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  1. #1
    Neil_B
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    The Climbing Historian's Hill Training

    OK, it's finally under way. I've begun seeking out hills. As I've posted before, I have a commitment to climb Reading's Mount Penn in October. Also, hill training will help me in other aspects of riding - greater speed, better control of the bike, increased stamina, and quads as big as a Hummer. OK, massive quads won't really help me, but they will draw attention.

    Here's the route I rode yesterday. I'm pleased that I didn't need to walk anything, and I only stopped twice during the ride - once to adjust my saddle, and another to take photographs. This is a basic ten mile loop I've ridden before, with an additional hill climb or two at the beginning.

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Hill-Loop-1333733

    I felt a little tired after I was done, but not very. Even though I'm up forty or more pounds since my low two years ago, I've maintained some low level of conditioning it seems, for I think I'm riding better than I did when I was lighter. It could be experience and confidence, I suppose.

    One place I felt more confident was on downhills. I'm practicing braking less so I get more used to speed on descents. Perhaps one day I'll think of them as fun.

  2. #2
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    Mr. Historian - Which bike are you doing these on? Also, did you do many hills when you were at your lightest? Did you find the uphill much easier? I can generally push my fiancee around on the flats, giving her everything she can handle and a bit more, and still stay out of really big gears. When I drop it into 14th, i can push her away. But on the hills, she usually drops me pretty quick unless I've really got the legs going well that day

    Much of the riding here in Boston is somewhat flat, but the bridges provide for hills, as do many of the roads leading out of the Kenmore Square area. In fact, I find my trip out from the apartment, unless I'm doing just the bike path area nearest my apartment provides some pretty decent hill training if I opt to take it. If I stay on the path along the river, I get the little hills that lead to the bridges, but not the bridges themselves. So it's optional, but I think I'm going to do more and more of taking the bridges, now that I'm learning the locations/conditions of the path on the other side of the charles.

  3. #3
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    Have you ever thought about heading up Sheeder to Hilltop down Flowing Springs up School House Lane to St Matthews. I think School House would be a killer.

    BTW If you are wondering how I know the roads I have a office in Pughtown. Good luck with the climbs
    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

    http://blog.weavsplace.com

  4. #4
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjweave0 View Post
    Have you ever thought about heading up Sheeder to Hilltop down Flowing Springs up School House Lane to St Matthews. I think School House would be a killer.

    BTW If you are wondering how I know the roads I have a office in Pughtown. Good luck with the climbs
    Any of those would be tough. However, the bridge is closed on Sheeder. Not the covered bridge, but the metal one.

    Care to join me on a ride? We can do a flat one.

  5. #5
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Things I do for hill training:

    - Haul groceries and other heavy stuff up Novely Hill (2.25mi, 600+ feet gain)
    - Fixed gear commuting
    - Ride steeper hills on personal rides than expected on any club routes (15% or more)
    - Kilo sprints with short recovery; sprint, recover on remaining 0.375mi, repeat 5 - 7x
    - Hill repeats; pick a hill and ride up it. Then ride back down and up again. And again. Until you're sick of it.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  6. #6
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechKnowGN View Post
    Mr. Historian - Which bike are you doing these on? Also, did you do many hills when you were at your lightest? Did you find the uphill much easier? I can generally push my fiancee around on the flats, giving her everything she can handle and a bit more, and still stay out of really big gears. When I drop it into 14th, i can push her away. But on the hills, she usually drops me pretty quick unless I've really got the legs going well that day

    Much of the riding here in Boston is somewhat flat, but the bridges provide for hills, as do many of the roads leading out of the Kenmore Square area. In fact, I find my trip out from the apartment, unless I'm doing just the bike path area nearest my apartment provides some pretty decent hill training if I opt to take it. If I stay on the path along the river, I get the little hills that lead to the bridges, but not the bridges themselves. So it's optional, but I think I'm going to do more and more of taking the bridges, now that I'm learning the locations/conditions of the path on the other side of the charles.
    When I was at my lightest I was very inexperienced, since I'd been riding but a few months. While I did ride some hills, I didn't do them as well as I do them now. Since I didn't do them well, I avoided them - one reason I toured through Delaware, for instance, instead of northern Maryland.

    Being 40 pounds lighter would make climbing a LOT easier.

  7. #7
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Things I do for hill training:

    - Haul groceries and other heavy stuff up Novely Hill (2.25mi, 600+ feet gain)
    - Fixed gear commuting
    - Ride steeper hills on personal rides than expected on any club routes (15% or more)
    - Kilo sprints with short recovery; sprint, recover on remaining 0.375mi, repeat 5 - 7x
    - Hill repeats; pick a hill and ride up it. Then ride back down and up again. And again. Until you're sick of it.
    As always, wonderful advice, Clifton!

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    I ran short of time today, so I rolled this one:

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...ars-Hill-Route

    Almost 800 feet of climbing in 8.6 miles. Three stops, all for photos, none to catch my breath.

  9. #9
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    Clifton gave some good advice, but all you can do is just keep working at it. Any kind of climb never gets easy as time passes, and is always some work (despite what some believe in here).

    The other thing I will add to it is try to find time to stick to some flats, or do some exercises that stress other leg muscles than what you use on the bike. That's at least so you don't overdo certain spots and cause joint problems that way. For example, I feel things in my left knee when I do bike regularly, since I tend to bulk more with the terrain around here than burn calories/lose weight. Then I notice my cadence goes down when I bike more, probably same reasons.

    But anyhow, keep at it...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    - Hill repeats; pick a hill and ride up it. Then ride back down and up again. And again. Until you're sick of it.
    That wouldn't take long.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlester View Post
    That wouldn't take long.
    You win the thread!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    When I was at my lightest I was very inexperienced, since I'd been riding but a few months. While I did ride some hills, I didn't do them as well as I do them now. Since I didn't do them well, I avoided them - one reason I toured through Delaware, for instance, instead of northern Maryland.

    Being 40 pounds lighter would make climbing a LOT easier.
    Gotcha. I've noticed that my sprinting is pretty good. There are some sticks around here that I beat easily on morning rides, even when they are hustling. Sure it might take this diesel engine a bit to get going, but then peeps better get out fo the way. But on the hills, especially during triathlons, I feel like I've been shot out of the back of course from a cannon.

  13. #13
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn1234 View Post
    Clifton gave some good advice, but all you can do is just keep working at it. Any kind of climb never gets easy as time passes, and is always some work (despite what some believe in here)....
    OK, what the heck are you talking about? I remember really suffering ona a one mile climb (6%) when I started as riders kept telling me that clydes can't climb. I was stupid enough to believe it. I failed on another local 3 mile climb thinking I was too big to climb.

    Then one day I woke up and thought to myself, if it's humanly possible, I should be able to do it. I did the rides over and ove just taking my time with the goal of "MAKING It". Now that 3 mile climb is a 15 minute warm up. And that big hill is a 5 minute bump in the road.

    If hills never got easier, I'd stil be stuck on the first mile of a 10,000 ft century. Another ride, GMR, first 8 miles is 6%. I've done it in 56 minutes. But if I just ride it, we can talk, giggle, and tickle one another if we wish. It does get easier! But most of the time, we are trying to pick up the pace, that's what makes it not easy. Like the saying says, "it never gets easier, you just go faster". Well, if you didn't try to go faster, it would be esaier. But just geting on the bike is some kind of work. That's why it's called exercise.



    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn1234 View Post
    For example, I feel things in my left knee when I do bike regularly, since I tend to bulk more with the terrain around here than burn calories/lose weight. Then I notice my cadence goes down when I bike more, probably same reasons.
    "I bulk with the terrain" What does that mean? I do lots of climbing and I am a bulker when it comes to gaining. But if you are talking about climbing, then you are doing something wrong. I climb alot and LOSE alot when I do. My quads shape but my knees shrink bigtime leaving the legbands loose around my knees. If the terrain bulked up riders, then the climbers would all be hulksters!

    If you have discomfort when you bike regularly, your bike is not set up properly. If the cadence goes down when you bike more, your conditioning is not set up properly either. Your statements and your other thread about "not being able to hydrate on the bike " give off the impression that you aren't training or riding properly.

    What kind of gearing are you running? I use a standard 39/25 on 5000-12,000 ft climbs and I don't BULK!

    Sorry but I just can't stand discouraging post when it comes to climbing clydes. It gets better, it can be done. BTW, all the riders that told me I was too big to climb, won't race me up the mtns anymore!

  14. #14
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I agree with Beanz: Climbing does get easier.

    4 years ago I never would have considered doing a 5000' century an "easy" ride. Heck, I'd have barely considered that a "doable" ride back then.
    Last year I really started concentrating on hill work and rode 3 centuries with 6000+ feet of gain and a ride called Summits of Bothell, which is 40 miles with 3500' and 3 climbs above 16%.
    This year I've been doing centuries with over 7000', and long rides of 200 - 300k with over 9000'.

    Saturday's 300k has a 24.5mi climb that gains 4100' between miles 35 and 60. 1000' of it are the final 2.5 miles of the ascent. Taking a best guess, that's going to be 4.25 - 4.75 straight hours of climbing.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  15. #15
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjweave0 View Post
    Have you ever thought about heading up Sheeder to Hilltop down Flowing Springs up School House Lane to St Matthews. I think School House would be a killer.

    BTW If you are wondering how I know the roads I have a office in Pughtown. Good luck with the climbs
    Here's what this looks like worked into a longer rider, and avoiding the closed bridge on Sheeder Road:

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...ll-Route334584

    15 miles, 1500 feet of climbing.

  16. #16
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    I agree with Beanz: Climbing does get easier.
    I'll take your word for it.

    I did 11 miles this evening before the rain came. 839 feet of climbing at least - Bikely is giving me different readings each time I pull up the route. I climbed the ridge on my side of the river, which I'd never attempted and hadn't thought I could do.

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...nd-Ridge-Climb

    Only drawback on the ride is, once again, pressure on the pubic bone - not nerves or tissues, bone - when climbing. Is that a problem for some folks with Brooks saddles, or is it something that can be resolved by adjusting the saddle position?

  17. #17
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Neil - some great advice has been shared already, and I'll just echo that you need to ride hills constantly to get better at 'em. Another piece of advice that has worked well for me is "Spin to Win" in regards to hills. I consistently gear down and tell myself "spin to win" on the monster hills - and end up going faster than I would had I mashed and blown up right at the summit. I feel better as well, to be honest, and find as I work on this I get faster at the hills - spinning in tougher ratios than before.

    I'd also recommend a heart rate monitor, they are an immense help - especially with hills - to know when you are getting a little too high in the red zone.

    Finally, if you really want to get good at hills, I suggest finding some alternate-terrain hills to climb. Dirt, or preferably my favorite thing in the world - gravel, will add some extra resistance to the climb and really get your muscles going. There was a loose gravel climb yesterday that put me in the granny gear in the middle ring, and I almost thought I'd actually have to resort to the small ring - it was amazing how brutal it was, while steep, I've ridden steeper on pavement.

    Okay, end novel. Good luck! Hills are fun, once you set your mind to thinking the hatred just makes you stronger

  18. #18
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Ben.....one door closes, another opens. Ultimately, the friends I've drifted away from are simply people I've outgrown and either I no longer fulfill a need they have or they no longer fulfill a need I have and the relationship is no longer in a healthy dynamic for either of us. It's not good, or bad, it just is. The one constant in our lives is change, remember, and that applies to every aspect, whether physical, spiritual, or in the people we relate to on every level.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  19. #19
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    I have to agree with Ben.....one door closes, another opens. Ultimately, the friends I've drifted away from are simply people I've outgrown and either I no longer fulfill a need they have or they no longer fulfill a need I have and the relationship is no longer in a healthy dynamic for either of us. It's not good, or bad, it just is. The one constant in our lives is change, remember, and that applies to every aspect, whether physical, spiritual, or in the people we relate to on every level.

    Hmm, maybe my reading comprehension is of but I got something different from bdinger's post.

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