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  1. #1
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    My neighborhood is ALL HILLS

    I don't think there's a flat piece of road anywhere around me for many miles. From my front door, I go about 200 yards down a steep slope to the street. From the street, there are three ways out of my neighborhood. One has a one-mile climb that's so steep the city closes that road every single time it snows. They get a dozen car crashes in fifteen minutes the morning after a snow routinely. The back way has a dip down and a slope up that's much steeper but shorter, that one always gets closed, too. The other back way is a one-mile climb that doesn't get closed to traffic quite as much, but it's a hell of a climb.

    I can't make it up any of them without being completely winded and trashed.

    My bike's either in 1st gear or I'm flying down the other side of the hill, riding the brakes and trying to keep within the limits of my ability to see road debris. 2mph or 40, no middle ground.

    Any suggestions for how to tackle this situation? I want to ride to lose weight. Ultimately, it's probably best to just ride three days a week to exhaustion and figure my endurance will increase over the summer. What else is there to do?

  2. #2
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    Man, that is harsh. Is there some kind of bike path in your area that you can take your bike too? I know that loading the bike in the car to take it somewhere else is a bummer, but it sounds like it's either that or ride those hills.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Maybe if you mentioned what bike & gearing you have, there would be some suggestions on how to change that to something more hill friendly?

  4. #4
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Trade you, this is out my front door!


    That is this road here!
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 02-13-09 at 03:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    All I can say is to keep at it. Use the low gear and take your time. It will get easier as your legs and fitness develope or you'll get faster. As far as teh way down, sometimes it's safer to let it roll. If you ride the brakes in the summertime, you can create a heat induced blowout. I've done it mtb'ing in the summertime heat.

    One stretch near the bottom, I let it roll at 45. A rider will get used to the speed, then it feels like 20mph. If you continue to ride the brakes, it only makes the bike squirrely and hard to handle. Hit the front and you might flip.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
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    Are we neighbors, because that is where I live?

    One consolation is that the hills will get smaller over time, and in the same, so will you
    That time will come at the same time that you can bounce a quarter off your thigh, and you feel like you are developing an addiction. I love that feeling

    Keep it up.

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  7. #7
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    I know that road well, I used to hike Baldy once a week from Manker Flats. The hike starts at 5500 feet, and it was about a seven hour round trip for me to summit and be back at the car.

  8. #8
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    So Area Man how lucky are you? Some people have to drive a long way to do hills. Just assume all rides are hilly and you have no choice. That will teach you to be a better climber and talk about getting strong - fast.

    Being a "fluffy" gal, I use to avoid hills and then one day I decided to stop avoiding them. I purposely started climbing ever hill I could find. Now flat rides are really boring. I hate them!

    The best piece of advice given me... is from a friend on a mountain bke ride. We were climbing a particularly steep trail when he rode up and asked "why are you trying so hard? Why don't you just take a rest and enjoy the climb?" It took me a bit to understand what he meant. There is a reason bikes come with gears. And there is a reason aerobic activity is better than anerobic. When I start a climb I gear down to the easiest, most comfortable gear and just spin trying very hard not to get winded. Once you get winded, and go anerobic, all effect and benefit is lost.

    So use those hills to measure your fitness. Keep trying. Sooner or later it will get easy and you will be very strong so strong flats will be incredibly easy. The weight will melt off!! It did for me but then for some reason I stopped riding... never do that!!!
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  9. #9
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    A few things come to mind.

    Pick the one that is the gentlest slope. If possible.

    You might check out a mapping program or topo maps to see if you can find flatter
    routes.

    Ride within your ability and ride often. The hills around my place are getting smaller as I
    develop more stamina.

    Investigate the gearing on whatever bikes you available and pick the one
    with the lowest gears to ride.

    I know it isn't much but that is what I have to offer.

  10. #10
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Don't be afraid to load the bike up, drive somewhere better, and ride there. Even if it's still hilly, if it's just less hilly, that'd be an improvement. Any lakes or parks around? Any downtown areas that are flatter? Any winding gently sloping roads beside rivers?
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  11. #11
    Draft Producer Fastflyingasian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Trade you, this is out my front door!


    That is this road here!
    so ah............ is there any houses for sale on your road . i am more then willing to climb that as long as the decent is awesome. if you tell me that ill end up riding the brakes all the way down ill take that statement back
    "If you never suffered from over training then you've never trained hard enough"

    Some days your the windshield and some days you are the cyclist. either way it doesn't look like its going to be a good day for you.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Gear down, sit down, and take your time.

    And make sure your seat is high enough.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  13. #13
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fastflyingasian View Post
    so ah............ is there any houses for sale on your road . i am more then willing to climb that as long as the decent is awesome. if you tell me that ill end up riding the brakes all the way down ill take that statement back

    Actually I live near the bottom,not on the road itself!...The desent is ok. I'd rather do GMR with the switchbacks though. Baldy is a straight shot pretty much but I hate the rocks. SOme can be very large, I keep my eyes on the opposite side of the road while climbing, taking notes of obstacles. Some people are aftraid to decend GMR so they take Baldy Rd.

    This is GMR (Glendora Mtn Rd). 21 mile climb to Baldy Village. But this is the final 8 miles, all switchbacks like this!


    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 02-13-09 at 11:02 PM.

  14. #14
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    If you had more snow you could at least MTB up and slalom down...

  15. #15
    ǝıd ǝʌol ʎllɐǝɹ I JeanCoutu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    The best piece of advice given me... is from a friend on a mountain bke ride. We were climbing a particularly steep trail when he rode up and asked "why are you trying so hard? Why don't you just take a rest and enjoy the climb?" It took me a bit to understand what he meant. There is a reason bikes come with gears. And there is a reason aerobic activity is better than anerobic. When I start a climb I gear down to the easiest, most comfortable gear and just spin trying very hard not to get winded. Once you get winded, and go anerobic, all effect and benefit is lost.
    I learnt to climb while out with a person on foot. The way we were going went by a really steep hill that always caused me to either dismount if I wasn't feeling frisky or to reach the top wet and wasted otherwise. Well, that day I was on a singlespeed bike, geared for the flats, but being restricted to walking speed I slowly went up at a ridiculously low rpm, thinking I'd eventually just dismount and walk. But somehow I didn't get winded worse then I would have been had I walked the bike up the hill and reached the top with no difficulties. Zen illumination moment thingie.

  16. #16
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    I'd kill to have some nice hills. I rode a 100 miles last week with literally 2 feet of elevation and a couple small bridges.

  17. #17
    Senior Member dygituljunky's Avatar
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    The best advice is to keep at it.

    Atlanta is rolling hills with some really steep ones that challenge my ability to balance the bike.

    I started off riding one mile in to work from a nearby parking lot. As I got my endurance up, I was able to ride from the nearest transit station, then the next nearest, and then I made the leap to 9.15 miles each way in rolling hills in traffic.

    I'm now to the point where my commute time is dropping down from the 1.25 hour mark for the full distance to near the 40 minute mark, on a good day, for the full distance (through a combination of better fitness and better routing).

    I'm also now to the point where I'm training my multi-day endurance, no longer wimping out on more than two days in a row.

    The best thing for going up hill is to learn to balance (I had to re-learn) and spin slowly up the hills. Don't try to stand in the pedals unless there's no other way to conquer the hill. It is both far more energy intensive and we Clydes/Athenas can put more torque on bike frames than they were designed to handle.

  18. #18
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    Area Man: Do you know how many gear inches you have in your lowest gear? A lot of people adjust the gearing on their touring bikes so that the lowest gear is less than 20 gear inches. That's hard to get in a stock set up, but you might benefit from something like that. If you're not sure of your gear inches, then see if you can count the teeth on your smallest chain ring (in front) and the largest cog on your cassette.

    It sucks for you to deal with hills at this point, but if you stick with it, you will thank them-thar hills in the future.

  19. #19
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dygituljunky View Post

    It is both far more energy intensive and we Clydes/Athenas can put more torque on bike frames than they were designed to handle.
    That could be true! .........Although I rarely stand, still happened to me, "wrote a song about it"!




  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    My area is something quite similar to that, but I've figured out a route that goes across the hills insteed of straight up now the bad weather as finally gone, I'll b out on the bike tomorrow instead of on the turbo trainer

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