Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Oy, 17% is rough!

Old 09-22-08, 12:27 PM
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pfn
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Oy, 17% is rough!

It's been about a week (~110 miles now) since I got my TCR and I figured it's time I ride it for more than *just* commuting to work. This morning's ride was still a /commute/ but about 22.8 miles vs. 8.8-10.2mi for getting to work. I have about 1800miles of base riding (commuting/flat) since March this year.

My route -- http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...Stevens-Canyon (1598ft climbing and 1729ft descending according to the elevation chart)

One section was absurdly steep (17% ) and it was horrible on the standard crank. I was dying on the 39-25 and probably had to stop about 5 times.

(Incline grades are gleaned from this bike path: http://www.dino.com/~susan/wwrides/rides/D/0400.html)

My computer was on auto-start and it appears my total riding time was about 1h25m (15.7mph moving average) and about 1h40m real time.

To think, there are other grades of 19-23% in the area... when will I ever be able to take those on!
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Old 09-22-08, 12:29 PM
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...htfu. ...
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Old 09-22-08, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
...htfu. ...
Thank you, I plan on doing just that
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Old 09-22-08, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by pfn View Post
Thank you, I plan on doing just that
And by HTFU, I'm sure he meant you should try Sierra road, or maybe Tunitas. You my friend are surrounded by some great climbs, it's good to be in the South bay.
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Old 09-22-08, 12:42 PM
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how funny, i live in the same area, cupertino and i ride 53/39 with a 12/25 in the back. i can get up mt. eden just fine. i might have to stop cause my heart is beating so hard i can't breath, but i see no reason to walk. i mean i'm an amateur. then again i'm 22, a dance teacher and in good shape.

but i know i can't get up Montebello Rd with 39/25. where is the 17% grade? i really need to spend the money on a compact crank, and someday a wider cassete, i'd just hate to lose the cadence on an 8 speed. someday i'll go up Mt Hamilton.
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Old 09-22-08, 12:43 PM
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Or, you could get a compact.

Or, swap the cassette for one with a 27 or 28.
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Old 09-22-08, 12:45 PM
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You went right by 6th street which leads to the toughest climb in the area, Bohlman & On Orbit. A good reference is cycling.stanford.edu and http://www.actc.org/billygoats/bgoats.php. Yesterday we did a ride that included the ring of fire from the PA bikes website.

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Old 09-22-08, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jinws View Post
And by HTFU, I'm sure he meant you should try Sierra road, or maybe Tunitas. You my friend are surrounded by some great climbs, it's good to be in the South bay.
Sierra rd off of Piedmont in North San Jose? It looks intriguing, I shall try it sometime, it also sounds like a much more reasonable grade. I have no idea where Tunitas is. I must get permission from the wife to let me do rides other than commutes to work

Originally Posted by weavers View Post
how funny, i live in the same area, cupertino and i ride 53/39 with a 12/25 in the back. i can get up mt. eden just fine. i might have to stop cause my heart is beating so hard i can't breath, but i see no reason to walk. i mean i'm an amateur. then again i'm 22, a dance teacher and in good shape.

but i know i can't get up Montebello Rd with 39/25. where is the 17% grade? i really need to spend the money on a compact crank, and someday a wider cassete, i'd just hate to lose the cadence on an 8 speed. someday i'll go up Mt Hamilton.
Indeed, same here, I'm 30 now, used to mountain bike a lot when I was 22-25, stopped riding for a while until this year--20%+ used to seem so easy with the 22t granny (even though I was going something like 2mph)--see below for information on Toll Gate rd. Same here, I won't walk, but I do have to *stop*.

Originally Posted by Scorer75 View Post
Or, you could get a compact.

Or, swap the cassette for one with a 27 or 28.
Me cheap, no spend mo' money. $2k for the bike was enough!

Originally Posted by Bostic View Post
You went right by 6th street which leads to the toughest climb in the area, Bohlman & On Orbit. A good reference is cycling.stanford.edu and http://www.actc.org/billygoats/bgoats.php. Yesterday we did a ride that included the ring of fire from the PA bikes website.
Yeah, I saw Bohlman and On Orbit mentioned in that Susan's D-ride bike route I linked, >20% grades!!

I also just found http://cycling.stanford.edu/

Tollgate Rd Tollgate Rd runs between Saratoga Heights Rd (off Pierce) and Congress Springs Rd (aka Hwy 9) or vice versa. Consider Saratoga Heights and Tollgate as one. Each direction starts with a climb, much more strenuous in the reverse direction, a wall really, 16-17% for about 200 meters. The pavement is smooth, surrounding mansions and vistas are enjoyable, a welcome diversion from standard routes overall.
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Old 09-22-08, 12:58 PM
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just get out and ride the hardest hill loop you can pack togther in 2 hours, like what,
30 miles or so. go ride it solo twice a week and lump aorund the rest of the week.

do this 20 times (10 weeks) and you'll see huge improvement ride 20 vs ride 1 when u were
a grasshopper. should wake up, legs aching, first 3 times, then get used to it quick.

you want results then go ride hills it is win win

eat like a pound of hamburger (before cooking) afterward.
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Old 09-22-08, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
just get out and ride the hardest hill loop you can pack togther in 2 hours, like what,
30 miles or so. go ride it solo twice a week and lump aorund the rest of the week.
Two hours is a bit long, today's ride was reaching that amount of time but it will come down, I'm sure. I do plan on riding this route maybe once a week on Mondays and then just cruise to work (~8mi) the rest of the week. Must make that wall seem like nothing.
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Old 09-22-08, 03:11 PM
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17% is steep. My lunch ride today had some short 17-18% sections, but I'm using a 50/34 11/25 setup. I don't know how it would be on a standard setup. The compact is a real knee saver.
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Old 09-22-08, 03:19 PM
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The steepest part of your ride was probably Mt. Eden.

My fiancee and I did that on the tandem at around mile 90-ish of the Sequoia Century. I don't remember it being quite 17%, but it's pretty steep. Bohlman is nuts though. Any day you are feeling crazy make that left turn on 6th and go for it
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Old 09-22-08, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by pfn View Post
One section was absurdly steep (17% )
To think, there are other grades of 19-23% in the area... when will I ever be able to take those on!
There's no crying in cycling! There's only or at sucking.

Get yourself an inexpensive cassette with a lower gear on Ebay, and spin up those hills with ease and pride.

Last edited by KiddSisko; 09-22-08 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 09-22-08, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
The steepest part of your ride was probably Mt. Eden.

My fiancee and I did that on the tandem at around mile 90-ish of the Sequoia Century. I don't remember it being quite 17%, but it's pretty steep. Bohlman is nuts though. Any day you are feeling crazy make that left turn on 6th and go for it
Mt Eden isn't steep, Toll Gate rd and Saratoga Heights are where it's steep, Mt Eden is only about 6%
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Old 09-22-08, 03:34 PM
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The last 150 m of Mt. Diablo is 17% if I recall correctly. Next time I do it, I'll be using the 12-27.
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Old 09-22-08, 03:59 PM
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There's quite a few 20%ers near me, I started off on a standard with 12-25. I kept wishing for smaller gearing but instead I just kept riding, riding, riding until eventually I was fine with standard gearing. I now no longer hanker for smaller gearing...

That is until my trip to the alps next year...
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Old 09-22-08, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by pfn View Post
Mt Eden isn't steep, Toll Gate rd and Saratoga Heights are where it's steep, Mt Eden is only about 6%
Mt. Eden is steep on the other side, descending Pierce from the Saratoga Mountain Winery and making a left on to Mt. Eden. The steep section is not that long but on a ride such as the Sequoia Century where it's near the end it can be unpleasant. Many riders were off the bike pushing up that section.
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Old 09-22-08, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Bostic View Post
Mt. Eden is steep on the other side, descending Pierce from the Saratoga Mountain Winery and making a left on to Mt. Eden. The steep section is not that long but on a ride such as the Sequoia Century where it's near the end it can be unpleasant. Many riders were off the bike pushing up that section.
I'm confused, that sounds like what I rode this morning:

Saratoga Heights -> Right to Pierce
Pierce -> Left to Mt Eden

I'd actually missed the left this morning, not used to descending on the road bike, in the hoods, I am fearful of grabbing a bunch of brake. I overran by about 1/8 of a mile and turned around to get right onto Mt Eden.

All in all, those hills still kicked my ass... can't wait 'til Monday again
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Old 09-22-08, 04:09 PM
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Oops yeah, my fault. Going up Eden from there isn't too bad at all. I am usually riding a bit more north than that though, so my memory of the whole Pierce/Eden/Stevens Canyon area is a bit muddy.
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Old 09-22-08, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pfn View Post

One section was absurdly steep (17% ) and it was horrible on the standard crank. I was dying on the 39-25 and probably had to stop about 5 times.
This is me on the 17% grade section that's right before my driveway. It's only about 70 meters long, but it is preceded farther down the hill by a 15% section that's more like 150 meters long, and it's all part of a mile long climb with an average grade of about 7%. Every. Friggin. Ride. And on rare winter days, in the snow. I usually use the 39 x 23, occasionally I go to the 39 x 25 bail out gear.



So yes, you should HTFU. Or get a compact. Either way.
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Old 09-22-08, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
... Every. Friggin. Ride. And on rare winter days, in the snow.

So yes, you should HTFU. Or get a compact. Either way.
Yeah yeah, so in your day, you rode uphill both ways, in the snow ...
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Old 09-22-08, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by pfn View Post
Yeah yeah, so in your day, you rode uphill both ways, in the snow ...
Actually Mr. Fred, I only ride up the hill in the snow after I get caught out in it unexpectedly. If it's snowing and it's sticking, even I don't venture out on my road bicycle. I'm pretty stupid, but I'm not that stupid.
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Old 09-22-08, 04:54 PM
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The molester from Chester strikes again!
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Old 09-22-08, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by KiddSisko View Post
There's no crying in cycling! There's only or at sucking.
There's totally crying in cycling. I cried my first time up to the Baldy Ski Lifts. I cried yesterday after EC too.
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Old 09-22-08, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
This is me on the 17% grade section that's right before my driveway. It's only about 70 meters long, but it is preceded farther down the hill by a 15% section that's more like 150 meters long, and it's all part of a mile long climb with an average grade of about 7%. Every. Friggin. Ride. And on rare winter days, in the snow. I usually use the 39 x 23, occasionally I go to the 39 x 25 bail out gear.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y11...Daddybike3.jpg

So yes, you should HTFU. Or get a compact. Either way.


http://www-graphics.stanford.edu/~lu...anonorbit.html
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