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Old 08-12-07, 11:59 AM   #1
Digital Gee
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When does something become a hill?

What's your personal paradigm for hills?

I used to think the road ahead became a hill whenever I had to shift to an easier gear, but then hills go down, too, and I don't shift to an easier gear to go down. Plus, if I can go down fast enough, the "hill" ahead is not hard at all and I don't shift. So it's not about shifting.

I ride in urban areas, so there aren't too many things that look like hills. There are some clear cut whoppers of hills, like Texas Street and the road out by Torrey Pines, but the rest is pretty flat -- with the occasional block or two that dips up or down. Are those hills?

What constitutes a hill? How do you define it?
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Old 08-12-07, 12:04 PM   #2
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When children on tricycles pass me, I'm pretty sure I'm on a hill.
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Old 08-12-07, 12:11 PM   #3
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Good question! I've been wondering about this.

To me, a hill is an incline on which I need to go from one of the high gears all the way down (or very close) to the granny gear and even then my HR is high when I get to the top and my legs feel like they need to rest. A highly-conditioned roadie might blast past me, but it's still a hill.
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Old 08-12-07, 12:24 PM   #4
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"...personal paradigm for hills..."? DG: You need to get away from work and ride more. You're spending way too much time with words like "paradigm". I mean what is my personal model for a hill? Of course, I could be making a mountain out of a mole hill.
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Old 08-12-07, 12:29 PM   #5
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With the wife who just started riding, it's any surface that isn't dead level, aka the bubble is in the center of the site glass. I would refer to the local MUP as flat; but she has dismounted and walked a couple spots. Now for me a hill is certainly an incline that requires me to down shift; however, where I ride is a lot of what I'd call rolling hills, I do not shift for many of them, I just tuff it out, maybe even stand to climb the brief distance they exist. Then there are hills I just don't ride, I know them when I see them. When my speed in granny gear drops thru 5 mph, I dismount and walk. Rides I plan for myself do not have these hills.
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Old 08-12-07, 12:31 PM   #6
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I don't want to know about hills- but can someone explain what Flatbits are?

See my user title for How I like Hills.
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Old 08-12-07, 12:54 PM   #7
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never rode up the hill to the old UCSD hospital off of University. That is a hill. A hill to me is when I have ratcheted down my gearing to a granny like positon; and my HRM rises about 20 beats without stopping.
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Old 08-12-07, 01:57 PM   #8
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On my local routes- that is me all the time. If I spend too much time in between hills- it gets boring. Still can't climb slopes fast but haven't had one defeat me in about 2 years. Last one was on the Tandem and that was only defeating us because of no grip. No---Correction- it was defeating me because when you loose grip offroad in mud on a tandem- The stoker jumps off and pushes the Pilot up the hill. Puts a lot of Potential stokers off taking the chance of a thrill of a lifetime.

There is a technique for hills-That is if you want to climb them- You start in the lowest ring you have got on the front and start at a cadence you feel is right- as it gets harder- you change down. Harder still and change again and again. When you have no more gears- you slow down. Then if you feel that you cannot go any further- you get out of the saddle and mash. It does not matter how slow you get up hills- Just don't get off the bike.
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Old 08-12-07, 02:14 PM   #9
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never rode up the hill to the old UCSD hospital off of University. That is a hill. A hill to me is when I have ratcheted down my gearing to a granny like positon; and my HRM rises about 20 beats without stopping.

+1 If your heart rate doesn't go up at least 15%, then it ain't a hill, it's just an incline.

You're going downhill when you reach for your brakes before you see the intersection or stop sign.
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Old 08-12-07, 02:22 PM   #10
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Old 08-12-07, 02:56 PM   #11
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I suppose Tuna Canyon Road, in the Malibu "mountains," qualifies.
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Old 08-12-07, 04:06 PM   #12
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If its not going down then it might be a "flatbit" but its probably a hill.
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Old 08-12-07, 04:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
I ride in urban areas, so there aren't too many things that look like hills. There are some clear cut whoppers of hills, like Texas Street and the road out by Torrey Pines, but the rest is pretty flat -- with the occasional block or two that dips up or down. Are those hills?
Texas Street is not a hill; nor a mountain; It is a WALL. Especially, when reached at the end of a ride from Long Beach.

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I suppose Tuna Canyon Road, in the Malibu "mountains," qualifies.
Many years ago I use to commute into the SF valley from Topanga. Topanga Canyon Blvd, Tuna Canyon Road and Stunt Road are definitely character builders. Broke many a gut out in them there hills. In those days, the real - NOT ME - road warriors climbed those hills with 42X16's.
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Old 08-12-07, 04:24 PM   #14
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I'd say 1000' climb at a 15% grade qualifies. Everything else is just whining.
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Old 08-12-07, 04:38 PM   #15
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As opposed to a "bump", "rollers", a "Cole-", or an "Alp"?
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Old 08-12-07, 04:50 PM   #16
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There was a time when I thought freeway overpasses were hills... with experience that has changed. Basically now I consider a hill anything with at least a 4% gradient and goes for more than a 1/2 mile. Where I live we have some decent little hills- 10% gradients for a mile or so. Or hills like Newport Coast which are 6 - 8% for 2 - 3 miles. I've been using those suckers for training. Once you consistantly climb something like that, other "bumps" look well, like bumps.
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Old 08-12-07, 06:00 PM   #17
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"A usually rounded earth surface lower then a mountain" Websters'. A mountain to me is at least 1,000 feet above anything around it so . . . For grade I would need to drop out of the big ring. If you are just going up and down a hundred feet or so I'd just call them rollies and ignore them.

For contrast just look at the highest point in kansas, mt. Sunflower

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Old 08-12-07, 06:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post

I ride in urban areas, so there aren't too many things that look like hills. There are some clear cut whoppers of hills, like Texas Street and the road out by Torrey Pines, but the rest is pretty flat -- with the occasional block or two that dips up or down. Are those hills?

What constitutes a hill? How do you define it?
Hey, DG - have you ever done the Torrey Pines Grade inside the State Park?

Try it - it is a blast - not the 4 lane but the real old 2 lane! It is steep enough that they used to go up backwards with the Model T's - gravity feed gas tanks would not feed down at that grade percentage.

A hill?

In the eye of the beholder, IMHO.

To me, I need to be in small chain ring pushing hard. Otherwise - an incline
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Old 08-12-07, 06:10 PM   #19
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If you think its a hill, then it is a hill.
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Old 08-12-07, 06:20 PM   #20
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When jppe says so.
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Old 08-12-07, 06:43 PM   #21
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Like the bloke who went into a Rolls Royce dealership was told - if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Same with hills. If you ask the question, it's a hill

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Old 08-12-07, 06:47 PM   #22
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I agree with another respondent that this is an interesting question. I'm at my official residence in central Louisiana this weekend. It is, for all intents and purposes, flat around these parts. Some of the rollers and inclines here that I viewed as hills just don't seem to qualify as hills anymore since I've been on several rides at my semi-permanent residence in northwest Arkansas that included 900 to 3,000 feet of climbing. Also, my level of fitness has improved, so I don't view the rollers and inclines as I did, previously. I'd like to be able to provide a more technical answer than this, but it's the best I can do.
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Old 08-12-07, 06:49 PM   #23
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A mountain by definition is 3,000 feet or more. A hill would therefore be less than that. Almost anything therefore can be considered a hill if you so choose - or perhaps a hill needs to be bigger than a mound or an overpass.

But, that depends where you are of course, and how desperate you are to excuse your lame performance...
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Old 08-12-07, 06:49 PM   #24
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A hill is any incline that makes me slow down below 10mph. Hmm, would that make Delaware hill country?
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Old 08-12-07, 06:50 PM   #25
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It becomes a hill on the way down. Going up it's a mountain.
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