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  1. #1
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Ignorant "im faster in the hills posts" - another topic

    I think, there are people who are just so stupid that no amount reasoning or scientific explanation will convince them to change an ignorant belief. Many people believe strange things.

    For instance, I believe you should try to climb hills really hard, and then completely, or nearly completely rest on the way down. Other people think you should maintain an even effort - up or down a hill.

    I think changing my intensity on hills is a better and more efficient way to complete any given ride -- than someone who tries to keep an even intensity up and down a hill.

    Please discuss your approach to selecting your effort levels for climbing and descending hills.
    Be sure to qualify, whether the size of the hills or the length of the total ride changes your intensity for a given hill or flat area. Details requested.

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    Where are these "I'm faster in the hills posts" to which you refer?
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    I spin up the hills and ride normal down them. On group rides, I usually get passed on the downhill and I pass them on the uphill. When we all hit the flats, I usually am fresh and ready to pour on the steam. They usually take a couple miles to recover. Seems that pushing that hard all the time takes the fun out of riding...

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    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knobster
    I spin up the hills and ride normal down them. On group rides, I usually get passed on the downhill and I pass them on the uphill. When we all hit the flats, I usually am fresh and ready to pour on the steam. They usually take a couple miles to recover. Seems that pushing that hard all the time takes the fun out of riding...

    Spinning doesn't really mean you are working more / less.
    You could be spinning a low gear and be working your cardio overtime, or spinning a low gear and taking it easy - while also giving your legs a rest.

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    Dagger Boy Extort's Avatar
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    Some of the hills that I do are miles long, so I change back and forth between the two styles constantly. It is like doing hill repeats with different scenery for every phase.

    otherwise, it depends on the hill, my goals, and the people that I am riding with.

    Newport Coast is a local hill that many people do repeats on, I do this road at a high intensity for the entire 1.5 miles because I use my total time to guage my fitness level.

    Mt. Palomar is a mountain to the south and South Grade is 12 miles long. I can do my intervals or if I am riding with someone that is not a great climber I will grind up the hill in as big of a gear as I can.

    I do not put much effort into the downhills, I am not fast anyway (TS about 40 on a great day) and when I have 14 miles to reach the bottom, I don't need to pedal because gravity works great.
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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    I believe you should try to climb hills really hard, and then completely, or nearly completely rest on the way down. Other people think you should maintain an even effort - up or down a hill.

    I think changing my intensity on hills is a better and more efficient way to complete any given ride -- than someone who tries to keep an even intensity up and down a hill....
    First of all, it depends on what you mean by "climb hard." If you mean "climb in a low cadence," while that's personal preference, in general that's bad for your knees and stressful on your quads; mashing might "feel better" but actually be worse for you. If you mean "working hard while spinning fast" then that is better overall, as it shifts the effort from your legs to your heart / aerobic system.

    Also, you ought to distinguish between training and event rides in terms of hill technique.

    When training, chances are that to optimize the time available to you, you'll want to climb the hills at a higher intensity / elevated heart rate. You go for the high intensity during training in order to increase your general aptitude, so that you don't have to kill yourself endlessly on the actual event. If you're schedule for an easy day, then even if you need to climb at some point, you'll need to take it easy on those hills. So you ought to climb "hard" as long as it fits your training schedule.

    During an event, in many cases you do not want to "climb hard," as it will use up your energy reserves, strain your muscles and risk your going anaerobic. Someone with more experience can correct me here, but I'd say that in during an event -- especially a long-distance one -- you generally want to maintain a consistent and moderated HR during a long distance event.


    By the way, if you're going to obliquely critique others' methodologies, it may help to present a cogent explanation of why you believe your approach is somehow superior. "I believe it's more efficient because I believe it's more efficient" is not exactly an in-depth explanation....

  7. #7
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    I think, there are people who are just so stupid that no amount reasoning or scientific explanation will convince them to change an ignorant belief. Many people believe strange things.
    I agree. Thanks for being an example of such.
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    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    I think, there are people who are just so stupid that no amount reasoning or scientific explanation will convince them to change an ignorant belief. Many people believe strange things.

    For instance, I believe...

    ROFL

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike
    Spinning doesn't really mean you are working more / less.
    You could be spinning a low gear and be working your cardio overtime, or spinning a low gear and taking it easy - while also giving your legs a rest.
    Yeah, I'll clarify what I mean. I actually take it easy going up hills. That's usually where I do my resting. On a moderate hill, for me, I usually spin at about 95-100 and have my speed at about 12 mph. I get up the hill very easily and once I get to the top, I'm ready to push my ride. Others that mash up the hill have to recover for a bit.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    If tyou have to ask what my thread comments mean, you maY NOT CONTRIBUTE any answers, you obviously have no lights on.....

    This thread title is meant to reference this previous thread:

    Average speed

    And the comments from this particular forum user:
    edmcnierney
    Member
    Join Date: May 2006 I think you need to measure it yourself. After 1,000 miles of riding with my Garmin Edge 305, I can confirm that on hilly rides I average about 5 - 9% faster than on flat ones.

    I live near a rail-trail that's very nearly (but not completely) flat. It drops about 200 feet in 11 miles one way, and I always go out and back. It's flat enough that there is no coasting - you pedal all the time.

    My other rides are loops in slightly hilly central Massachusetts. I may slow down to 9 - 10 MPH on the uphills in spots, but hit 35 - 37 MPH on the downhills. If I went up a half-mile hill at 10 MPH I would be going a heck of a lot faster than 20 MPH coming down that same hill! All courses are loops ending at the starting point.

    On downhills you also have the opportunity to coast and rest a bit, too.

    I have ridden about 600 miles of hilly courses and about 400 miles of the flat rail trail. My overall flat course average is 16.4 MPH, and my overall hilly course average is 17.5 MPH. So I'm almost 7% faster on the hilly rides. I suspect that's small enough to be dominated by individual style/performance so I would guess that some folks are faster on the hills and some are faster on the flats.

    Essentially, the question at hand is NOT about hills it's about choosing various intensities with respect to overall effort when climibing and descending. Do you, or don't you, and why, when and how much?

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    Well, I'm confused

    I don't understand. It sounds like you're calling me ignorant for reporting actual data measured on my rides. What's ignorant about that? I don't have any idea how I choose various intensities, or whether I do so consistently. And I have no idea whether my results are typical or atypical - that's why I (repeatedly) asked for more data from other riders.

    I'm confused.

  12. #12
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    I think, there are people who are just so stupid that no amount reasoning or scientific explanation will convince them to change an ignorant belief. Many people believe strange things...
    Well, that's a novel way to solicit inputs from other people. Dale Carnegie woul be impressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    For instance, I believe you should try to climb hills really hard, and then completely, or nearly completely rest on the way down. Other people think you should maintain an even effort - up or down a hill.

    I think changing my intensity on hills is a better and more efficient way to complete any given ride -- than someone who tries to keep an even intensity up and down a hill.
    By the way, Richard, tell us just what your credentials are. You strut your "knowlege" by demeaning thoughtful discussion from people based on their randonnee and long-distance achievements which are well documented. But you know, I have never read of what you, as Richard Cranium or as your alter-egos elsewhere -- have achieved, and how you have arrived at your assertions. Please enlighten us with this base information so we can make a judgment on your own credibility and proceed with worthwhile discussion.

    Supposing that you have some experience to relate, tell us, too, how you arrrived at your conclusion about your climbing method being better and more efficient. Perhaps putting similar intensity into riding *down* a hill as you would in climbing it may be a better *strategy*? Or are you so fast downhill, that you run out of big gear-inches so you can rest? I suspect the fast riders on PBP and BMB and on 24H races ride as hard downhill as they do up -- probably just under their LT. Undoubtedly you have your cover-all explanation ... but you *will* factor in the physiological differences between riders -- muscle make-up, build, weight, aerobic capacity -- won't you?
    Last edited by Rowan; 09-30-06 at 01:20 AM.
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  14. #14
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    I have ridden about 600 miles of hilly courses and about 400 miles of the flat rail trail. My overall flat course average is 16.4 MPH, and my overall hilly course average is 17.5 MPH. So I'm almost 7% faster on the hilly rides. I suspect that's small enough to be dominated by individual style/performance so I would guess that some folks are faster on the hills and some are faster on the flats.
    I am almost always faster on hilly courses than on pancake flat courses. You can only go so fast on the flat, and only so slow on the uphills before you fall over. But the downhill portion you can attain some pretty incredible speeds that more than make up for the uphill portion in most cases.

    So what is your point? Or perhaps I should bother posting since I don't know what you are talking about. After all, you flat out told us not to post.

    How about you just ignore the posts you don't agree with? You seem to have already mastered the skill of not listening to anything you don't agree with.
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    Senior Member adxm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    I am almost always faster on hilly courses than on pancake flat courses. You can only go so fast on the flat, and only so slow on the uphills before you fall over. But the downhill portion you can attain some pretty incredible speeds that more than make up for the uphill portion in most cases.
    Although the attitude Richard has going about this is uncalled for, it is this kind of comment that is getting him upset. The argument above, that the downhill will make up for the uphill in most cases, is just plain wrong. You personally may be faster on hilly courses, but it's because you're putting out a good deal more effort all around, not because hilly courses are inherently faster.

    Say you go 10 mph up a 1 mile climb, and 30 mph down. You DON'T average 20 mph, because you spend 3 times more time at 10 mph than you do at 30 mph. Your actual average? 15 mph.

    If you're going so slow you're almost falling over, you're going to be killing your average speed. Say you do a 5 mile climb at 5 mph. Now if you descend the same way, even if you descended at an infinite speed, you would still have spent an hour climbing, and would average 10 mph. The only way you might be able to make up a bit more is if the descent is much shallower grade and longer than the ascent, but over a lengthy ride these kind of effects will be insignificant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adxm
    Although the attitude Richard has going about this is uncalled for, it is this kind of comment that is getting him upset. The argument above, that the downhill will make up for the uphill in most cases, is just plain wrong. You personally may be faster on hilly courses, but it's because you're putting out a good deal more effort all around, not because hilly courses are inherently faster.

    Say you go 10 mph up a 1 mile climb, and 30 mph down. You DON'T average 20 mph, because you spend 3 times more time at 10 mph than you do at 30 mph. Your actual average? 15 mph.

    If you're going so slow you're almost falling over, you're going to be killing your average speed. Say you do a 5 mile climb at 5 mph. Now if you descend the same way, even if you descended at an infinite speed, you would still have spent an hour climbing, and would average 10 mph. The only way you might be able to make up a bit more is if the descent is much shallower grade and longer than the ascent, but over a lengthy ride these kind of effects will be insignificant.
    Sorry, adxm, you like RC are using simple theory to try to explain a complex question and to denigrate other posters. Physics and mathematics do *not* take into account a variety of factors, including cyclist physiology, in why people either perceive they are, or in fact are faster in hilly country. What *I* am prone to get upset about is the crappy attitude that hinges on simply physics and mathematical theory to attack the personal experiences of individual riders that also takes into account topography, meteorology, road surfacing, physiology and a host of other scientific factors. If the world revolved around physics and mathematics alone, it would be a very boring place.
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  17. #17
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I think the OP's nick is quite appropriate!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    I think the OP's nick is quite appropriate!
    +1

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    I just ride for fun and don't concern myself with all the rest of the details. There just isn't enough time in the day to worry about such nonsense.

  20. #20
    Senior Member adxm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    Sorry, adxm, you like RC are using simple theory to try to explain a complex question and to denigrate other posters. Physics and mathematics do *not* take into account a variety of factors, including cyclist physiology, in why people either perceive they are, or in fact are faster in hilly country. What *I* am prone to get upset about is the crappy attitude that hinges on simply physics and mathematical theory to attack the personal experiences of individual riders that also takes into account topography, meteorology, road surfacing, physiology and a host of other scientific factors. If the world revolved around physics and mathematics alone, it would be a very boring place.
    I'm not denigrating anyone, and I'm not attacking anyone. I'm just pointing out simple mistakes in arguments. I'm not disputing that some people may experience faster average speeds on hillier courses. I mentioned as much in my last post, and just said that for you to be faster on a hilly course, all things equal (I imagine wind can play a similar role to hills), you're going to have to put out more energy. Some people may not like math, or arguments using it, but the simple fact remains, the longer you spend at lower speeds, the more you cap your maximum possible average speed. Regardless of any other factors. This is what some people fail to understand. This is silly. I'm done here.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Again, this thread was an attempt to start a discussion about each cyclist's use of his or her physical ability to complete any ride in the most efficient manner. Specifically, I am requesting information about how you adjust your, intensity ie, HR, pace, gearing etc, with respect to climbing and descending hills.

    I pointed out, that a previous thread, had several comments that claimed that some cyclists could be faster in hilly rides. I also indicated that I thought that this was a strangely, ignorant belief, and that anyone who maintained such an idea must be stupid or --- ride their bicycle in largely azz-backward, inefficient manner.

    Hence, I started this thread, to find out more about some of the forum members approach to riding hilly areas in an efficient manner. Do you "push yourself" in the hills? Or only on the flats? Do you keep pushing downhill, or rest?

    Please, how many people, understand the contents of this post? I actually have a "minor degree" in journalism, but obviously demonstrate little ability to write well - at least for this audience.

    As far the smart remarks, well they aren't - c'mon people, you can do better.
    Last edited by Richard Cranium; 10-02-06 at 07:19 AM.

  22. #22
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Although the attitude Richard has going about this is uncalled for, it is this kind of comment that is getting him upset. The argument above, that the downhill will make up for the uphill in most cases, is just plain wrong. You personally may be faster on hilly courses, but it's because you're putting out a good deal more effort all around, not because hilly courses are inherently faster.

    Say you go 10 mph up a 1 mile climb, and 30 mph down. You DON'T average 20 mph, because you spend 3 times more time at 10 mph than you do at 30 mph. Your actual average? 15 mph.

    If you're going so slow you're almost falling over, you're going to be killing your average speed. Say you do a 5 mile climb at 5 mph. Now if you descend the same way, even if you descended at an infinite speed, you would still have spent an hour climbing, and would average 10 mph. The only way you might be able to make up a bit more is if the descent is much shallower grade and longer than the ascent, but over a lengthy ride these kind of effects will be insignificant.
    Well, despite all of your kindergarten level equations...my average speed IS higher on rolling hilly courses than on flat courses. Period.

    You are forgetting or perhaps deliberately omitting something very simple. Just because the hill ends, my 30mph speed doesn't suddenly go to my normal speed on the flats. That high downhill speed carries for far longer than the hill does. In fact, on rolling hills(short ones especially) my downhill speed carries me a good portion up the next hill(if not the entire hill) at a much higher speed than would be possible for me at the same intensity and work level. Then, because I am going faster uphill, the next downhill portion will be even faster...and so on.

    And, unless I am walking...my uphill speed will never be lower than 6 mph. There is a lower limit. However, on downhills, I can go anywhere from 6 mph to 40 or 50 mph. The upper limit is well above what is possible on a flat course. When you decend, you can more than make up for that 6 mph. And again, that speed carries you well beyond the end of the downhill portion.

    Also, downhills allow you to rest, even if traveling at a high rate of speed. On the flats, there is never a rest without a huge impact to speed.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    ...I also indicated that I thought that this was a strangely, ignorant belief, and that anyone who maintained such an idea must be stupid or --- ride their bicycle in largely azz-backward, inefficient manner.

    ...

    I actually have a "minor degree" in journalism, but obviously demonstrate little ability to write well - at least for this audience.
    Must be an interesting journalism department to teach writers to alienate their audience. "Attack Journalism" perhaps?

  24. #24
    shut up and ride
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    richard cranium- i salute you! with a name like that you'd better have some attitude. and for not getting upset when others attack you and for furthering discussion.

    a power meter would quickly prove your assertion. most riders MUST be riding much harder on hilly routes than on the flats to have faster average speeds. and no the downhills do not 'more than make up for the uphills' adxm is correct and proved it with simple math.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzzwillzzz
    a power meter would quickly prove your assertion. most riders MUST be riding much harder on hilly routes than on the flats to have faster average speeds. and no the downhills do not 'more than make up for the uphills' adxm is correct and proved it with simple math.
    No power meter is required. The second law of thermodynamics has the answer.

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