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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

Climbing questions/help

Old 07-07-12, 01:55 PM
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cocar
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Climbing questions/help

So, I had an interesting experience this morning. I went on group ride...it's a casual/social group of roadies, mixed bunch of ages and abilities. We were over in Safety Harbor/Clearwater, riding partially on the Ream-Wilson Trail. The only reason this got interesting is because part of this trail has 10% grades. Now, I know this doesn't count as "hilly" to most of you, but this part of FL is as flat as a pancake. This is as hilly as it gets for us, and this is extremely rare. I've only been cycling about 6 months. I've had zero instructions on how to do anything. If I do something well or correctly, it's totally by accident/dumb luck. Anyway, our leader stopped us to regroup at the bottom of the first of these hills, and when took off, everyone was cursing him. But I either had to slow down to avoid running into the person in front of me, or start passing people--which is what I ended up doing because I didn't want to cross wheels with anyone. Again, I have no skill at this, I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I caught a bunch of (good natured) $hit for passing everyone. Some guy asked me later where I learned to climb like that...um, I didn't.

So my question is this...is this just a function of size/weight? Because I'm so much smaller than everyone else? The next smallest person is probably 40lbs heavier than me. If I actually did want to learn to climb properly, how would I learn to do that, being that I have no one to teach me? I mean, how to people learn this stuff initially? Sorry if these are basic, stupid questions...I did do a search, but didn't quite find what I was after.
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Old 07-07-12, 02:13 PM
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I,ve seen your photo,believe me,Your a climber.Check out Marco Pantani,one of the greatest climbers ever,he looks light and fast.do what he does and no one can keep up
https://youtu.be/i-J2bIsPDH8

Last edited by bike56; 07-07-12 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 07-07-12, 02:16 PM
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Don't EVER apologize for passing mofos going up hill. It just means you are better than them as a human.
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Old 07-07-12, 02:17 PM
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Size and weight would help alot. Also, what type of gearing are you and the the other folks using?
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Old 07-07-12, 02:43 PM
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yeah dont feel bad at all! I get passed on the flats all the time by people much bigger than me. However once I hit a hill i usually pass them. It makes me feel better, that is until they pass me on the flat again.

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Old 07-07-12, 03:10 PM
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Ah , excuse me , I live and ride in Pinellas Cty. also , that " 10% climb " is less than 100 yds. , the closest we have
to practice "climbing" here OP is the Memorial Causeway and Sand Key bridges , I'm not certain of the gradient , but
their substantially longer than 100 yrds. Google " three bridges ride " should show some results I'm guessing , mean-
while riders in real hill country may laugh it up at our flatness
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Old 07-07-12, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by VELOGLOCK View Post
Ah , excuse me , I live and ride in Pinellas Cty. also , that " 10% climb " is less than 100 yds. , the closest we have
to practice "climbing" here OP is the Memorial Causeway and Sand Key bridges , I'm not certain of the gradient , but
their substantially longer than 100 yrds. Google " three bridges ride " should show some results I'm guessing , mean-
while riders in real hill country may laugh it up at our flatness
That's To bad,Flatness will negate your advantage cocar.You'll have to move to a hilly ,are mountainous area,then you can make them weep
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Old 07-07-12, 03:25 PM
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I think you guys missed my point. I wasn't apologizing, and I don't feel bad for passing them. Hell, a lot of them pass me on the flats on a regular basis. What I want to know is, is climbing ability strictly based on size? Or did I accidentally do something else correctly that made it easier? If so, I'd really like to know what it was. I climbed a couple of really steep "flyover" bridges a week ago and had a much more difficult time with them than I had today, but couldn't tell you why.
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Old 07-07-12, 03:28 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climbing_specialist
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Old 07-07-12, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by VELOGLOCK View Post
Ah , excuse me , I live and ride in Pinellas Cty. also , that " 10% climb " is less than 100 yds. , the closest we have
to practice "climbing" here OP is the Memorial Causeway and Sand Key bridges , I'm not certain of the gradient , but
their substantially longer than 100 yrds. Google " three bridges ride " should show some results I'm guessing , mean-
while riders in real hill country may laugh it up at our flatness
Yeah, I know. I rode those last weekend.
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Old 07-07-12, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by cocar View Post
Yeah, I know. I rode those last weekend.
Simply , if you want to practice ride the bridges 3-4 times per ride , they call it
"hill repeats " , I've considered it myself but haven't done it ...yet , let me know ,I
may try it with you
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Old 07-07-12, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cocar View Post
What I want to know is, is climbing ability strictly based on size? Or did I accidentally do something else correctly that made it easier? If so, I'd really like to know what it was.
No. Climbing is simply a function of your power/weight ratio. If you have the same power as the other riders but are 40 lbs lighter, you'll climb faster. There isn't a lot of technique other than maximizing the power you put out for the duration of the climb. It might take a bit of practice on a particular climb to figure out your gearing so you have a steady output. Better to go a little easier at the start than to go out too hard and die halfway up.
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Old 07-07-12, 04:12 PM
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Climbing speed is largely about power vs weight. To get better/faster, climb more. If you do a lot of climbing you will find your rythym and learn how hard you can go before you blow up. Good luck with that in Fla.
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Old 07-07-12, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by VELOGLOCK View Post
Simply , if you want to practice ride the bridges 3-4 times per ride , they call it
"hill repeats " , I've considered it myself but haven't done it ...yet , let me know ,I
may try it with you
Probably not a bad idea. It's not exactly in my backyard, though. I live in Riverview. I suppose my other option would to be to go out to San Antonio to gain some experience. At least it's not totally flat out there...
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Old 07-07-12, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike F View Post
Size and weight would help alot. Also, what type of gearing are you and the the other folks using?
No idea what anyone else is using, I haven't paid attention. I have a compact.
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Old 07-07-12, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bike56 View Post
That's To bad,Flatness will negate your advantage cocar.You'll have to move to a hilly ,are mountainous area,then you can make them weep
ha ha hardly! The only way I'm likely to EVER make anyone weep on a moutain is with my skiing skills...
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Old 07-07-12, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cocar View Post
So, I had an interesting experience this morning. I went on group ride...it's a casual/social group of roadies, mixed bunch of ages and abilities. We were over in Safety Harbor/Clearwater, riding partially on the Ream-Wilson Trail. The only reason this got interesting is because part of this trail has 10% grades. Now, I know this doesn't count as "hilly" to most of you, but this part of FL is as flat as a pancake. This is as hilly as it gets for us, and this is extremely rare. I've only been cycling about 6 months. I've had zero instructions on how to do anything. If I do something well or correctly, it's totally by accident/dumb luck. Anyway, our leader stopped us to regroup at the bottom of the first of these hills, and when took off, everyone was cursing him. But I either had to slow down to avoid running into the person in front of me, or start passing people--which is what I ended up doing because I didn't want to cross wheels with anyone. Again, I have no skill at this, I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I caught a bunch of (good natured) $hit for passing everyone. Some guy asked me later where I learned to climb like that...um, I didn't.

So my question is this...is this just a function of size/weight? Because I'm so much smaller than everyone else? The next smallest person is probably 40lbs heavier than me. If I actually did want to learn to climb properly, how would I learn to do that, being that I have no one to teach me? I mean, how to people learn this stuff initially? Sorry if these are basic, stupid questions...I did do a search, but didn't quite find what I was after.
What did I tell you?

Express elevator, remember?
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Old 07-07-12, 04:45 PM
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I'm pretty sure I've ridden those 10% grades (the trail next to the highway). I've also done the repeats in Clearwater.

The two sets of hills are a bit different, at least that's how I saw them.

10% trail hills - they're sheltered, narrow, and make you feel fast even when you're not going fast. It favors power/weight because there's no wind. If you can roll a huge gear that helps, and if you sprint up the hills you go fast. Since the hills are short it's more anaerobic than fitness and someone with a decent amount of short term power will get up them quickly.

The bridges where various riders do repeats are exposed to the wind. It's wide up there so you feel slow even if you're moving. They're much longer so you can't do a 20 second effort to get up the thing. This favors a stronger, more fit rider who can push through. If you scampered up the trail hills you'll be great for the first half of the bridge. The second half will hurt you because you'll need to sustain a pretty high output to maintain speed.

The latter favor more conditioned riders, more experienced ones.
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