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Old 05-13-12, 01:59 PM   #1
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Knees hurt a bit.

Got a longer ride planned for next week and it will require hill climbing and speed. Both of which have been lacking recently so todays ride was a test to see if I have improved on either. About 3,000 ft of climb in the space of 5 miles and the rest of the ride would be flattish for whatever distance that was going to be. Well I am still slow on the hills in comparison to my ride mates but after 20 miles it was coffee time. They had to wait at the top of all the hills but I was happy with my turn of speed. Thats the trouble with going out with fit baskets- They get cold waiting for the slow riders.

BUT after coffee--flat 5 miles and I just took my pace while two of them tried outsprinting each other. Mick soon came and joined me as he realised that he was losing too much energy trying to stay with them and we gradually caught the other two. Soon as we caught them it was Mick or me leading the other two until we got to about a 2% slope for a mile. By the end of this it was me or Mick into the headwind- the others had gone. We slowed for them to get on our tail then we got back up to speed. Couple of miles further on and we were alone again so slow down to let them catch up. This was across the Marshes so pretty flat but every couple of miles we had to allow them to catch up. When we slowed down- we just changed down on gearing and kept the cadence up and I think this helped me get into a rhythm that I could sustain.

So 45 miles eventually and I may have been slow on the hills but not too bad but speed has definitely gone up on the flat bits and it looks as though my endurance is coming back. Finished the ride with enough energy to walk round the garden with a coffee- but that was about it. Knees were beginning to ache so time to go in and watch the F1 in Spain---I saw the start- and I saw the finish- but must be the Alzheimer's coming in cos I can't remember any thing in between. Wife said I was snoring but can't believe that.

Only effect from today is the knees. Feel Fine otherwise so it looks like a few quad exercises to get them back in trim and just hope that I can get them sorted by next weekend. If not it is going to be a painful ride.
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Old 05-13-12, 03:14 PM   #2
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Wow - 3000' elevation gain in 5 miles, that's a sustained 11 to 12% grade. I would imagine your knees hurt. I didn't think you had mountains like that in South east UK. That kind of climb is like Mt Washington or Equinox here in the Northeast US. You must be some old "goat"!
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Old 05-13-12, 03:42 PM   #3
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Nice ride, Stapfam.
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Old 05-13-12, 08:38 PM   #4
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I too have been hampered by a very sore knee over the past week. My condition was brought on by jogging as I was trying to start jogging a few miles a day in addition to cycling on the weekends. You see, I don't have time to cycle on the week days because of my teaching and buisness. Well, I think I have learned my lesson about jogging. For now, I have given up on the idea of jogging.
The GOOD NEWS is I decided to try a supplement designed to lubricate and facilitate the joints in my body. I bought some Osteo Bi-Flex it is made up of Glucosamine Chondroitin. Believe it or not; I took 2 capsules at breakfast this morning and the pain in my knee is virtually gone. I think I will be able to resume my workouts tomorrow morning.
Here is the website: http://www.osteobiflex.com/
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Old 05-13-12, 09:12 PM   #5
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if you guys with knee pain are riding clipless, your pedals may be to blame. I have no history of knee pain but from what Ive read here Speedplay pedal systems allow for much more "float" than most other retention options which is billed as less taxing on your joints leading to less knee pain. I do ride speedplay's and love them but I didnt buy them because of this.
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Old 05-14-12, 05:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnosis View Post
Respectfully, it would be the equivalent of a sustained 6.525 degree incline (not 11 to 12 degrees as you alluded).

5 miles * 5,280 feet = 26,400 feet (length of a sustained 5 mile incline in feet)

sine = vertical height / incline length

3,000 feet / 26,400 feet = .113636364 sine

inverse sine (.113636364) = 6.524978844 degrees of incline

Hence, an 11 to 12 degree sustained incline 5 miles in length would be a merciless vertical elevation increase of 5,037.36 to 5488.87 feet (respectively) over an incline length of 26,400 feet (5 miles).
I believe you are thinking of tangent and not sine and you are trying to get to angle of incline. Grade is rise over run.
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Old 05-14-12, 01:23 PM   #7
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Got technical now and trying to read some of the above- Besides my knees hurting- "My Brain Urts Brian" (Old UK quip from many years ago)

All I can tell you is that the ride was up and down some of the steeper hills round here and were in a short distance in comparison to the total ride and the rest of the ride was easy. The Hills round here start steep and don't go on for long and I no longer use a Computer as it depresses me when I find out how slow I am. Total climb is 3,000ft as I have measured them before. Distance may have been 6 miles to get in the extra last hill but I doubt it.

But back to that ride--Mick and I both felt fine at the end of the ride but He did notice one thing about my riding. It seems to take me about 10 miles to get my legs and lungs in and yesterday while we were leaving the other two- he seemed to think that it was me setting the pace. I thought I was doing well to stay on his tail. So the compromise is that we both worked hard but not to our limit. Average for the ride was 15.2mph so that is a big improvement for me (Taken from Micks computer) as I have been averaging around 14 without the big hills. Seems that those extra rides with some extra hills I do in the week are beginning to pay off.
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Old 05-14-12, 02:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gnosis View Post
Respectfully, it would be the equivalent of a sustained 6.525 degree incline (not 11 to 12 degrees as you alluded).
If you reread post #2, you'll see Cyclinfool used "%", or "percent". You apparently read "degrees". You're both correct, using different units.
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Old 05-14-12, 02:11 PM   #9
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So where do your knees hurt? Are you adusting the saddle at all? I've been finding if my knees start to hurt in front, it helps if I raise the saddle a mm or two. If they hurt in the back (overextending), it helps if I lower it a bit. I used to have chronic achilles and groin pain, until I lowered the saddle a couple of mm.
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Old 05-14-12, 02:41 PM   #10
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So where do your knees hurt? Are you adusting the saddle at all? I've been finding if my knees start to hurt in front, it helps if I raise the saddle a mm or two. If they hurt in the back (overextending), it helps if I lower it a bit. I used to have chronic achilles and groin pain, until I lowered the saddle a couple of mm.
My knee problem started 40 years ago and was while I was serving in the Marines. Was told at the time to keep active as long as possible or I would become a wheelchair user. Haven't stopped exercising since I came out but the form of exercise has. 31 years ago had to stop XC running and took up cycling 22 years ago. The problem has been a cutback in exercise over the winter and I am just getting back to serious hard labour of putting them under strain.

Providing I do not stop exercising- I am fine. Take a break as in the last 8 months and I am in trouble.

And on Sundays ride again and 4 blokes out on a ride and there is always some competitiveness somewhere. Short slope for 200 yards at around 8 to 10% and the other three started playing the hill. I sat behind them and out of the saddle waiting for them to go. I was prepared for it and they were waiting for the first to go but it did not happen as 100 yards before the top I went. Sailed past them and they did not have a chance. Had to show them that I still had it in me- but I paid for it for about 5 minutes after while I listened to their excuses as to how the older rider beat them.
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Old 05-14-12, 03:53 PM   #11
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Actually, I stand 100% correct.
Uhh, not really. I'm not a physicist but I am a Civil Engineer with just a little practical experience on the subject. Reread the post in question and you will find cyclinfool said "that's a sustained 11 to 12% grade". Note %, not degrees. In engineering terms, an 11% grade is one that gains or loses 11 units for every 100 horizontal units (rise/run as stated by cyclinfool) so that the tangent would be 11/100= .11 = 6.28 degrees (rounded).

Edit: Just noticed andrewclaus noted the same thing.
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Old 05-14-12, 05:57 PM   #12
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Wow - maybe we should all post our diplomas - I gotta a bunch of em...

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Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
Uhh, not really. I'm not a physicist but I am a Civil Engineer with just a little practical experience on the subject. Reread the post in question and you will find cyclinfool said "that's a sustained 11 to 12% grade". Note %, not degrees. In engineering terms, an 11% grade is one that gains or loses 11 units for every 100 horizontal units (rise/run as stated by cyclinfool) so that the tangent would be 11/100= .11 = 6.28 degrees (rounded).

Edit: Just noticed andrewclaus noted the same thing.
Tom, I am glad a real enginner spoke up (seriously) because I thought about my hurried response. I have made this mistake before. The issue is the ambiguity of the term run. As I recall (maybe incorrectly) is that the grade is elevation gained over distance traveled (run). In geometric terms that is the height of the triangle over the hypotenuse and not the horizontal distance. If it were the horizontal distance than one could have a % grade greater than 100%. I offer an example, on Whiteface Memorial highway you travel 8 miles on your odometer (road distance) and you rise 3522 feet, the road has a 8.3% average grade (3522/(8*5280)) as listed by the NYS DOT and built by some very talented civil engineers I might add.

For good climbs in the NE - check out this link and see the grades: http://www.northeastcycling.com/Mtn_Climbs.html. I know WF is 8 miles long from experience

Now with all those silly numbers let's give Stepfam credit - he IS the king of the hill, because there isn't anything on that list he couldn't climb.
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Old 05-14-12, 06:06 PM   #13
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Wow - 3000' elevation gain in 5 miles, that's a sustained 11 to 12% grade.
Wow, indeed!
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Old 05-14-12, 09:15 PM   #14
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I'm an engineer also. And it's hard to pedal uphill.
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Old 05-15-12, 06:20 AM   #15
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^^ Agreed Monoborrocho, another engineer that finds hills difficult to pedal up. Maybe a new Theorem is forming here, the 50+ hills are harder to pedal up theorem! Now I remember why I quit teaching physics, "It makes my brain urt Brian"
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Old 05-15-12, 06:32 AM   #16
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I DON'T have an engineering degree, but even I know that cyclists NEVER use degrees to measure a slope. So using degrees is WRONG no matter what number you come up with and no matter how accurately you measure.

BTW, just to stir the hornet's nest -- although percent grade is rise over run, it's 'good enough for government work' if you take rise over distance traveled. IOW, the hypotenuse not the horizontal distance. Yes, it's not quite correct but the error for the grades we see is on the order of a tenth percent - not enough to tell with my 50+ legs.
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Old 05-15-12, 09:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
The issue is the ambiguity of the term run. As I recall (maybe incorrectly) is that the grade is elevation gained over distance traveled (run). In geometric terms that is the height of the triangle over the hypotenuse and not the horizontal distance. If it were the horizontal distance than one could have a % grade greater than 100%. I offer an example, on Whiteface Memorial highway you travel 8 miles on your odometer (road distance) and you rise 3522 feet, the road has a 8.3% average grade (3522/(8*5280)) as listed by the NYS DOT and built by some very talented civil engineers I might add.
Run is not the hypotenuse. In simple terms, % grade is rise/run X 100 where run is the horizontal distance (level). This is the same as the tangent of the angle X 100.

Until the slope starts getting very steep there is very little difference between level distance and traveled distance (hypotenuse). The relationship between travel distance and level distance is the cosine of the angle. So an 11% slope is a 6.28 degree angle, the cosine of which is .994. So the difference is in the third decimal place, roughly 30 feet per mile for 11%. Pretty much nothing in biking terms. For your example above, the cosine is .997 (rounded) or around 17 feet error per mile, undetectable by odometer.
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Old 05-15-12, 09:47 AM   #18
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Old 05-15-12, 04:55 PM   #19
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Run is not the hypotenuse. In simple terms, % grade is rise/run X 100 where run is the horizontal distance (level). This is the same as the tangent of the angle X 100.

Until the slope starts getting very steep there is very little difference between level distance and traveled distance (hypotenuse). The relationship between travel distance and level distance is the cosine of the angle. So an 11% slope is a 6.28 degree angle, the cosine of which is .994. So the difference is in the third decimal place, roughly 30 feet per mile for 11%. Pretty much nothing in biking terms. For your example above, the cosine is .997 (rounded) or around 17 feet error per mile, undetectable by odometer.
OK Tom - thanks. I was confused because I did not think you could have a grade over 100%, i.e. if you have an incline angle greater than 45degrees. That just intuitively did not seem righ to me. Some disciplines use the same term but have different meanings. Although I must confess I too have degrees in Engineering but they lack "Civility". So I should have stuck with my first answer.
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Old 05-15-12, 08:18 PM   #20
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I have had some twinges of knee pain over the years and when I slow down my cadence and push the pedals it seems to act up. If I keep my cadence up and spin, I really don't notice it. In fact that is one of my personal indicators that I am getting lazy is if I feel my knees. Then it's time to kick it down a gear and raise the rpm.
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Old 05-15-12, 09:04 PM   #21
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OK Tom - thanks. I was confused because I did not think you could have a grade over 100%, i.e. if you have an incline angle greater than 45degrees. That just intuitively did not seem righ to me. Some disciplines use the same term but have different meanings. Although I must confess I too have degrees in Engineering but they lack "Civility". So I should have stuck with my first answer.
Below is an image of a page from some road plans, plan view at top and profiles at bottom. Note the "station numbers" (distances from a reference in hundreds of feet) and elevations on the vertical scale. It's easy to see how the grade calculations are made.

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