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What describes your attitude to climbing?

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View Poll Results: What is your attitude towards climbing?
Denial
3
2.33%
Anger
5
3.88%
Bargaining
10
7.75%
Depression
8
6.20%
Acceptance
68
52.71%
Eager anticipation (I'm a great climber)
17
13.18%
Indifference (No hills around here)
2
1.55%
Other. Explain, and it better be good
16
12.40%
Voters: 129. You may not vote on this poll

What describes your attitude to climbing?

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Old 08-09-08, 06:44 PM
  #1  
The Weak Link
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What describes your attitude to climbing?

Just wondering, really. I'm just depressed. Sometimes I wish I could move to Florida (denial), kick my bike in (anger) or get a new cassette (bargaining) but whenever I join a club ride I do fine until a big climb, at whcih I crack like a rotten walnut being run over by an F-150. Then I go and eat to relief the depression, thus insuring that I'll be depressed about my climbing for years to come.
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Old 08-09-08, 06:56 PM
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Tom Bombadil
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I was looking for "avoidance."
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Old 08-09-08, 06:57 PM
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I've ACCEPTED that it's an uphill battle.
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Old 08-09-08, 06:59 PM
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Pshaw, you missed one.

Eager anticipation - (Masochistic)
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Old 08-09-08, 07:14 PM
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I was b******* and moaning my way up a climb one day many years ago when another biker said, "I climb because that's where the scenery is." I immediately "got it," and have enjoyed (well mostly) hilly rides since.

I would rather climb than ride in the wind.
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Old 08-09-08, 07:22 PM
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Even bargaining (new cassette) doesn't always solve the hill climbing problem

We did a 25 mile charity ride this morning. The first 19 miles were nice rollers and I was really enjoying the ride. After a rest stop at mile 19 we encountered some nasty hills for the next 5 miles Even the granny couldn't get these tired legs up the last few feet of one hill that measured 15% on the Garmin.

I really don't mind hills but I just won't push myself to the limits just to climb one. I've never seen a hill I couldn't walk
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Old 08-09-08, 07:43 PM
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I was bemoaning my poor hillclimbing skills to my friendly LBS recently. The response was that I should go do the Assault on Mt. Mitchell (there's a thread somewhere here about this). Then when I do the little molehills around here, I won't think much of them. Another one of those mental aspects of bicycling. With a dash of effort thrown in.
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Old 08-09-08, 08:00 PM
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Hills are out there. Accept it. Until you learn to get up and over hills, you will be severely limited in your enjoyment of bicycling. It is just too limiting to avoid hills. It would be very sad to miss out on a great route just because there was a hard to climb hill along the route somewhere.

You don't have to become a great climber or a fast climber, but it is important to be able to climb any hill you are likely to encounter. You can do this by training and hard work, learning enough and becoming strong enough to climb hills. A determined attitude is a big plus as well. Or you can do this by equipping your bike with sufficiently low gearing to get over hills given your strength, knowledge and will. A combination of these is probably best for most people. Sometimes you may encounter a hill that is beyond your ability, equipment and determination. Enjoy the walk and carry on.

I think this approach applies to much more in life than just bicycles and hills.
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Old 08-09-08, 08:13 PM
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In all seriousness, I like hills. Because of that, I am pretty good at getting up them. In truth, I am a bit cautious of going fast - so a hill lets me put in all the force I have, without worrying how much skin (and other important body parts) I will leave on the pavement if I fall.
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Old 08-09-08, 08:18 PM
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I hate climbing. But I haven't walked up one yet. I may grind slowly up the hill, but at the top, I'm still pedaling. I'm going to start doing some hill intervals to try to improve. Also, it will help me to lose a little weight. But I don't think I will ever like climbing. Then again, I would rather climb than go into the wind.
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Old 08-09-08, 08:20 PM
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I relish a moderate climb, partly because I grew up in the Santa Monica "mountains" of west Los Angeles, and partly because climbing is the one thing I can do halfway decently.
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Old 08-09-08, 08:22 PM
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I can get up any hill. But I have been close to depressed about my lack of speed for the last few years. HOWEVER, I seem to be getting a bit better. My leg(s) feel a bit stronger and less fatiqued and I seem to have moved up from "riding-with-the-people-at-the-back-and-pretending-I-want-to-be-there to "closer-to-the-front-if-I-work-at-it-and-the-stronger-riders-dog-it-a-bit. Was there a category for that?
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Old 08-09-08, 08:38 PM
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I voted Acceptance as I don't have much of a choice around these parts.

I did, however, get a new cassette last year. Ol' Fuj came equipped with a 12-25. I got an 11-28 installed, but I didn't care for the 11. I took everything back to the LBS and asked if he could combine the smallest two cogs of my old cassette with the larger cogs of the new cassette. He said we could try, and so we did. The 12-28 was born and has done well since. In my experience, the 28 is a big improvement over the 25.

Get the new cassette, go climb, and keep spinning.
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Old 08-09-08, 09:01 PM
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I voted depressed because I used to be pretty strong on the hills (the few we have in SE Michigan) but since recently returning to the sport I'm struggling. I'm sure much of this is due to being 10 years older and 20 pounds heavier but I still want to be a better climber. The pounds are melting away and hopefully soon hills will be less punishing.

Thanks, Mike.
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Old 08-09-08, 09:35 PM
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I used to just dislike hills abut I put up with them and felt I could climb most of them. I was never very fast but I was steady. I had a neighbor that was a hill climbing fool and riding with him I always knew we would have a climb somewhere on the ride. About twice a week we would make the 1000-foot climb from downtown Riverside to Lake Matthews. My neighbor was always one of the first to get to the top and I was always one of the last. So I would have said acceptance with a slight tinge of anger except when I got an attack of over confidence.

One day my neighbor came up with the bright idea of riding from Riverside to Crestline or Lake Arrowhead California. Like a fool I let my pride get the better of me and I agreed. I never guessed he would want to go through with it but about a week later he decided we should give it a try. We rode from Down town Riverside through San Bernardino and headed up Waterman or highway 18 towards the mountain communities. San Bernardino is at about 1000 feet and Crestline is at about 4850 feet. The road itself is 16 miles from 30th street to the City of Crestline and about 20 miles to Lake Arrowhead at just over 5200 feet. It took about 4 hours of climbing to get to Crestline. I was too proud to get off and walk and so I attempted to keep up with my neighbor. I have never been that tired in my life and I hope to never be that tired again.

Today my bike riding style is totally different and I just about hate hills. But I realize that even if I have to get another bike I will have to accept that there are some hills between where I am and where I want to go. So now they just make me angry and I attack them till I get over or I can’t ride another revolution. And yes, sometimes I now walk.
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Old 08-09-08, 10:21 PM
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I have always gone out of my way to climb mountains. I'm not very good at it though. I lived in Wisconsin for a while, and I would go out looking for hills. Not much luck though.
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Old 08-09-08, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I have always gone out of my way to climb mountains. I'm not very good at it though. I lived in Wisconsin for a while, and I would go out looking for hills. Not much luck though.
You must not have lived in SW Wisconsin, they are all over the place around here.
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Old 08-09-08, 10:26 PM
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It depends on which bike I'm riding.

On the hybrid, it's "Uh oh, a hill...." and I consider another route to save my knees.

On the Roubaix, it's "Oh! A hill!" and I approach the climb with eager anticipation (and with self talk "You can do this..."). And now that I'm clipped in, hills are half as much work.
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Old 08-09-08, 10:38 PM
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I'm only in my third season of riding.

The first year, anything that wasn't dead flat was a challenge. There's a small rise nearby that doesn't even register on my altimeter, that really had me working hard that first year. Overpasses were like Everest.

In my second year, I began to learn what real climbing was and exactly how bad I was at it. By the end of the year, hill repeats weren't my friends, but had become a test to see how many I could do--mainly after I left teenagers puking after two repeats. (To see two otherwise healthy-looking college boys blow chow over their bars and onto their front wheels was both disturbing and liberating.)

It felt good that after all the abuse I've given my body for 50+ years (like smoking for 35 of them) I could outclimb college boys. And keeping me humble was the fact that I got my @$$ handed to me on those very same hills by twentysomething women.

This year, I set my sights high--14,130 feet, to be exact. I figured out what I had to do to climb Mt. Evans, and went out and did it. What was disappointing was how little there was around here to train on.

What had been insurmountable epic climbs just a year or two ago became woefully inadequate lumps, even for training. As for hill repeats, I calculated I'd have to do 63 repeats of my nearest training hills to replicate the Mt. Evans climb. That sounded far too boring. So I went out-of-town where I could at least get some two and three mile long climbs.

What I found after completing the Mt. Evans climb, and NOT completing one of similar length and grade but several thousand feet lower just three days later, (on the Club Hypoxia Epic Century) is that doing climbs, especially long climbs, is teaching me many things, most of them not at all about cycling.

Although I SAGged the last five miles of the 14-mile South St. Vrain Canyon climb on the Epic Century, I felt just as good about the nine miles I had climbed, as I had after reaching the summit of Mt. Evans. I'm still trying to sort that out. (Consider the statement, "I climbed 65% of South St. Vrain Canyon!" Huh?)

Stranger still, I evened-out the five-mile uphill SAG, with five miles of SAGging downhill. Who SAGs on a five-mile descent? It seemed the right thing to do at the time, so that's what I did. I stand by it now, even though I'm still not sure why it seemed right.

What happened, though, was that those two long climbs were pretty easy as I look back. I had a plan, I executed it. When I needed to, I changed it on the fly. There was still a plan, though. This freed me to look around at the scenery without focusing on my body. The heart pumped, the legs alternately pushed and pulled on the cranks, and I made sure to breathe deeply and exhale fully. It was, as some of the great racers put it, just another day at the office.

I guess that's why it felt great. It was just another day on just another hill...
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Old 08-09-08, 11:30 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Hills are out there. Accept it. Until you learn to get up and over hills, you will be severely limited in your enjoyment of bicycling. It is just too limiting to avoid hills. It would be very sad to miss out on a great route just because there was a hard to climb hill along the route somewhere.

You don't have to become a great climber or a fast climber, but it is important to be able to climb any hill you are likely to encounter. You can do this by training and hard work, learning enough and becoming strong enough to climb hills. A determined attitude is a big plus as well. Or you can do this by equipping your bike with sufficiently low gearing to get over hills given your strength, knowledge and will. A combination of these is probably best for most people. Sometimes you may encounter a hill that is beyond your ability, equipment and determination. Enjoy the walk and carry on.

I think this approach applies to much more in life than just bicycles and hills.
+1 This is seriously good advice...worthy of becoming a "sticky".

I voted Acceptance. I think I am a good enough climber, albeit a slow climber. Climbing fast was never important to me.
I only enjoy climbing when done at my own speed.
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Old 08-10-08, 12:52 AM
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Hills are there so accept them. But given a choice of Flat or hilly rides- I will not be doing the flat ones.
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Old 08-10-08, 01:08 AM
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Another acceptor.
If I want to go anywhere, it involves at least one hill -short, long, or in-between- so I climb.
There is a certain perverse pleasure to it.
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Old 08-10-08, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by crtreedude View Post
Pshaw, you missed one.

Eager anticipation - (Masochistic)
It makes you stronger!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-10-08, 03:25 AM
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I grumble and whine about the climbing, but I love going downhill fast. So I just tell myself that there will soon be a payback for all this uphill slogging.
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Old 08-10-08, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
Just wondering, really. I'm just depressed. Sometimes I wish I could move to Florida (denial),
I've lived in N Florida full-time until about two years ago, now only about half-time. When full-time, we'd take trips to the mountains to backpack and after retirement to ride the trails on mountain bikes. In Florida, We head north out of town to get to the hills (such as they are) to ride road bikes.

I love to climb. Once you get conditioned (aerobically and leg endurance) to climb it's fun, especially on single track. If you never get adequately conditioned, then I suppose it'll always be a pain.

I keep good records and since I started riding at least twice a week (6-years ago?), my performance is still improving on the climbs at 69 and consequently it's getting more enjoyable still.

About 6-months ago I added squats to my weight training. Before I'd avoided leg exercises figuring that the cycling was sufficient. When I got up to 180 lbs (6-reps, 3-circuits) which is my body weight and got used to it (which takes a while), my climbing performance noticeably improved in the mountains and the average speed for a typical 15 mile (trails) ride increased about 10%.

Squats are probably the best single total-body and leg exercise you can do. You notice a big increase in energy level. I wish I had started them years ago. You do need a safety cage which runs $300 delivered.

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