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Old 10-24-09, 04:29 PM   #1
Oregon Southpaw
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I'm going to go ride up a hill I'm scared of.

32 x 28t is not enough for me to keep a decent cadence on many hills in town, but I've gotten some of the tougher climbs bagged just by standing up and pushing as hard as I can. For some reason this particular climb right in town I have always avoided just because of the early grade as you turn left onto Witham Hill. It is not long, probably less than a mile: it starts right at lincoln and has a momentum crushing stop sign a little later right as you're getting mentally prepared: Doesn't really look too bad on Google terrain or maps, and the climb actually gets much worse the further out you go, past Walnut. Some of those climbs I have done on the MTB - thanks triple crank - but haven't even attempted yet on the Circuit.


http://maps.google.com/maps?q=corval...=12,318.4,,0,5

I'm going to go do some knee damage and then report here later.
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Old 10-25-09, 08:38 AM   #2
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There's no hill that can't be climbed in the 32/28. HTFU
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Old 10-25-09, 09:00 AM   #3
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What grade is it and what do you consider a "decent cadence"?
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Old 10-25-09, 10:24 AM   #4
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I have taken a fixed gear up a 6-12% grade reasonably long climb with 70 gear inches. You can make it up on your bike.
When it gets very hard I stare at my front wheel and focus on turning my cranks. Do not look up the hill! No idea why this helps but it does at least for me.
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Old 10-25-09, 10:54 AM   #5
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What grade is it and what do you consider a "decent cadence"?
Corvallis has a few short steep climbs. I haven't measured any of them, but the steepest one I've seen has to be around 15%.

Best climb in the Corvallis area is Mary's Peak. The grade is not bad -- maxes out around 11% but most is closer to 7%. But you have roughly 4K feet of gain so it's a real climb.
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Old 10-25-09, 11:07 AM   #6
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Another thing you could try is developing a rhythm to help keep your mind off the grade (whatever it is exactly). Try sitting for a few pedal strokes, then stand for a few, etc. (sit 4, stand 4, ...)

I've done this on some of the steeper things and it helps me stay focused and pretty soon the climb is over.

If the traffic is extremely low, I suppose you could try doing switchbacks on the steeper portions. However, I wouldn't recommend this unless you are absolutely certain there are no cars coming in either direction.
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Old 10-26-09, 01:13 PM   #7
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besides, it's crashing on the way down that'll kill you!
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Old 10-26-09, 01:38 PM   #8
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32/28 isn't too far off from my low-end gearing of 34/32 (30.6in vs. 28.4in)

I climb a 0.4mi 14.7% with that gearing, and do repeats on a 2.25mi long 1170' climb with sections up to 22%.

Grit your teeth and swear a lot. You'll be at the top before you know it.
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Old 10-26-09, 03:15 PM   #9
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I cannot believe I psyched myself out on this climb, if you could call it that.

Barely broke a sweat. I've done the Lewisburg saddle before, for gods' sake.

Downside: hit something HARD on the back wheel on the way down. Didn't blow any spokes somehow but like 7 spokes need retensioning and needs a true something fierce.

Meanwhile, I look at my Mid-Valley bike map for ">>>"s, the steepest climbs. ..

Banerjek: Did roughly half of Mary's this year. Rode out there, did a few miles on the mountain itself, gave up and rode home. There's always next season.

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Old 10-26-09, 03:28 PM   #10
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There's no hill that can't be climbed in the 32/28. HTFU
I think about that frequently, puttering up Highland sweating and swearing.

About the cadence: there were times climbing up Mountain View (has to be 15% in places) where I couldn't be turning faster than 30 RPM. Standing, dying, but not stopping. Barely.

Is this just a case of my lungs being bigger than my legs at this point? How do I get that strength to keep it spinning and not mushing now that its quickly coming off-season?
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Old 10-26-09, 03:56 PM   #11
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Old 10-26-09, 04:21 PM   #12
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One thing you could try is to go out on your mountain bike and try progressively harder gearing as you get used to the climb. You don't necessarily have to take your road bike out right away. Try the lowest gear on your MTB then next time try one or two gears up and so on until you feel comfortable...
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