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Long, steep hills are an investment that shouldn't be wasted.

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Long, steep hills are an investment that shouldn't be wasted.

Old 07-04-15, 12:30 PM
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Long, steep hills are an investment that shouldn't be wasted.

There are plenty of hills around here so it's nearly impossible to find a flat ride. But Chesterfield Hill is a place I visit twice a week. To get to the bottom of it you first need to ride about four miles at a five percent grade. The hill itself is a mile long at ten percent going east. I ride it that way then turn around and come up the other side at eight percent. I try to get about half way up the hard side before I shift to the 28 tooth. I usually ride 25 miles before I get to this hill and then another fifteen after I have ridden it. It's the hills that build character as a cyclist and it's the hills that separate us from the posers.
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Old 07-04-15, 01:00 PM
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the steep hills are out west. eastern hills are rounded off from Geology of Times past.
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Old 07-04-15, 01:13 PM
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I don't want to be accused for thinking negative' rather realistic. I hope for the best of all of us.
I hope none of us 'bike forum' members being a real estate developer of some sort -- or working within that profession.
Nor the equipment of it.
As those human types have been taking a lot of our best hills, in the West, away. In addition to other rural land.
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Old 07-04-15, 01:24 PM
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Yeah I know what you mean. I plan my rides around the hills I can ride. Today was a 42 mile training ride for a quite awesome ride called the Crater Lake Century. Every hill I ride I see as an investment that I'm going to have to call on during this ride I have in late August.
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Old 07-04-15, 01:32 PM
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In our area we don't have hills that require climbing for miles on end. The longest continuous climb I've encountered so far is the 2-mile climb up to Mt. Vernon Estate on the Mt. Vernon Trail, with only 100 ft. of elevation gain. It made me stop twice to catch my breath. I'm not into racing so it doesn't make much difference to me whether or not we have great hills to climb. The climb to my house is about 110 ft elevation gain, but it's under 0.2 miles, thank the gods.

I have to admit though I watched this for some inspiration to improve my climbing, which has been pretty bad due to my inexperience and lack of conditioning - these guys did a mix of standing and on-saddle pedaling to finish 1st and 2nd:

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Old 07-04-15, 04:23 PM
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Do you feel threatened by the so-called 'posers' ?
Or are you just obviously insecure by nature?
I wonder what the people able to do your same route at a faster pace think of you?
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Old 07-04-15, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
the steep hills are out west. eastern hills are rounded off from Geology of Times past.
Go ahead, Google Lincoln Gap, my friend. Or even MT Washington. I've lived all up & down the west coast. No doubt, there are some monsterous climbs. It's a great training ground. The mountains certainly don't bring much elevation change out here. However, we are not without the most challenging climbs. Now please,Google.... Then a few miles Down the road, Appalachian Gap...Roxbury Gap, Smugglers Notch. There are plenty more
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Old 07-04-15, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray9
There are plenty of hills around here so it's nearly impossible to find a flat ride. But Chesterfield Hill is a place I visit twice a week. To get to the bottom of it you first need to ride about four miles at a five percent grade. The hill itself is a mile long at ten percent going east. I ride it that way then turn around and come up the other side at eight percent. I try to get about half way up the hard side before I shift to the 28 tooth. I usually ride 25 miles before I get to this hill and then another fifteen after I have ridden it. It's the hills that build character as a cyclist and it's the hills that separate us from the posers.
First post *blushes*

You guys are an inspiration. I'm new to biking, but I really like it. I have some awesome hills within miles of my house. One is a legit one mile long, and the other (I need to check it's length but it's probably a mile or longer) takes me nearly two minutes to coast down (I got up to 43.5 mph the other day) and over 11 minutes to get up!
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Old 07-04-15, 05:43 PM
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In my area, if I cycle from home, the most gradual climb I've got is a 10%. Must be nice to have 5%s and 8%s to cruise up.
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Old 07-04-15, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bakes1
Do you feel threatened by the so-called 'posers' ?
Or are you just obviously insecure by nature?
I wonder what the people able to do your same route at a faster pace think of you?
I probably shouldn't have used the term poser but it fits. When a group of cyclists is riding the flats drafting acts as an equalizer. When they hit the hills the weaker (those who have not worked the hills) are dropped. It happens without exception. You can psychoanalyze me if you want. I may have OCD which is probably a good thing for a cyclist.
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Old 07-05-15, 08:01 AM
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My belief is about why one rides in the first place. Some do the riding as a form of exercise and partly for the sport. For some its just the opposite depending on what the Carpe Diem is for you. Mostly subjective.

But one thing certain is our bodies can do repetitive type activity to a limit and that limit is the aging process and what it brings to all mortals. As I age, it takes longer to get back into "climbing shape" and faster to lose that type of conditioning. Is it worth it? Again a subjective thing.

At the end of the day, do I ask myself if I consider climbing an investment? Not really, just another thing to scratch off the bucket list.
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Old 07-05-15, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
In our area we don't have hills that require climbing for miles on end. The longest continuous climb I've encountered so far is the 2-mile climb up to Mt. Vernon Estate on the Mt. Vernon Trail, with only 100 ft. of elevation gain. It made me stop twice to catch my breath. I'm not into racing so it doesn't make much difference to me whether or not we have great hills to climb. The climb to my house is about 110 ft elevation gain, but it's under 0.2 miles, thank the gods.
Are you sure it's only 100' gain? My back of the napkin calculations... 100' @ 2 miles would be about an average of a 1% grade. It should be a lot easier than 110' in less than a 1/4 mile.
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Old 07-05-15, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by fastk9dad
Are you sure it's only 100' gain? My back of the napkin calculations... 100' @ 2 miles would be about an average of a 1% grade. It should be a lot easier than 110' in less than a 1/4 mile.
That's what MapMyRide Plus says.

Start of climb: 25 ft. elevation, 10.76 miles into workout

End of climb: 125 ft. elevation, 12.09 miles into workout

I didn't bother calculating the grade of the climb up to Mt. Vernon Estate. Why did it kick my butt while the climb up to my house, while exhausting, was doable for me? Probably lack of endurance, technique and experience. It was my first ride for more than 5 miles. I had less than one month of cycling experience lifetime. Before May I didn't even know how to ride a bike. I sure didn't know the stand and mash technique for climbing either. Heck I couldn't even stand on my pedals at the time.

BTW, MapMyRide has stopped measuring elevation for me. Two workouts in a row now with 0 elevation change. I'll try Cyclemeter GPS. The one thing I didn't like about it was I could log on to a website later and take a better look at elevation and speed.
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Old 07-05-15, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
That's what MapMyRide Plus says.

Start of climb: 25 ft. elevation, 10.76 miles into workout

End of climb: 125 ft. elevation, 12.09 miles into workout

I didn't bother calculating the grade of the climb up to Mt. Vernon Estate. Why did it kick my butt while the climb up to my house, while exhausting, was doable for me? Probably lack of endurance, technique and experience. It was my first ride for more than 5 miles. I had less than one month of cycling experience lifetime. Before May I didn't even know how to ride a bike. I sure didn't know the stand and mash technique for climbing either. Heck I couldn't even stand on my pedals at the time.

BTW, MapMyRide has stopped measuring elevation for me. Two workouts in a row now with 0 elevation change. I'll try Cyclemeter GPS. The one thing I didn't like about it was I could log on to a website later and take a better look at elevation and speed.
First let me say, congrats on getting riding!

As for the elevation gain, it's not as simple as subtracting the end from the start as there can be a lot of ups and downs in between. Counting all the ups equals the total gain. I did some checking using Ride with GPS, I assume this is the Mount Vernon Trail in VA, the last 2 miles have a total elevation gain of 134'. 87' of that comes at about the last 1/2 mile, topping out at about 5% grade. For someone so new to cycling that could certainly be a lot! Keep up the good work, it will get easier over time.
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Old 07-05-15, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
the steep hills are out west. eastern hills are rounded off from Geology of Times past.
Steep HILLS (actually, mountains) are out west, but generally speaking the ROADS out west were mostly built to newer standards and tend to not be as steep as the roads in the eastern mountains.
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Old 07-05-15, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by fastk9dad
First let me say, congrats on getting riding!

As for the elevation gain, it's not as simple as subtracting the end from the start as there can be a lot of ups and downs in between. Counting all the ups equals the total gain. I did some checking using Ride with GPS, I assume this is the Mount Vernon Trail in VA, the last 2 miles have a total elevation gain of 134'. 87' of that comes at about the last 1/2 mile, topping out at about 5% grade. For someone so new to cycling that could certainly be a lot! Keep up the good work, it will get easier over time.
Thanks! MapMyRide unfortunately just shows me the total elevation gain for the entire ride, instead of the elevation gain for a specific segment of the ride. It doesn't report an overall elevation gain at all - probably because I turned around and went back the other way.

At the time of that ride, I struggled to just climb an overpass, which from a short distance looks like a very gentle slope. I was pedaling hard on my 2nd of 8 gears. These days I can climb that overpass on the 5th gear with the standing technique.
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Old 07-05-15, 08:52 PM
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Hills are my kryptonite. But they're definitely great for training/fitness.
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Old 07-06-15, 05:47 AM
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Aging should not be used as an excuse to not work the hills. In fact hills should be sought out. when we age our fast twitch muscles are the first thing to go but our power remains right to the end. George foreman slowed down in his twilight years but he retained the ability to knock people out which he did. As stated earlier your muscles have a memory and long, plodding hard work on hills is stored in those muscles just like money in the bank. Good quality hill work on a regular basis can also improve your overall average speed because the strength gained allows you to power through different types of rolling terrain.
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Old 07-06-15, 05:55 AM
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Long, steep hills are an investment that shouldn't be wasted.

Originally Posted by Ray9 (of New England)
There are plenty of hills around here so it's nearly impossible to find a flat ride. …It's the hills that build character as a cyclist and it's the hills that separate us from the posers.

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
Steep HILLS (actually, mountains) are out west, but generally speaking the ROADS out west were mostly built to newer standards and tend to not be as steep as the roads in the eastern mountains.
When we crossed the USA from Los Angeles to Washington DC via Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado, we found the longest climbs were indeed out West, but the steepest climbs were in the Missouri Ozarks and West Virginian Appalachians. Out West where the roads are fewer, we were on Federal highways that had standards for grades to accommodate Big Scary Trucks. For example I think that the climb to Wolf Creek Pass was about 8 miles long, with switchbacks.

Once we left the Rockies, local backroads became more plentiful and steeper. On the second to last day, back on major roads we crossed five hardly noticeable passes (“gaps”) in the Shenandoah Mtns in Virginia.

Here in Metro Boston are pleasant hills maybe a quarter to half mile long and I don’t know how steep. As a commuter with a given route, I use the hills for sporadic intervals, since the terrain does not accommodate itself to a schedule of strictly spaced hard and easy intervals.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-06-15 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 07-06-15, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
the steep hills are out west. eastern hills are rounded off from Geology of Times past.
Or you can say that the hills are in the east. The west has mountains.

GH
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Old 07-06-15, 04:20 PM
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Post glacial volcanos .. some like Mt St Helens are Not Dormant.
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Old 07-06-15, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ColaJacket
Or you can say that the hills are in the east. The west has mountains.

GH
Ok, ride up this hill.
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Old 07-06-15, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray9
Ok, ride up this hill.
Have you ridden that hill?


The title of this thread includes the word "steep" and yet, unless I'm missing something, your original post only talks about climbing relatively gradual or moderate hills ... a maximum of 10%. 10% is not particularly steep. It's at the top end of "gradual", perhaps into "moderate", but "steep" doesn't really start until you get into 11%, 12%, and more ... like, for example, the hill you linked to just now.

Last edited by Machka; 07-06-15 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 07-07-15, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Have you ridden that hill?


The title of this thread includes the word "steep" and yet, unless I'm missing something, your original post only talks about climbing relatively gradual or moderate hills ... a maximum of 10%. 10% is not particularly steep. It's at the top end of "gradual", perhaps into "moderate", but "steep" doesn't really start until you get into 11%, 12%, and more ... like, for example, the hill you linked to just now.
The point of this thread is that hill work is an important and necessary component of the cycling experience. People like you and I who have logged thousands of miles over many years should impress this point on those who are at entry level. Cycling is like anything else. You get out of it what you put into it. I can find hills within 20 miles of my house that are fifteen percent for a quarter mile that have potholes better described as craters on the way down. I ride them because it's important to me to be respected by other riders even if they are forty years younger than I am. If fitness and good health are the goal then just peddling around the neighborhood is a waste of time. You could get the same benefits from washing dishes.
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Old 07-07-15, 06:51 AM
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Long, steep hills are an investment that shouldn't be wasted.

Originally Posted by Ray9 (of New England)
The point of this thread is that hill work is an important and necessary component of the cycling experience. People like you and I who have logged thousands of miles over many years should impress this point on those who are at entry level. Cycling is like anything else…to be respected by other riders even if they are forty years younger than I am.

If fitness and good health are the goal then just peddling around the neighborhood is a waste of time. You could get the same benefits from washing dishes.
I recall another active post by @Ray9 about another investment, to which I also responded,” My new $7,000 bike and the futility of justifying the price to the average person.” (I have a CF bike, MSRP $8,000; got it half off).

Originally Posted by Ray9 (of New England)
You get out of it what you put into it. I can find hills within 20 miles of my house that are fifteen percent for a quarter mile that have potholes better described as craters on the way down. I ride them because it's important to me…

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…Here in Metro Boston are pleasant hills maybe a quarter to half mile long and I don’t know how steep. As a commuter with a given route, I use the hills for sporadic intervals, since the terrain does not accommodate itself to a schedule of strictly spaced hard and easy intervals.
Sounds like my commuting/training routes too.
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