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77midget 07-29-08 05:22 PM

no longer fear the hill!
There is a hill near my house that looks like a ski slope without snow. It is steep!!! I had yet to try it, as I did not want to get 'stuck' and have to turn around before even getting up to the top.

well, I fear this hill no longer!

I was not able to ride to work today, and was getting antsy, so I plotted an 11+ mile loop that started with this hill. I then incorporated another one a couple miles down the down, followed by a gradual decline and a couple rollers at the end. Here is the ride:

Min alt 305
Max alt 604

ascent 308
descent 302

It does not sound like much, I guess, but I know how it felt biking-just about all of the climbing is in 2 ascents. My total route was 11.5, finished in 45 flat, and averaged 15mph, including the hills. This was a good accomplishment for me, as I have avoided this hill since I got back into biking in the spring. I have done longer rides, and done more total miles in a day, but getting past these hills was a good thing, and I hope to include them in more rides.

triptogn 07-29-08 05:36 PM


Please forgive a n00bish question, but how were you able to record the altitude for your ride? Your biking computer? I always wonder how people know what the % of a grade a climb might be.

first post btw =)


77midget 07-29-08 05:42 PM

when you plot your route, it has an elevation feature to give you an idea of the climbs, descents, etc.

it is pretty helpful!

triptogn 07-29-08 05:45 PM

Oh nice! I'll try that out, I've been curious about my commute.

-Devil- 07-29-08 05:51 PM

grats on the hill!

77midget 07-29-08 06:14 PM

Thx Devil!

tpelle 07-29-08 06:59 PM

That's a great feeling, isn't it? Climbing a hill for the first time! I've been doing that myself for the last month or so, and it's great to see one's strength and fitness improving.

Case in point: I always wear a heart rate monitor, and there was one hill that I always had to stop and rest in the middle of, as my heart rate would get pretty high and I would be out of breath. A week or so ago I tried it for the first time in a while, and when I got to the steep part I looked at the heart rate monitor and saw I was only at 155. I thought to myself "I've still got gas in the tank!", and pedaled on up. As I got past the really steep part, still climbing, I could actually watch my HRM start to drop!

Now I seek those hills out!

dscheidt 07-29-08 07:12 PM


Originally Posted by 77midget (Post 7162799)

when you plot your route, it has an elevation feature to give you an idea of the climbs, descents, etc.

it is pretty helpful!

I live in the flat bit of northern Indiana, and the steepest hills that I ride over don't show up on mapmyride (and for that matter, they don't show up in any online data, either.) They're the bridges on county roads that go over the Indiana Toll Road. They're fairly short -- 300 to 500 feet, but they're steep. Some of them are close to 20% grades. If you've got something like that where you are, don't forget to check if they're calculating it.

(I think what's going on is that they're using the USGS topo map data, and the bridge (and lots of minor road) elevations aren't in the data. )

-Devil- 07-29-08 07:14 PM

i remember the first hill that i finally climbed, that i normally had to walk up ... i stopped at the top with the biggest grin on my face .. and just flew through the rest of the ride...

bigwies 07-29-08 07:17 PM

That looks like a pretty good ride. Too bad it is 30+ miles from my house, I would like to try that loop.

I hit a new hill this morning on my way into work. I added on a loop around Spot Pond before heading into Boston.

I was able to finish in 1:12:24. Not a bad way to start the day.

Keep up the good work.

77midget 07-29-08 07:32 PM

BigWeis-your ride goes right by my old apartment in Charlestown (well, a block away or so)-I lived on Eden St. for a while!!! I like that route you got!

As for my loop, I am already working on extending it. I actually had a decent amount left in the tank. I am thinking of making a 20 and maybe a 30 out of it.

bigwies 07-29-08 07:37 PM

Sounds like we might have been almost neighbors. I used to live on Bunker Hill St., right near St. Francis Church.

77midget 07-29-08 07:54 PM

small world-I was there '96 '97. Spent waaaaay to much time at the Warren on Wednesdays.

walter231 07-30-08 07:54 AM


Originally Posted by bigwies (Post 7163525)
That looks like a pretty good ride. Too bad it is 30+ miles from my house, I would like to try that loop.

FWIW the Commuter Rail allows bikes on board except for peak hours and the Grafton station is just a couple miles away from midget's loop.

bigwies 07-30-08 08:28 AM


Originally Posted by 77midget (Post 7163830)
small world-I was there '96 '97. Spent waaaaay to much time at the Warren on Wednesdays.

1990-1991 for me.

77midget 07-30-08 09:20 AM

walter is correct-the commuter rail has stops in most towns out this way, so don't feel like your riding is limited to the city. The stops in Southborugh, Westborough, Grafton, and others all drop you in nice areas for biking, etc. It is rural, but civilized enough for comfort.

walter231 07-30-08 09:49 AM


Originally Posted by 77midget (Post 7162656)
It does not sound like much, I guess...

Looks danged fierce to me on the map. I put your route on Delorme Topo 5.0, which says that your first hill climbs 230 feet in about 2/3 miles, with a solid stretch of 12% grade in the middle. That would make it at least as tough as any hill I've ever climbed for that distance. I'm definitely going to ride down to Upton some time and try it out.

15 mph over that loop is pretty fast. Congrats!

77midget 07-30-08 01:23 PM

Thx for the info walter-you, and my legs are saying the same thing to me today.

jkemp9 07-30-08 01:32 PM

congrats on the hill and +1 for not living in the midwest. I crave hills like this and have trouble finding them here in central IL...

jboyd 07-31-08 04:53 AM

Hey jkemp9, drive south about 3 hours. I live in Union County, IL = Hill! Doesn't matter where you go...there they are. For someone just starting to ride, they can be a deal breaker. I have about 5 15 mile loops that I can do from the house and each of them incorporates a minimum of 3, 300-400ft climbs. I now find myself plotting my rides to include as much hill as possible. We have a tall steep in the south edge of town, that if I'm just wanting to go for a 30 minute ride before dark, I will ride out and include in an up and down the same face.

To paraphrase: As this forum's northern fair lady solveg said once, from 1-4 miles, I hate my bike, my body and riding in general. After 4 miles the magic kicks in and then all I want to do is ride.

I use mapitpronto to plot my rides. Just a few days ago, I mapped out a 19 mile ride here in the county and was a little intimidated by the amount of climbs. I will probably hold off on it for a month and let the temps settle a little before attempting.

I do try not rely to much on the mapping sites as I fear they will detour my resting mind from riding. A couple weeks ago my wife and I had breakfast at Giant City State park and she drove on home and I rode the bike home from there. It was a 16 mile ride, but 1/2 mile into the ride started 4 mile ascent (I am serious 4 miles of UP) the was a little over 550 ft. I know that is a bump to some, but for this fat boy after a big omelet was no picnic. I tell you that though to say that if I had plotted that, I would not have done it. Having done it......I feel great:-)


Joe Bifulco 07-31-08 05:54 AM

Congrats on the hill and time! 15 mph avg for that loop looks pretty impressive to me.


cyclezealot 07-31-08 06:09 AM

Congratulations. Improving our fitness seems to be a ritual we must work on each spring. WInter weather , often causes us to again make a hill into a mountain. / Just yesterday, we did a 25 Km climb that just a couple months ago seemed impossible. The grade was not bad, but 25 Km takes its toll. And we did it with minimal fatique.

jkemp9 07-31-08 07:40 AM

jboyd, i wouldn't mind living in southern IL, hardin county, garden of the gods, carbondale (for bar scene), etc. I've been down there a couple times and it looks almost like Tennessee, at least near G.O.G. I'm about to finish my last year in college though and my plan is to head west... or east... or south... or even north (in that order). Did some hill intervals last night, I had to do some two and three times for lack of other options =/

Edit: My usual 16.37 mile loop, which I usually do twice in a ride, has a total ascent of 136ft and total decent of 135ft.... One climb is 60 ft in 1.3 miles and the other memorable one is 32 feet in .16 miles.... You see what i'm dealing with.

pgpdlr 07-31-08 07:41 AM

midget-just remember the old saying:"think not badly of the hills, for they are our friends"-or something like that. Good job on working on that hill!

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