Originally Posted by stapfam
... Climbing these on my mountain bike with very low gearing is not hard. Just grind away and eventually you get there. I was reminded today of the advice that I give all Novices- or non-hillclimbers. Start the hill in a sensible gear that keeps the cadence where you want it. As it gets hard- change down. Harder still? then change down again and again. When you run out of gears and it is still hard- Then SLOW down.
Reason for mentioning this is that Last sunday was the UK's big ride for casual riders. This takes in one hill that is 10% to 15% all the way up for one mile...
This evening's ride definitely reminded me of this.
Short-ish (anything under 2-3 miles), Steep (anything 12%+), not so sweet.
I'm back here in Northern NJ, visiting the parents for the month and riding most days as a good 'release' of pressure. After the longer climbs I'm now accustomed to in CA, thinking of NJ hills didn't really enter my mind much as 'challenging', at least til you hit a choice few. 2-nite's was one I had forgotten, climbing a back street from West Orange up to So. Mountain Res., 3/4 mile long, but once on it, unrelenting 12%-15%, with the ocassional 15%+ (is that where the horses were supposed to rest?).
There really is no 'spinning' way up a 12+ grade. I pick something reasonable in a gear and hope it all ends soon.
Everyone's idea of 'spinning' on a climb is different. Personally, if I can pick up an 'mph' or 2 and do a 60-65 rpm pace, I'll 'grind' up in that gear. If I can alternate between sitting and standing for sections of a climb, then I'm in the right gear for me. If I'm forced to stand in a gear, with no other options, then I'd better be close to the top, because I'm doomed to be 'blowin up' not too far up the road. Some riders seem to relish 'Out of the saddle' for an entire climb; but anything over a mile out of the saddle will doom any effort I make.
It's interesting to note that some climbs are more 'enjoyable' than others of the same general grade and plan. Not sure why that would be, scenery aside. But definitly the grind up from Millbrook Villagen near the Del Water Gap is way more enjoyable that 2nite's surprising little hurt dance, even though the climb out of Millbrook is both steeper overall and somewhat longer. That now seems true of other climb comparisons.
Anyone else find that for themselves?