k this year that I realized how much of a hill it really is as I shot down it going the other way.
Of course, the 400k this year featured that hill with not only it's its fake flat that usually holds you to 10 mph but with a 25 mph headwind we were pedaling for all we were worth to hold 5 mph. Big DNF rate on that ride.
Oh god, I hate false flats. I enjoy uphills, but I need to be able to see them. There needs to be some visual indication as to why I'm suffering.
My worst was on the approach to Oregon's Crater Lake from the south / west. It's about 20 or 30 miles of 2 or 3% grade. Arrow-straight road for mile after mile after mile. So many trees that you can't even see Mt. Crater Lake until you're on top of it. That was day six in a row, so that endless uphill came after about 400 miles of riding over the past week (I know a 400 mile week is nothing to some of you, but it is to me !). Legs were already tired and needing a rest, and then we had an endless false flat. I've never wanted off a bike so badly in my life!
The next day though (when we left Crater Lake) we got the same treatment as a false-flat downhill. Cripes, we were hauling at 30mph without even trying. One of the worst cycling days of my life followed by one of the best!
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