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RiPHRaPH 07-10-02 11:45 AM

let's talk pavement here
does anyone else have this experience?!
i have a patch of pavement during my rides i've been on for 5+ years. it was a fresh patch 5 years ago. it is smooth, faded a bit from that new pavement look. it is on a slight incline - lasts for only a 3/4 mile stretch - about 15 miles into my rides.
but everytime i am on it, no matter how tired or slow i am going, i feel rejuvinated and feel faster. it just feels great. and then it is over. just as fast as it came up. i've been on smoother patches without the same exhilarated but fleeting moment.
i also have a point (again, only for a short 1/2 mile) on a ride (always in the same spot) where i can't get above 11-12 mph. i can be going along at 18-19mph then hit this part (it is a little bumpy, uphill, with little shoulder) but i've been on other roads like it without this mental block that seems to happen here. i have this feeling like my tires are out of air. only on this little stretch. wierd.

do they make straight jerseys with the really long sleeves? i must be out of my gord, right?

ONEN 07-10-02 12:12 PM

Hehe, sounds like the Electric Brae :)

WoodyUpstate 07-10-02 12:41 PM

I know what you mean, but rarely is it a positive experience for me. I ride a couple of false flats that go up. I'd swear they're flat, and one even has a downhill look to it, but I my HR stays up and I slow down several mph. This really messes with your mind when you're tired.

I rode a loop backwards a while back and one false flat appeared as a definite downhill when coming the other way. I shook my head and wondered how it could look so flat in one direction and so obviously different in another direction.

Stor Mand 07-10-02 01:05 PM

I've got a couple spots in my ride where you'd swear it is a slight decline yet I have to pedal harder to keep the speed up and vice versa.

presfoxm 07-10-02 01:24 PM

There is a 1.5 mile boulevard near my house which I sometimes ride. At the very beginning (going North) there is a little hill, very slow incline but it wipes me out every time--no matter how I come at it. On the South side, though, there is a duplicate hill which I fly up and I love. It makes no sense to me how in a three mile ride with two hills almost exactly the same I can have two completely different experiences.

Ouch ! 07-10-02 01:44 PM

I know what you mean.

The quality of tarmac makes a huge difference, there's a 1/2 mile stretch of road which is pure heaven to ride on, it's flat but it's incredibly easy to cruise fast on it, whilst the stretches of tarmac before and after it are newer by many years but don't seem to have the same Rolling (is that the right term?) quality.

On the subject of struggling there's a mile or two of trail that follows after a mile of downhill and I find it hard to cope with it everytime. Do my legs muscles relax going downhill and then take awhile to get going again ? because that's the only reason I can think of because the trail looks okay to me.

a2psyklnut 07-10-02 02:58 PM

There are different grades of asphalt, depending on the courseness(sp?) of the aggregate. A Type II is usually what's on parking lots and usually is the fastest. A Type III is found on most roads (around here anyways!) and has a larger aggregate, it's a little rougher and isn't as fast. Concrete is smooth, but can only be poured in small sections so you get a lot of expansion joints. i.e. bump, bump, bump....etc.

Regardless, there is one section of my ride. It's a straight away following a left hand turn across 3 lanes of road that I always seem to be able to fly down. I don't know if it's because I always get stuck at the light and accelerate fast in front of the other traffic, or the slight downhill slope or the grade of asphalt or what, but I can easily hit 32 mph without killing myself. If I do that anywhere else, I'm spent for the rest of the ride!


Joe Gardner 07-10-02 03:07 PM

Yes! There is a 2 mile section of my ride where i can constantly cruise at ~28MPH. It dosent matter if its at the start of my ride, or the end. Its always my fastest section. I cant name all the roads that keep me slow ;)

Tarantula 07-10-02 06:18 PM

Fresh pavement is my friend.

Chris L 07-10-02 09:14 PM

I think it's more of a psychological factor myself. There are some places where, for reasons unexplained, I just feel stronger than others. I've tried looking for reasons (i.e pavement, hidden incline etc) and found nothing consistent to these places. I just think it's a psychological thing.

blwyn 07-10-02 09:32 PM

Whew! Its good to hear that other people have invisible hills on their routes too. There's a 4 block stretch on my commute that I swear is flat but from my speed has got to have an incline. I've always thought I must be nuts - glad to hear others have found similar areas.

Richard D 07-11-02 03:09 AM


Originally posted by blwyn
Whew! Its good to hear that other people have invisible hills on their routes too. There's a 4 block stretch on my commute that I swear is flat but from my speed has got to have an incline. I've always thought I must be nuts - glad to hear others have found similar areas.
The the false flats I slow down on are invisible hills, those that I speed up on are however perfectly flat, the increase in speed is purely my superb cycling prowess and nothing to do with gravity... :D

chewa 07-11-02 06:45 AM

Sometimes I ride on the white lines (near the kerb, not in the middle of the road!) as they are very smooth, and my pace goes up.

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