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stapfam 06-02-13 01:19 PM

Hills-Miles and low average speed.
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Sportif advertised locally and I was waiting for the weather to see what it was like before entering on the day. Forecast was good so 6.30 am and me Mick and Ross were in the van and on the 10 mile trip for a 7.30 start. Now I am not a complete fool but this was a fifty miler over local roads and was going to be hilly. It took in 6 of the main local hills and normally our rides would take in two of these or possibly 3 if we were feeling good. A 3 hill ride will involve about 35 miles and 3,000 ft of climbing so to take part in this ride and I knew it was going to hurt.

First bit took us around a residential area but if you think seaside towns are flat- then I can assure you that is wrong. We finally got to the first (Second if you count the route out) 12% hill. Never done this one but 1 mile of continual 12% soon got the legs alive. By the top of this hill we had done 5 miles and showed 1064ft of climbing. Across the top and down and there was a route modification. Normally it would be a 16% for 3/4 mile (As in my Avatar) but the alternative was a bit longer and took us through the "Posh" area of East Dene. The name for this should have given me a warning but the "Ramp" is named through the nice gentle 8% suddenly going to 20%---Twice. The first of these is in the vid at 30 seconds and came as a shock. Incidentally the rider in yellow that passed me at around 1 min 40 is a mate of mine-Stuart- and he is 120 lbs soaking wet and is one of the best T.T riders in the south East. He didn't even gasp hello as he passed me.

Good downhill and a few more slopes that made me realise that I had taken a good choice in the triple with a 12/30 cassette and it was just miles of rollers till the one I was dreading. 1 mile at 8% then it gradually steepens to 1/2 mile at 20%. Started to see the first walkers here But gearing was fine so plodded on. This was a turnround point so all the pain turned to joy with a fast descent to the food station. Food Station- It was more like a local shop with sticky buns- Flapjack- Fudge- cheesy biscuits-Biscuits galore and if you could manage it-as much fruit as you wanted. All free and I restrained myself to a banana-an almond slice- a flapjack and put a couple of snacks in the pockets. That's what I get for having no breakfast. About 10 miles of country lanes before the next hill and that was the High and Over. One of my favourite climbs but not after those that I had already done thankyou. Couple of miles after and it was the final hill. 1 mile at average of 8% but the first 1/4 mile is steep. No idea how steep but plenty walking this bit again. Only 10 miles to go now and my bugbear slope of the rise to Beachy Head. 2 miles at around 3 to 5 % and I hate it. Only good bit on this road is the 2 10% climbs around a couple of bends and the final steeper rise to the top.

But that was all the climbing done. Downhill through the Zig Zags and the final straight to the finish. Total time was 4 hours 29 minutes at an average of 11.1 mph. Slowest ride I can remember doing on the road but also the hilliest. I had estimated 7,000 ft for this ride but it was 5,950 according to the Garmin and I knew it. Ross and Mick finished 20 minutes ahead of me. That mate Stuart did it in 2 hours 20 minutes so I will not be taking him out for a ride anytime soon.

And as an incidental- I am shattered and was just resting my body to watch the Moto GP later and the wife told me Mick was in the Garden. His wife had told him to take the dog for a walk and the grass needed cutting aswell. He took the dog for a walk--20 yards to my house and we just sat on the bench by the pond moaning to each other about how Our Muscles ache. Think the dog enjoyed the rest aswell as it was snoring louder than Mick after about 5 minutes. Neither of us had walked any hill but Mick does want lower gearing now. And on lower gearing-I was surprised at how many bikes had MTB gearing fitted with an 11/34 cassette and that included a lot of the Club Riders so they obviously know my local hills better than I do.

And final picture of the 3 of us before we collapsed

groth 06-02-13 01:45 PM

Quite a ride. 11.1 mph average is nothing to be ashamed of!

- Ed

Ursa Minor 06-02-13 02:27 PM

lol good ride and good report. Just to make you feel better my usual speed is 10 mph.


jyl 06-02-13 02:31 PM

That's some day in the saddle. You came out of the winter in good shape, I'd say.

qcpmsame 06-02-13 04:21 PM

Outstanding Stap, glad you registered and made the sportive today. You did pretty well it seems to me, and the weather actually cooperated for a change. I'll drop you a line later.


billydonn 06-02-13 04:46 PM

:thumb: Dayem! What fun!

Ursa Minor 06-02-13 05:04 PM

Nice video too. the countryside looks great. I especially liked that you didn't slap on some annoying music.

billydonn 06-03-13 06:14 AM

I don't know... we're being reminded not to overdo things in another thread. This may be a prime example of unhealthy behavior. ;)

Stap: got any cool video of your downhill runs?

BluesDawg 06-03-13 06:54 AM

You rode, you finished, you didn't walk up any of those hills. That's a good average in my book.

Steve Sawyer 06-03-13 08:58 AM

11.1 mph - I'd be REAL happy with that!

stapfam 06-03-13 09:18 AM

Originally Posted by billydonn (Post 15698001)
I don't know... we're being reminded not to overdo things in another thread. This may be a prime example of unhealthy behavior. ;)

Stap: got any cool video of your downhill runs?

Have some but I will try and edit tonight

John E 06-03-13 09:33 AM

I have never been much of an athlete, but hill climbs used to be the one area in which I could sort of hold my own. My hill climbing ability is also the one thing that seems to have faded most with age -- I keep hoping I just need to get back in practice. (When I lived in west Los Angeles, used a bicycle for almost all of my transportation needs, and weighed 10 pounds less than I do now, I encountered moderate hills daily, and various really tough hills, such as Tuna Canyon in Malibu or Mt. Wilson, on some weekends.)

stapfam 06-03-13 12:30 PM

Must be getting better at editing as Here are a couple of the downhills from yesterday. The first clip is the beginning of the last up hill on the ride (but in reverse) before Beachy Head and is the part that is pretty steep before it goes to a gentle 5 to 8%. This was early on in the ride and the river is one of the tourist spots in this area. Had to show a bit of the top of Firle Beacon because it was about here I realised that I needed lower gearing-Better legs and lungs and that I was not fit enough for this ride. There were some other hills but I took so long on the ride that the battery ran out on the Go-Pro before I got to the one I really wanted to show. I'll get a shot of that on another ride when I get my legs back.


Steve Sawyer 06-03-13 12:37 PM

What speed did you hit on that first descent? Looks like you were smokin', but sometimes the wide-angle can be deceiving. Seemed like you were close to 40

stapfam 06-03-13 12:43 PM

It was 44.2 but when my eyesight went blurry on the 2nd descent it was only 41. The road was not as smooth.

Annoying thing was that I had stopped the Garmin and not reset so it did not record. It did show speed so when I looked at it- I could see what I was doing but no idea on highest speed on the route.

Steve Sawyer 06-03-13 01:05 PM

Originally Posted by stapfam (Post 15699773)
It was 44.2 but when my eyesight went blurry on the 2nd descent it was only 41. The road was not as smooth.

Wow - I get nervous when I hit 35! All I can think of is something breaking at that speed! :eek: :rolleyes:

stapfam 06-03-13 01:40 PM

Originally Posted by Steve Sawyer (Post 15699873)
Wow - I get nervous when I hit 35! All I can think of is something breaking at that speed! :eek: :rolleyes:

Be honest and speed does not bother me but I have to have confidence in the bike. When I first got the TCR- it would not take speed over bumpy roads and 35 mph + and the bike stopped handling. Compared to Boreas that was/is perfect it came as a shock. Sorted it in the end and it was a combination of light bike-stiff frame- stiff wheels and a lightweight rider and I could not stop the damn thing bouncing all over the road. Changed the wheels away from Aksiums and the bike worked.

So ride your bike more- sort the bike and find a big hill. When the 3 come together- 50 is possible.

irwin7638 06-06-13 04:31 PM

I have a more scientific method of climbing: granny down early and leave the ego at the bottom. It ain't pretty, but I don't walk.


billydonn 06-06-13 06:33 PM

Nice downhill Doug! Going down the left side on such a narrow road with traffic would put me off a bit.

TromboneAl 06-06-13 06:49 PM

Were you (1) talking to yourself, (2) talking to the GoPro, or (3) talking to someone else descending close to you?

stapfam 06-07-13 12:08 AM

Talking to the Go Pro to remind me of the bits of the hill. To be honest I can't remember much of the ride except the pain of the hills. I was worn out on that ride and that included the brain. And to toot my horn-- among my group- there are not many that can stay with me on the downhills except on this ride Mick and Ross were coming down Firle Beacon as I was going up.

And Irwin--Only one way to do hills of this grade and that is find lowest gear- wish you had another couple- and grind away. It is a long time since I walked a hill But I do take them slow nowadays.

climberguy 06-07-13 04:50 AM

Originally Posted by billydonn (Post 15713677)
Nice downhill Doug! Going down the left side on such a narrow road with traffic would put me off a bit.


Going downhill fast can be fun but in this case--with a narrow road and a number of cyclists on the other side going up--I'd be concerned that cars passing the cyclists going up would swing wide around them and hit me or run me off the road. You seemed fearless on these descents.

NOS88 06-07-13 06:25 AM

Great post. On the downhill video that one car coming up the hill seem quite close to you as it passed one of the other riders. Was that an illusion, or was it squeezing you a bit toward the berm? Had to laugh at myself. My first reaction to the first 15 seconds of video one was, "Why are they riding on the wrong side of the road?" It always amazes me how easy it is to project my own life experiences on others. The downhills looked like a blast. BTW, you've got some absolutely beauitful country side in which to ride.

stapfam 06-07-13 10:06 AM

I'll save it for another post but I went through one of our "Olde Worlde " Sussex villages on this ride. Very picturesque with the Flint walls but a bit small even by my standards. But If there is room then I do not slow down for cars coming the other way. They do realise that there are riders on the road due to the number of signs about and anyone going to the top of Firle by car- bike or feet is going there to enjoy the scenery. And if they do encrosch on my space- then they have paintwork to repair. I have hedges to fall in.

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