Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-11-12, 04:39 PM   #1
moppeddler
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington, Mo
Bikes: Trek 1.5, Scwinn Sporterra comp, Cannondale Synapse carbon
Posts: 327
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Is this steep?

I just used Strava to map out a ride I've done a couple times. It's about 25 miles with some hills, but there's a hill at the end that I really struggle with. It climbs about 160ft in .75 miles. That about kills me. I'm sure other more experienced riders who are good climbers will laugh at that, but would you consider that a good challenge for someone who's fairly new to the sport & has about 600 miles in the saddle? The steepest part of the grade is almost 11% for about 1/8 mile.
moppeddler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 04:51 PM   #2
billydonn
Council of the Elders
 
billydonn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Omaha, NE
Bikes: 1990 Schwinn Crosscut, 5 Lemonds
Posts: 3,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sure, it sounds like it's just the ticket. This is all relative to your current ability, as you say. If you keep riding for awhile, you'll come back to that hill in a couple years and find that you are much better at it. It's one of the real pleasures of doing this for a long time, IMO.
billydonn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 05:04 PM   #3
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Edwardsville, Illinois
Bikes: De Rosa Super Prestige, Colnago Nuova Mexico, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Pinarello Gavia, Schwinn Paramount, Motobecane Grand Record, Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Origin8 monstercross, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2
Posts: 10,763
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Yeah, that's steep for someone learning the sport. Keep repeating the route and by the end of the summer it will become easier;

Spinning is easier than mashing. Mashing the pedals at a slow cadence requires more energy and is less efficient than spinning at a higher cadence. Having a wide range drivetrain with a chain-wheel to cog ratio that is 1:1 or better really helps.

A smooth cadence that produces power at all phases of the pedal stroke improves performance. Good shoes and clip-less pedals along with good technique matters. Again, staying seated and spinning is easier than standing and mashing. I will sometimes stand and mash, but I save that for the steepest part of the climb.
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 06-12-12 at 07:05 AM.
Barrettscv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 05:11 PM   #4
rdtompki
Senior Member
 
rdtompki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hollister, CA
Bikes: Volagi, daVinci Joint Venture
Posts: 3,962
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes. The average grade is only 4% which shouldn't be bad with reasonable gearing, but the 11% can easily cause someone getting started to either run out of legs, cardio or both That's a right-sized hill for strength building.
rdtompki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 05:20 PM   #5
sparrish
Senior Member
 
sparrish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Apex, NC
Bikes: Novara Verita, Trek 4500 MTB, Merckx Team SC
Posts: 85
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
yep, that is steep for me. This weekend I rode with a group and did 3 climbs that were 130 ft or so, distance 1.25 - 1.75 miles.

http://runkeeper.com/user/sparrish92/activity/94217199

It was quite a grind, but I hope to get better over the coming weeks and months.
sparrish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 05:24 PM   #6
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760, '87 Miyata 712
Posts: 11,350
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
Sounds steep, probably looks steep and rides steep. We have one like it just up the street from the house. The .75mi will give you a good cardio hit while using the muscles to their limit, especially at the end of a 20 mile trip.

By the end of this season you will be climbing it in a higher gear and not so winded at the top. Hills are your friends.
OldsCOOL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 05:27 PM   #7
wphamilton
rugged individualist
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Bikes: Nashbar Road
Posts: 10,386
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 431 Post(s)
YES it's steep, after your 25 mile ride. I have one like that, in fact it's http://app.strava.com/segments/639243 , which some visiting pro did at 19 mph and a bunch of others scoff at, but it killed me after a good hard 25 miles.

What I did was go out to the hill first (instead of last), and down and up 5 or 6 times. A couple of sessions like that and I feel like I've defeated it, and time for bigger challenges.
wphamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 05:34 PM   #8
billydonn
Council of the Elders
 
billydonn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Omaha, NE
Bikes: 1990 Schwinn Crosscut, 5 Lemonds
Posts: 3,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
With only 600 miles experience, the OP should not get too obsessed with hill climbing.

Discuss?
billydonn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 05:38 PM   #9
wphamilton
rugged individualist
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Bikes: Nashbar Road
Posts: 10,386
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 431 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
With only 600 miles experience, the OP should not get too obsessed with hill climbing.

Discuss?
Maybe not, but when you're new to cycling you generally improve quickly and a hill is as good or better than anything else for that isn't it?
wphamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 06:09 PM   #10
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760, '87 Miyata 712
Posts: 11,350
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Maybe not, but when you're new to cycling you generally improve quickly and a hill is as good or better than anything else for that isn't it?
Egg-Zackly.

As a restarting veteran last year, I begrudgingly took on hillclimbs. That was the first step in reacclimating to road biking where hills no longer would make me look for an easier route. And my legs were the stronger for it.

This year, I have chosen to ride in stiff headwinds that used to keep me at home. I'm talking 20-25mph in-the-face stuff that normally used to tick me off in a matter of 3-4 miles ride time.

And seriously, when you are a newbie it doesnt matter if it's windy or hilly.....they are effectively the same thing....obstacles to your being an improving rider.
OldsCOOL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 06:16 PM   #11
BikeWNC
Climbing Above It All
 
BikeWNC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Basking in the Sun.
Bikes:
Posts: 4,146
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I started back riding in 1998, I took my bike up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and tried the last 5% 1.8 mile pitch to the top of the mountain. It was all I could do. I kept at it, adding distance and difficulty and in the Fall of 1999 rode the entire 470 miles and 47K' of climbing of the BRP on a tour. Keep at it and improvements will happen!
BikeWNC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 07:10 PM   #12
billydonn
Council of the Elders
 
billydonn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Omaha, NE
Bikes: 1990 Schwinn Crosscut, 5 Lemonds
Posts: 3,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Maybe not, but when you're new to cycling you generally improve quickly and a hill is as good or better than anything else for that isn't it?
Hills can also cause injury to persons without base... Preventing improvement. That was my thought.
billydonn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 09:25 PM   #13
Altamont
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 217
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
hmmm ... too many steeps all the time for a beginner isn't good physically or psychologically for you. ride that hill twice a week at the end of your ride, but skip it on other easier training rides - even if you have to drive and park, or walk it. try checking your resting pulse in bed when you wake up, and if you're hitting it too hard the pulse will be elevated. if it is, take it easy or do a rest day. it'll get better as you build cardio fitness, leg strength, and convert fat to muscle (or to air). I routinely ride 40 -50 hilly miles, but only ride up the last killer hill to home (200 feet, 1/4 mile) once or twice a week.
Altamont is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 10:15 PM   #14
CB HI
Cycle Year Round
 
CB HI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Bikes:
Posts: 12,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 421 Post(s)
Don't tell about the 4% overall grade. Just stick with telling everyone that you are climbing a 11% grade.
__________________
Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.
CB HI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 10:21 PM   #15
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Bikes: See my sig...
Posts: 27,264
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
An 11 % grade is going to be a good workout for most people regardless of their physical condition.
Sixty Fiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-12, 11:31 PM   #16
Phil85207
Century bound
 
Phil85207's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Mesa Arizona
Bikes: Felt AR4 and Cannondale hybrid
Posts: 2,253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You are just starting out, don't be to hard on yourself. Try not to attack the hill to hard. Nice easy spin until you need to change gears and repeat. Sometimes at a steep hill I just put in granny gear and grind up. It helps me not to look up to far, just a little ahead, pick out a spot and make it to that spot, then pick out another spot a little farther up and repeat. Smaller steps are easer for me to do than looking all the way up and being overwhelmed. Just a thought. Gearing makes a big difference too. Good luck.
Phil85207 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-12, 12:32 AM   #17
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
First ride I did was 28 miles on a relatively flat route. It still hurt. 2nd took in two of our local hills and I walked both of them. Several changes came about over the next few years. I got fitter and a higher quality bike with more sensible gearing came in. 22 years later and I still do those two hills and I no longer walk them but they still hurt. They are hills.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-12, 05:38 AM   #18
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Bikes: MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel
Posts: 4,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Did a club fundraiser ride on Saturday that started with a 157 ft. climb for .7 mi. at about mile 7 of a 40 mi. ride. I never know how to figure out % of the climb. I just know that climb is not as hard at the beginning of the ride as compared to the end of a ride.
bruce19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-12, 07:24 AM   #19
jimmuller 
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
jimmuller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston-ish, MA
Bikes: '73 Raleigh Carlton Gran Sport, '72 Peugeot UO-8, '82 Peugeot TH8, '87 Bianchi Brava, '76? Masi Grand Criterium, '87 Centurion Ironman Expert, '74 Motobecane Champion Team, '86 Gazelle champion mondial, '81? Grandis, and lots of uncertainty on some
Posts: 10,663
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 127 Post(s)
There's a big difference between 200ft/mile for 1/4 mile and 200ft/mile for 3 miles! Of course this is obvious and said before, so just ignore this posting.

Yeah, that's fairly steep. We have all been up steeper hills, I'm sure. Some days you slay the beast, some days the beast slays you.
__________________
Real cyclists use toe clips.
With great bikes comes great responsibility.
Honking a car horn is a privilege, not a right.
jimmuller
jimmuller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-12, 07:34 AM   #20
contango 
2 Fat 2 Furious
 
contango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: England
Bikes: 2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc, 2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
Posts: 3,998
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moppeddler View Post
I just used Strava to map out a ride I've done a couple times. It's about 25 miles with some hills, but there's a hill at the end that I really struggle with. It climbs about 160ft in .75 miles. That about kills me. I'm sure other more experienced riders who are good climbers will laugh at that, but would you consider that a good challenge for someone who's fairly new to the sport & has about 600 miles in the saddle? The steepest part of the grade is almost 11% for about 1/8 mile.
To someone stronger than you that hill may appear as little more than a bump in the road. To someone weaker than you that hill might as well be the slopes of Everest.

If you find it a challenge then it's a good challenge for you. Keep riding it and sooner or later your view of it will shift from "big challenging hill" to "moderate hill" to "easy hill" and maybe further than that into "bump in the road" and "can I sprint this hill?" territory. Ultimately it's about where you are now, and where you are now is that the hill is a good challenge.
__________________
"For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"
contango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-12, 08:07 AM   #21
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Edwardsville, Illinois
Bikes: De Rosa Super Prestige, Colnago Nuova Mexico, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Pinarello Gavia, Schwinn Paramount, Motobecane Grand Record, Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Origin8 monstercross, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2
Posts: 10,763
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by contango View Post
To someone stronger than you that hill may appear as little more than a bump in the road. To someone weaker than you that hill might as well be the slopes of Everest.

If you find it a challenge then it's a good challenge for you. Keep riding it and sooner or later your view of it will shift from "big challenging hill" to "moderate hill" to "easy hill" and maybe further than that into "bump in the road" and "can I sprint this hill?" territory. Ultimately it's about where you are now, and where you are now is that the hill is a good challenge.
+1

There are a set of hills in the Cuyahoga National Park that are in the 10 to 17% range. They have been a great education for someone from Chicago who only gets to ride hills when he goes out of state. It didn't take me long to learn to complete the climbs in good form.

See: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/178627931

At first, I had to stop at the half-way point. This allowed my heart rate to recover and I then resumed my climb.

Then, I completed the climb, without stopping, but at a snails pace and with no energy left after reaching the summit.

After a dozen attempts, I could keep a faster pace on the sections that were less than 10%.

Finally, I could keep a good pace and not really think about the climb while I repeated the route.

Part of this is just being familiar with the route and my own ability. Now I can finish the hilly route without too much fuss.
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 06-12-12 at 11:55 AM.
Barrettscv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-12, 08:20 AM   #22
woodway
Squeaky Wheel
 
woodway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Woodinville, WA
Bikes:
Posts: 1,465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
This is steep.

http://app.strava.com/rides/7534627#158646527
woodway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-12, 11:33 AM   #23
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 22,043
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1097 Post(s)
On a quiet road, I can use the whole width to make my own switchbacks.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-12, 11:39 AM   #24
Rick@OCRR
www.ocrebels.com
 
Rick@OCRR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Angeles area
Bikes: Several bikes, Road, Mountain, Commute, etc.
Posts: 5,997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodway View Post
Wow woodway, That is massively steep! The steepest we get around here is 18 - 20% but that's peanuts compared to your ride!

Rick / OCRR
Rick@OCRR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-12, 11:52 AM   #25
cccorlew
Erect member since 1953
 
cccorlew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Antioch, CA (SF Bay Area)
Bikes: Roubaix Expert, Motobecane Ti Century Elite turned commuter, Cannondale F500 Mtn bike, Some old French thing gone fixie
Posts: 6,786
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
I'm going to tell you what you already know:
Going up hill is slower and takes more work. For everyone.

Your hill isn't steep....for strong experienced riders. It's a bump
Your hill is really steep... for new riders, and riders with some experience. For your fat neighbor on the couch watching TV it's impossible.

My ride up to my house is on a minor — very minor — uphill. Yesterday I saw the studdly kid next door pushing, that's right, pushing, his bike up the hill. He said it was too hot, and the hill was too steep.

No matter who you are, there's someone worse, and someone better.

Enjoy your ride.
cccorlew is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:50 AM.