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Old 08-30-10, 07:07 PM   #1
europa
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My legs aren't tired - why?

Yesterday I did something I've been avoiding - I took the Europa up Expressway Hill. For those that don't know it, it's over 3km long, a bit of a bear and something even the fit riders think about.

Anyways, climbing it on a fixed gear of just over 70" was something I'd been avoiding, but yesterday I did it. Yes, part of the ride was at 24" (two feet, geddit?), but most of it was stand and grind.

You'd expect tired legs afterwards and a bit of residual tiredness today wouldn't you. Well, there isn't any.

Once you crest the beast, you have a 1km downhill run that's fairly hefty itself when going the other way - again, not major but you see lots of red faces climbing it. I came over the crest, then flew down that hill at around 50km/hr - that's right, a cadence of about 150 and yes, it felt as quick as is sounds. It also felt slightly suicidal but I've got two good brakes so was able to keep things under control.

Anyways, discussing things with the lad last night (he's a serious sportsman so has an interest in such things), we postulate that the very high cadence, directly after the climb, flushed the lactic acid out of my leg muscles and that's why they don't feel 'tired and sore' today.

Any thoughts? I should be knackered but I'm not. Maybe I'm fitter than I think but ...

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Old 08-30-10, 07:11 PM   #2
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How many Fosters did you have?
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Old 08-30-10, 07:15 PM   #3
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Do repeats until you get tired.
You must be a very fit rider.
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Old 08-30-10, 07:21 PM   #4
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Because you're an animal, or possibly robotic.
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Old 08-30-10, 07:26 PM   #5
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How many Fosters did you have?
Erk, only foreigners drink that muck, that's why we export it. I'se a Cooper's man.

The lad keeps telling me I'm fitter than I think I am, and he's probably right - I have built up to this point, but even so, my legs should be tired. If it's the downhill run afterwards, the theory that keeping the legs working cleans out the muscles (and in this case, it was an extreme example), I'm suddenly far less afraid of that climb than I was (I'm not too proud to walk and this time last year, was doing worse on the geared bike).

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Old 08-30-10, 07:34 PM   #6
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I vote for the robot thing.
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Old 08-30-10, 08:25 PM   #7
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Maybe the you just dreamed you rode the hill.
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Old 08-31-10, 12:51 AM   #8
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Nothing wrong with Fosters- I buy it for my mates all the time but they know that if they touch my Spitfire they get their hands chopped off.

We have a few hills round here that will kill the legs but we also have a way of overcoming the lactic once it is there. Get to the top of the hill and silly spin till it goes away. Silly spin is cadence of 110 to 120 with no effort involved. Sounds like this is what you have done.

But have to agree with 10 wheels. It would be interesting from a research point of view if you did hill repeats till the legs give out. Then we could see if you are stonger than you think or the hill is just a pimple that looks daunting.
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Old 08-31-10, 01:09 AM   #9
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We have a few hills round here that will kill the legs but we also have a way of overcoming the lactic once it is there. Get to the top of the hill and silly spin till it goes away. Silly spin is cadence of 110 to 120 with no effort involved. Sounds like this is what you have done.
That's exactly what I've done ... only I went a bit overboard. Thanks mate, it confirms what I thought and will now form part of my riding armoury. I've always kept pedalling down hills but not to this extent (or yours) so the result wasn't as marked.

As for effort, I was flat out keeping up with the pedals - there's a mantra that runs through my mind: chase them pedals, chase them pedals.

Quote:
But have to agree with 10 wheels. It would be interesting from a research point of view if you did hill repeats till the legs give out. Then we could see if you are stonger than you think or the hill is just a pimple that looks daunting.
Hah! That sounds too much like 'training'. Actually, I was markedly lacking in power in the final part of the ride, to the point where I began to fear for my knees because I was mashing up the steady incline to home and couldn't get the speed up enough to turn that into spinning (I usually arrive home with the heart rate monitor having hysterics). Besides, I'm averse to pain ... so why do I ride bikes? Why do I ride fixed? Maybe I am madder than I thought I was.

Thanks for the feedback. I wasn't after pats, it was (and still is) a genuine quesion though I'm human enough to enjoy the pats. Now to put it into some sort of perspective - I don't mind doing the odd silly thing, being silly all the time is going too far.

I had a day off today (hence all the posts) and off the bike. The plan was for a gentle 'recovery' ride along the beach but the 20 kt head wind discouraged me. Tomorrow I plan to take my long route to work (30 kms, some of it along the beach) with the big climb home ... only they've started predicting high winds and rain

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Old 09-01-10, 04:11 PM   #10
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Interesting post. I've found on long fixed gear rides, esp. those with climbing, it's the descents that wear me out. I ride a 42t x 15t, so mid 70 inch gear and I'm a decent climber . . . though not great by any means.

However, unlike your experience, I've found the climbing bits (and of course the flat roads) no problem. It's just spinning like the proverbial hamster in a cage-wheel on the way down does me in.

Yes, I have brakes on the fixed gear bike, but I still try to spin as fast as I can (30 mph is about my limit) though I do have 2 brakes, and have been known to actually use them.

I've ridden 3 fixed gear centuries this year, but I'm not sure I'll try another. If I do though, I'll keep your experience in mind and check to see if it's applicable to me. I kind of doubt it now, but hey, I've been wrong before!

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Old 09-04-10, 09:41 PM   #11
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Droid. Don't trust him.
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