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How to get use to Hills

Old 04-29-12, 03:32 PM
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nbo10
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How to get use to Hills

Hi All, I'm a new transplant from IN. Indiana is pretty darn flat with the only inclines being from overpasses. How do you get use to hills and inclines? I'm mostly commuting to and from work and it's a pretty flat route. I've found an alternate route with a hill that just kills me. It's only 3/10 of a mile but by the time I get to the top I'm ready to collapse. I would like to do more cycling but there are hills in just about every direction; Most of them are longer than 0.3 miles.

So any suggestions on cycling up inclines and hills? Thanks

JMD
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Old 04-29-12, 04:11 PM
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1nterceptor
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The only way to get used to hills is by riding them.
What's the gearing on your bike?

[h=6]Gran Prix di San Francisco.[/h]
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Old 04-29-12, 04:11 PM
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johnny99
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Practice makes perfect
Losing weight helps, but mostly on longer hills
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Old 04-29-12, 05:30 PM
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ericm979
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Get lower gearing. Ride more hills.
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Old 04-29-12, 06:25 PM
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caloso
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
Get lower gearing. Ride more hills.
This.
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Old 04-29-12, 06:40 PM
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spingineer
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As everyone else has said, just keep riding them, and climbing them.
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Old 04-29-12, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
The only way to get used to hills is by riding them.
What's the gearing on your bike?

Gran Prix di San Francisco.

Fillmore. Done it many times.
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Old 04-29-12, 10:28 PM
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Midland
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All the above.Learn to love climbing, start with small hills & you'll end up on Mts.
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Old 04-29-12, 10:50 PM
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Just keep riding them. Luckily in Northern California there is no shortage of climbs.

When I started riding I just started going places around where I lived and they all happened to be climbs. I didn't know people rode there bicycles on all flat routes.
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Old 04-30-12, 07:58 PM
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When you all started climbing hills did you start with short little rides? The 0.3 mile hill on my commute already kicks my butt; I can't imagine riding anything longer.
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Old 04-30-12, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by nbo10 View Post
When you all started climbing hills did you start with short little rides? The 0.3 mile hill on my commute already kicks my butt; I can't imagine riding anything longer.
I went on longer ones, and just went as far as I could go then I stopped, then I kept going again. Just tell yourself if it's not hard it's not worth doing. It's never really easy, but that's kind of the point.

After a couple months it wasn't as hard and I could worry more about technique and pacing myself for the particular hill/etc..

Of course I am a fairly thin guy so I find I usually have an easier time than someone heavier than me, so my advice might not be too helpful, but I usually drop the two guys I usually ride with on the hills without really trying now. On the flats/slight downhill.. I have to work to keep up with them.
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Old 04-30-12, 11:17 PM
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Where is this 0.3 mile hill you speak of? If it's insanely steep, perhaps there's a better way. If the grade is less than 15-18% you can get used to it. Anything over that will mostly always suck. Just keep at it and you'll be fine. You can use mapmyride.com or other route mapping sites to see how steep your route options are.
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Old 05-01-12, 08:29 AM
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nbo10
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Mapmyride has it as a 250 rise over three tenths of a mile, which makes it about 15%. I guess I'll keep chugging along and hope they become easier. I've never been a strong rider. Unless my legs were super fresh I would always get dropped during group rides. Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 05-01-12, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by nbo10 View Post
When you all started climbing hills did you start with short little rides? The 0.3 mile hill on my commute already kicks my butt; I can't imagine riding anything longer.
Doing both short climbs that are a little too steep for me, and longer climbs of grades that I can sustain but aren't too much flatter than the steepest I can sustain, help prepare me to do tougher things.
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Old 05-01-12, 12:00 PM
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MetinUz
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Originally Posted by nbo10 View Post
Mapmyride has it as a 250 rise over three tenths of a mile, which makes it about 15%. I guess I'll keep chugging along and hope they become easier. I've never been a strong rider. Unless my legs were super fresh I would always get dropped during group rides. Thanks for all the advice.
That's a pretty steep grade, especially if you don't have low enough gearing. Longer climbs of 5% to 8% may be more effective to get your climbing legs.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:26 AM
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If you're used to pushing big gears then the hills will wear you out. Use small gears and pace yourself. There's no place to recover on an uphill so make sure you don't start off too intense.
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Old 05-02-12, 01:24 PM
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Find some other hills that you can get over with a struggle, but don't "kill you". Start doing those, then other's that are bigger, rinse and repeat. Pretty soon, your killer hill, will still be a killer hill, but it'll just be another hill on your ride.
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