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  1. #1
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    Do you avoid steep hills?

    I mean really steep hills...... do you plan your routes to avoid them or include them? I'll admit to both. One of my favorite rides is a very hilly one through Stone City, but there are days I just say no to hills. Maybe I'm getting old....... what am I saying? I'm deffinately getting older.

    Check this hill out....... supposedly 33%...
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    Carpe who?

  2. #2
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampy™
    I mean really steep hills...... do you plan your routes to avoid them?
    Yes.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  3. #3
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Maybe yes, maybe no. For commuting I take the flattest route I can find, only accepting gentle hills if they sharply decrease total time and effort. For run rides also rides with others I work in some moderate hills.
    For training I link together all the most horrible hills I can find.
    This space open

  4. #4
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    No, I don't avoid them. But I'm a big believer in low gears.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    If a hill is in on the way to where I'm going - I ride over it. I usually plan routes to match a selected distance for the day. So my first consideration is distance, then wind direction, then where hills end up in the ride.

    I'd have to admit, I don't like big hills at the very end of a ride.....

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    the steepest hills in my part of the state are highway overpasses so yes, I avoid them if possible...
    centexwoody
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  7. #7
    Junior Member ronmar1's Avatar
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    I live in East Tennessee (Smoky Mountains). If I avoided steep hills, I wouldn't get to ride!!!

    Ron

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    I would like to avoid steep hills, but I live on a plateau so if I want to ride more than 20 miles I have to climb back up onto the plateau at the end of the ride. My solution so far has been to stay on the plateau for my daily "training" rides of 10-15 miles and then force myself to climb the steep hill on my longer rides of 20-30 miles.

    For reference the steep hill I have to climb is 3/4 of a mile with an 8% grade. I'm hoping to see the day when that hill will not be a serious challenge, but I'm not there yet.
    David

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  9. #9
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I have hills around, but have to plan on going there. And I do. I purposely go to hills from time to time to practice and improve my hill climbing ability.

    Hills are your friends.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  10. #10
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    Been avoiding them since last fall, but about a week ago I realized I'm in February condition and it's half past July. I'm supposed to ride a tough century with some friends in September, so I'm LOOKING for hills now. Too late to help much, but I have to do something....

  11. #11
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog
    Been avoiding them since last fall, but about a week ago I realized I'm in February condition and it's half past July. I'm supposed to ride a tough century with some friends in September, so I'm LOOKING for hills now. Too late to help much, but I have to do something....
    Where might you be looking for those hills?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  12. #12
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmar1
    I live in East Tennessee (Smoky Mountains). If I avoided steep hills, I wouldn't get to ride!!!

    Ron
    I live in New Hampshire's mountains (Kearsarge, Sunapee, Ragged). If I avoided steep hills, I wouldn't get to ride--- either!!! Many years ago I went to college in the Johnson City, TN area. NH has the same kind of terrain, just longer and colder, winters. Have you ever ridden up to Roan Mt?
    Bob
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  13. #13
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Depends on what you call steep, I suppose. On the Saturday club rides I lead I always try to include at least one major climb of at least 3.5 miles and an average grade of 6.5%.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  14. #14
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Where I live I have to search hills out and I do on a regular basis. About the worst we have around where I ride is 1/3 of a mile at 12%. I'd ride it more often if it wasn't for the miles of rough pavement I need to ride before getting there. I find that harder to ride than the hill.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  15. #15
    Junior Member ronmar1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
    I live in New Hampshire's mountains (Kearsarge, Sunapee, Ragged). If I avoided steep hills, I wouldn't get to ride--- either!!! Many years ago I went to college in the Johnson City, TN area. NH has the same kind of terrain, just longer and colder, winters. Have you ever ridden up to Roan Mt?
    Never rode Rhone Mtn. But I ride regularly in the Great Smoky Mtns National Park. Great riding and hiking there. Scenery beyond compare!

    Did you go to East Tennessee State?

    Ron

  16. #16
    1. e4 Nf6 Alekhine's Avatar
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    I'm still 14 years shy of the age limit for this forum, but I saw the topic in the overall forums title.

    There are some hills I don't like to climb around here (especially when I'm doing fully loaded camping/touring), but if I do find myself on a monster of a climb, I have no machismo problems stopping in the middle of it to enjoy an apple or suck down some water while my heart returns to a reasonable rate.
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  17. #17
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Hills are your friends.
    Words to live by. Living in hilly country, I learned early that you spend a lot more time going up than going down. Hence one of my rules bicycling: If you're going to learn to like cycling, learn to like climbing.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  18. #18
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    My regular weekend rides end with a somewhat steep hill as there is a 1/3 mile climb leading up to my house.

    I enjoy climbing hills, but am careful to select hills that challenge me without destroying me. 17 years ago I injured my back on a 3 1/2 mile climb in Vermont, and to this day I feel remnants of the pain. It doesn't discourage me from riding and climbing, but I am much more careful.

  19. #19
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    I am certainly no mountain goat on a cycle, I did one big hill for my area, Mt. Diablo. I sucked hard on it, but it got me addicted. I spent a weeks vacation at lake tahoe, woke up at 5:30 am every day to go punish myself on those hills at altitude.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Raketmensch's Avatar
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    Like many here, I seek hills out. It's very hilly where I ride, so a certain amount of proficiency in hill climbing is just necessary anyway. Also, I'm not a heavy guy (~140 pounds), so when I'm on a competitive group ride, steep climbs are where I can do the most damage. And the best way to get good at climbing hills is to climb hills. So I go out looking for 'em.

  21. #21
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Define steep

    I encounter some hills in north coastal San Diego County, but the really steep (>15%) grades tend to be short, and I encounter nothing like my old favorite, Tuna Canyon (Malibu hills northwest of Los Angeles), 3 miles / 5 km averaging just under 12%.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  22. #22
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    The lowest gear I normally use is just under 50 gear-inches, e.g. 42/23, but I carry something in the low-to-mid 40s, such as a 42/26, for fatigue and/or steep hills. For 4 years, I commuted daily up Lusk Bl. in the Sorrento Valley area, about a 1/2 mile / 1 km 12% climb. I started with a 39/28 38-inch gear on a Schwinn Varsity, standing in the cranks, and worked up to staying in the saddle with a 42/24 47-inch gear on a Peugeot UO-8, whose right chainstay eventually cracked.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    The hills overlooking Oakland rise from about 100 feet downtown to 1200 -- 1600 feet max. Now that I've gotten stronger, I regularly climb them for recreational and training rides, but I choose my route carefully. I have no idea what the % grades are, but I choose the least steep grades. So does that mean I avoid steep hills?

  24. #24
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    It varies, but I usually work a few steep hills into my rides. Sometimes I try to go for a relatively easy ride and sometimes I purposely ride as many tough climbs as I can find. You can't ride very far around here without climbing a hill, so I gave up on hating them long ago and learned to enjoy the challenge.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  25. #25
    señor member seaneee's Avatar
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    Yes, yes and yes. San Francisco is a cruel city...

    We have bike maps that help you avoid hills by telling you what the incline is on each street.

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