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Old 10-10-10, 03:09 PM   #1
stapfam
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Why ride Hills? ? ? ?

Not been doing much riding recently but rather than just go out to stretch the legs- Decided to do a couple of hills.

First one is called the "High and Over" and it goes over the South Downs and is high. Luckily- I had taken the TCR with the triple and Found I needed that 30/27. I am not fit but the hill is about 1 mile long- listed as 12% but at the start has a little nasty bit at about 20%. Got to the top slowly and rode over the top. Then a bit of downhill to cool the legs and up a deceptive hill. Start is hard and must be around 15% for 200 yards. Then it leans off to around 8% and has a section that is wrong. You know you are going uphill but stop pedalling and you don't lose much speed. Up to the top and down the .7 mile 16% that is great. Then a 3 mile long drag that is about 3 to 5% but with a couple of 10% sections in it. I look forward to the 10% bits as the 3 to 5 bit is so boring. I am working firmly but just changing down and down on the gears as energy disapears. Then down into Eastbourne for a coffee. (No Pie today as visitors coming and an early lunch)

Done enough hills so back home on the flat bits. 10 miles and only 300ft of climbing in it but they are in short sharp sections. On the way back I met one of my customers who was going the same way home so we rode and talked. He had gone out for a 60 mile ride across the marshes and that is flat. He always does this type of ride and from our home town- you can get in a 120 mile circular route that only has about 1,000ft of climbing. I have done this ride once and it is boring. I told him so but he replied that he can't see the sense in doing hills. My ride this morning was only 30 miles long and the 2,500 ft of climbing came in about 12 miles. He had done 60 and averaged 19mph for the 60. We agreed that we would not ride with each other much as we have a different type of riding that we each enjoy.

Now I am not fit right now- so why the H*ll did I go out and do a Hilly ride?-- and enjoy it.

And a reciprocal question- What interest is there in going for a Flat ride in which the only interest is in how fast you can do it?

I have my own reasons in that I am not a speed merchant and I have bikes set up for a few slopes

What are your thoughts?
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Old 10-10-10, 03:34 PM   #2
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Because they're there?

I think the ride you did today probably would have killed me! My ride today was 40km and had 429m of climbing, most of that in one corner of Gatineau park. My brain likes hills, my body not so much (yet).
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Old 10-10-10, 03:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Not been doing much riding recently but rather than just go out to stretch the legs- Decided to do a couple of hills.

First one is called the "High and Over" and it goes over the South Downs and is high. Luckily- I had taken the TCR with the triple and Found I needed that 30/27. I am not fit but the hill is about 1 mile long- listed as 12% but at the start has a little nasty bit at about 20%. Got to the top slowly and rode over the top. Then a bit of downhill to cool the legs and up a deceptive hill. Start is hard and must be around 15% for 200 yards. Then it leans off to around 8% and has a section that is wrong. You know you are going uphill but stop pedalling and you don't lose much speed. Up to the top and down the .7 mile 16% that is great. Then a 3 mile long drag that is about 3 to 5% but with a couple of 10% sections in it. I look forward to the 10% bits as the 3 to 5 bit is so boring. I am working firmly but just changing down and down on the gears as energy disapears. Then down into Eastbourne for a coffee. (No Pie today as visitors coming and an early lunch)

Done enough hills so back home on the flat bits. 10 miles and only 300ft of climbing in it but they are in short sharp sections. On the way back I met one of my customers who was going the same way home so we rode and talked. He had gone out for a 60 mile ride across the marshes and that is flat. He always does this type of ride and from our home town- you can get in a 120 mile circular route that only has about 1,000ft of climbing. I have done this ride once and it is boring. I told him so but he replied that he can't see the sense in doing hills. My ride this morning was only 30 miles long and the 2,500 ft of climbing came in about 12 miles. He had done 60 and averaged 19mph for the 60. We agreed that we would not ride with each other much as we have a different type of riding that we each enjoy.

Now I am not fit right now- so why the H*ll did I go out and do a Hilly ride?-- and enjoy it.

And a reciprocal question- What interest is there in going for a Flat ride in which the only interest is in how fast you can do it?

I have my own reasons in that I am not a speed merchant and I have bikes set up for a few slopes

What are your thoughts?
When I am meandering around Austin by myself and can go wherever I want, whenever I come to an intersection I always choose the turn that takes me uphill. Flat is boring and gives me little sense of achievement.

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Old 10-10-10, 03:45 PM   #4
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Living in Colorado Springs, CO. if you head out north, west or south, you've got hill's, darn hard to find a totally flat road, now if you go out far enough EAST, ya there's the "plains" so it can be pretty flat. Me I just like to ride, if there's hill's, I'll tackle them the best I can but LOL, I certainly don't go, "out of my way" to find hills!
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Old 10-10-10, 04:24 PM   #5
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I grew up in the foothills of west Los Angeles, and my father always warned me to save some energy when visiting my friends down the hill, so that I would be able to pedal back home. I spent my high school years in Huntington Beach, where hills were short and far apart.

During my college years at UCLA (1968 to 1978, with three degrees and a lovely wife to show for my efforts), I completed countless bicycle tours of the hills from Griffith Park through Malibu. I have to seek out comparable hills in north coastal San Diego County, where everything seems to be either at sea level or 400' above. There are some good challenges further inland, of course, such as Palomar Mountain, or further south, such as La Jolla's Via Capri.
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Old 10-10-10, 04:41 PM   #6
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I live in Chicago and can't find much of a hill for 100 miles in any direction.

This year I discovered the kind of hilly riding described in the opening post... and love it. Climbing 10 to 22% grades provides a challenge and promotes fitness in a way that cannot be duplicated on flat routes.

How much do I enjoy hills? I drove 2.5 hours to ride the hilly region west of Madison WI 12 times this year. I also completed the Dairyland Dare 150k with 10,000 feet of climbing.

I'm planning my riding for next year and hope to complete 3 century events and a road race in the same hilly region. To prepare, I'll need to travel to Wisconsin almost every week during May, June & July.
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Old 10-10-10, 05:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post

Now I am not fit right now- so why the H*ll did I go out and do a Hilly ride?-- and enjoy it.

And a reciprocal question- What interest is there in going for a Flat ride in which the only interest is in how fast you can do it?

I have my own reasons in that I am not a speed merchant and I have bikes set up for a few slopes

What are your thoughts?
I think you answered your own question with this.

I like to climb but do not do much of it only because I do not want to load up the bike and drive 1 and half to 2 hours to the mountains in Va.. I have and will again though but there are some who do not like to climb for whatever reason and would rather ride fast because they enjoy it.
When I read all the ride reports from the guys out west in the Rockies I wish I could be them at times.
But the bottom line for me is I like to ride my bike where ever I am and what ever roads I have to ride on.
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Old 10-10-10, 05:44 PM   #8
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'Cause I have to drive over 2 hours to find some flat lands.
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Old 10-10-10, 07:42 PM   #9
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I like to mix it up. Flat is fine, hilly is fine. I'm on a bicycle after all. On the idea that flat is easy I beg to differ - if you believe that you have never ridden 90 miles into a stiff headwind. Hilly country usually means winding roads, so you are not stuck going into that headwind for long stretches at a time. Just like hills, flat country has its own mindset you need to be in to enjoy it. Those who really like to bike enjoy it wherever they happen to be riding at the time.
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Old 10-10-10, 07:51 PM   #10
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I rode 11,575 feet of elevation gain over 200 miles yesterday and it was nothing but fun.

So I conclude that the reason to ride hills is that it's fun.

The descents are nice too, just as a further bonus.

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Old 10-10-10, 08:55 PM   #11
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When I first started to ride again hills would kill me.Now I look at them and see how long it will take me to go up the hills and I am pulling a BoB and have a full set of panniers as well.I am getting ready for my trip to Bangor Maine I plan on leaving on April 1 2011.So I look for hills to ride and help me get stronger.It is paying off a little but man your leg will start to burn like fire then they stop burning just as fast as they started.So hills can be a good thing.
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Old 10-10-10, 09:02 PM   #12
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I rode 11,575 feet of elevation gain over 200 miles yesterday and it was nothing but fun.

So I conclude that the reason to ride hills is that it's fun.

The descents are nice too, just as a further bonus.

Rick / OCRR
Well that is because there is a defect in the brain of us double century riders that causes pain to be confused with joy.

Last edited by Lanceoldstrong; 10-11-10 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 10-10-10, 10:09 PM   #13
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Well that is because there is a defect in brain of us double century riders that causes pain to be confused with joy.
Hi Lance,

What can I say . . . ? You may be right. But if one man's pain is another man's joy that's probably a good thing!

Congratulations on your five doubles this year and your Thousand Mile Club status (good looking jersey too)!

I looked for you and Curtis all day long, but apparently you were a few minutes behind us (Dante and me) all day. Hope to see you on Camino Real in Feb. 2011.

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Old 10-11-10, 06:57 AM   #14
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Joseph Conrad was an author and ship Captain in the age of windjammers. In a novel or essay, I've forgotten which, a character comments how when 'it comes on to blow a ship comes alive and is a living breathing thing'. I'm a retired boat builder but in my young years spent some time voyaging at sea and just like Conrad's character, found a sailing vessel wakes up in a breeze. For me, at higher speeds, a bike also wakes up in just the same way as a sail boat. For me, this is at about 20 mph.

I'm a noob cyclist and have also found that as my fitness increases my enjoyment of climbing is also increasing. Sitting and grinding away is not so interesting to me but standing and powering up hills is great. So far, neither higher speeds of climbing at speed is sustainable but I'm working on it.
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