Hills - the ruse?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by james.dippel, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. james.dippel

    james.dippel New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    the ruse - the story...

    are there any hills that are just literally impossible to ride?

    close to where I live there is a hill that on the O/S Explorer map shows with one arrow head upon it meaning that it is greater than 15%, i believe.

    Going down the hill in top gear (59-12) with a cadence of about 115 I got a speed of 47.9mph (i bet that wouldn't hurt if I came off). Going up the hill with a cadence of 33 and speed of about 4.4 mph (gear 39-23, my heart turning over 154bpm).

    Sitting in the saddle I began to wonder if it would be better to walk! Seriously though, what sort of speeds would pro's 'fly' up this?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Tags:


  2. james.dippel

    james.dippel New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    also, what is a cat 1 climb? and how many cats does it go up to cat 5? 7? 20?!!!

    Advice would be appreciated.
     
  3. Vo2

    Vo2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2001
    Messages:
    2,166
    Likes Received:
    5
    Hors = Out of category i.e. sickly steep
    Cat 1 = Most difficult
    ...
    ...
    Cat 4 = Least difficult
    Anything else is considered a slight incline, flat or false flat (but this probably only applies to pro bikers)

    During this years Giro the top climbers went up the steepest section of Monte Zoncolan, which is about 100m at 27%, doing between 10-15 km/h. Click here for Zoncolans profile.

    Click here to calculate gradient.
     
  4. vitiris

    vitiris New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess it depends on your gearing as to whether they are impossible to ride

    The only hills that still stump me nowadays are the off-road ones, try a single arrow over rocky terrain and see where your HR goes

    ... but then again I live surrounded by hills with one arrow and a few with two (20%) and you soon get used to them and in the end you crave them

    Shall have to work on managing 10 let alone 15km/h up a 20% let alone 27% though
     
  5. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    0
    See if you can map Fargo Street in Los Angeles, CA. It's twisted. About 200m long. I tried to climb it several times when I was young, strong, and stupid. Inevitably, something would fail -- once my rear wheel let go and rubbed the chainstay, etc. Never made it. There were annual contests to get up it, and supposedly some joker did it on a beach cruiser!

    There are other supersteeps in San Francisco, but I think Fargo is worse.

    The 30m right before my driveway's no fun either. Great way to end a ride. :( In my 39-29 standing and going as slow as possible, my heart still breaks 170.
     
  6. VeloFlash

    VeloFlash New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    0
    Something bigger and better does exist outside of the USA!

    Here is, officially, the steepest hill in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records -

    http://www.nzbike.com/activities/steepestroad.html
     
  7. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
  8. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pffff, can't be! Pure propaganda, or inferior foreign measurement methods. ;-)

    The Fargo pics are awesome. They definitely do not do the reality it's true justice, though. And zig-zagging is cheating!!! I tried the straight up method using what I think was a 39-24 or 39-26. Nope!
     
  9. kiwiboy

    kiwiboy New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    I lived in Dunedin for four years, few people tackle this sucker.....man its step.
    The run up and down it is the funniest thing I have observed, talk about blood and pain.

    Somw students got in a wheely bin and went down it and both were killed a year back..........bad stuff.

    This street is step, they have a major uni down there and the science people are bang on, the worst part is near the top.
     
  10. coolworx

    coolworx New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    0
  11. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ha! I KNEW it! Another fake foreign claim! I figured that it was impossible to have a street steeper than 20-something degrees. I mean, how the heck could you ever build on it?

    I stand by my Frisco streets and Fargo. Someday when I'm in shape, I'll try our locals nightmares in my 39-29.
     
  12. VeloFlash

    VeloFlash New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aztec, I think you should stay behind after school and write 100 times Measuring a gradient as a percentage results in a different figure than an angle of slope expressed as degrees

    45 degrees expressed as a gradient percentage is about 26.5% (from memory). That is the error, comparing degrees to percentage gradient, in the article you are basing your patriotic "fake foreign" outcry.

    Here is another extract referring to your SFO streets -

    "New Zealand is home to the steepest public street in the world. Baldwin Street in Dunedin has a gradient of 1 in 2.86 at its steepest section, a 38% grade, and is officially recognised in the Guinness Book of Records. That's steeper than anything on offer in San Francisco, where the steepest two tie for first place and are Filbert between Leavenworth and Hyde; and 22nd Street between Church and Vicksburg, both with a 31.5% gradient."

    J-Mat claims Fargo Street is only 33% - without providing any reference to a peer reviewed double blind independent study :).
     
  13. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    0
    Velo -- Don't try to confuse me with the facts or fancy booklearnin' math.

    ;-)
     
  14. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
    Veloflash:

    I'm not sure you will find a peer reviewed double-blind study concerning road gradients. I'm just going off what the organizers of the event say it is. To my knowledge there haven't been any disputes as to the 33% claim.

    I've been up that hill in my car and I can tell you it's scary steep. But who cares if Fargo is 33% or Dunedin is 38%???

    Anything over 12% give me a good workout. Hats off to anyone who can get up either!!!
     
  15. Spider1977

    Spider1977 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's a street in Hobart - Mellifont Street, which is super steep. I haven't measured the gradient, but next time I go there I will. Definitely will not attempt to go up on the bike and not brave enough to go down - it's a fairly busy street.
    Some goose rode a skateboard down it and made the front page of the paper - lying in hospital with multiple fractures!
     
  16. TheDude

    TheDude New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    What's the best way to physically measure % grade? Are people using some type of GPS or barometric pressure device? I'm curious how accurate those results would be over a short distance. I'm considering attaching a measuring device to a long board and driving around to different climbs to get a grade measurement. Please tell me there's a better way!
     
  17. Spider1977

    Spider1977 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    0
    Use an instrument called a clinometer. You can make a simple one a protractor (one of those things you used to measure angles in high school) and a plumb bob. Just line the flat axis of the protractor parallel with the hill, drop the plumb bob from the centre and read off the angle. Alternatively you can go and buy a clinometer for about $200. Some swanky 4WD's have them on the dash.
    Otherwise just forget it and go surfing - it's more fun.
     
  18. TheDude

    TheDude New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cool. That's basically what I am going to do. I bought an instrument at Home Depot that has a floating bubble (like a level) which shows the current angle. I plan to use a long board with it to make sure it's resting relatively flat on the roadway.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  19. i2ambler

    i2ambler New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yikes 30 percent grades?!?! I have only been riding about 3 months and did my first 'hilly ride' this weekend and hit several short 9% grades that i struggled up, and hit a 1/3 mile of 13% grade after about 25 miles.. I could only make it half way on the 13% before my heart lept from my chest.. :( Good workout, but Im scared to try that ride again for fear of just plain over-doing it.

    -J
     
  20. TheDude

    TheDude New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    9% is a pretty steep hill, so feel good about it! Fitness is important, but so is proper gearing on your cassette. If you'll be riding lots of hills, you'll want to make sure you have a wide enough range to avoid heart burst...
     
Loading...
Loading...