Terrifying Hills?



Uawadall

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Jun 14, 2015
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I have a few routes I take when cycling alone or with my brother. One of them has a hill that is down right challenging. It last for 1.2 miles and is a 6.2 grade%. Its mostly straight and somewhat consistent in steepness(although at the last .2 miles it levels out a bit. The road isn't paved very well, small potholes and rough patches. In order to make it to the top, I have to use my lowest gear and pedal like my life depends on it. If I slow o stop for even a second,i'll fall of the bike clipped in.I can't grind my way through it either(standing), I'll run the risk of losing steam too fast . The first time, I had to get off the bike halfway through, take a 20 second breather and finished it. Overtime after that, I've completed it. Today was the first time I tackled it in 90 degree weather, I was breathing heavy and sweating a lot.As brutal as it feels, I'll never skip it, something about it makes me feel accomplished.

Do any of you guys do hills regularly that are really challenging? Also, some may ride steeper hills, but I think this one is an adequate challenge for a 4 month newbie,lol..
 
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Corzhens

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May 26, 2015
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@Uawadall, I don't exactly know the numbers of the incline and length of the hilly road here but I assure you that what you described is what I also feel whenever I would be biking on that road. The steep road is a zigzag so it is doubly risky although it is a one way traffic. However, just when I get to the top, the road is a two-way traffic, that makes it more interesting since the top is about 100 meters away. I admit that most of the time I would go down my bike and walk my way up, hahahaaa.
 
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CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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"I was breathing heavy and sweating a lot."

This is the sound and sight of a cyclist getting better.
 
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jhuskey

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Oct 6, 2003
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Hills are all I have for the most part and they range from 4% to 23%. I would say they average 10%. The last 2 miles
getting home for me consists of climbing which is a real ***** when I am already tired.
 
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Damien Lee

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May 16, 2015
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Not too many hills around where I stay. However, there are a few breathtaking ones closer to Johannesburg and are worth the effort due to the beautiful scenery. It's been several years since I've rode on those but it would be fun to try again this summer. Just a bit worried about the excess traffic that city is experiencing lately. It's preferable to ride those hills on a Sunday afternoon when things are less frantic.
 

Mr. Beanz

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Aug 18, 2015
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We live near a road they call GMR (Glendora Mtn Rd). Popular cyclist ride. I find it hard to believe but thee are a ton of riders that are scared to try it. The easy rt is 8 miles at 6% (2300ft gain). I will never understand why because hills/mtns make you stronger and a better cyclist.

My wife used to be terrified but after taking her up a few times, she thinks of it as an accomplishment not something to avoid.

She has done the 9 mile climb many many time. She has also done the 21 mile climb 5,000 ft a few times to Mt Baldy Village.

IMG_7138_zpscad591e2.jpg


IMG_6958_zps6d944d94.jpg


IMG_6974_zps9d0cda5e.jpg
 
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Mr. Beanz

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Myself, a big rider who is not supposed to climb. I have done these organized rides a few times. I can't figure out why riders find hills terrifying. :D


One ride 100 miles 10,000 ft gain, the other 114 miles 12,000 ft gain.

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Susimi

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May 24, 2015
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On my route to the next town over there's a hill that at it's steepest is around 10% I believe? It's quite a long climb but it doesn't reach it's steepest until the road reaches it's last 200 or so yards. Climbing up it is tough and going back down is nerve-racking because it's in the country with trees shedding stuff onto the road and the hill rounds a blind bend.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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Uawadall said:
I have a few routes I take when cycling alone or with my brother. One of them has a hill that is down right challenging. It last for 1.2 miles and is a 6.2 grade%. Its mostly straight and somewhat consistent in steepness(although at the last .2 miles it levels out a bit. The road isn't paved very well, small potholes and rough patches. In order to make it to the top, I have to use my lowest gear and pedal like my life depends on it. If I slow o stop for even a second,i'll fall of the bike clipped in.I can't grind my way through it either(standing), I'll run the risk of losing steam too fast . The first time, I had to get off the bike halfway through, take a 20 second breather and finished it. Overtime after that, I've completed it. Today was the first time I tackled it in 90 degree weather, I was breathing heavy and sweating a lot.As brutal as it feels, I'll never skip it, something about it makes me feel accomplished.

Do any of you guys do hills regularly that are really challenging? Also, some may ride steeper hills, but I think this one is an adequate challenge for a 4 month newbie,lol..
You point to the improvement yourself. The first time you had to dismount from the bike. Now you can pedal the climb. That's a sign of improvement.

I'm 6'2", climbing was never more forte. I was a water carrier and on the flat, I was the man who brought the contenders in our team to the line. On the flat I was probably the quickest rider in our team bar the out and out sprinters. I could pedal on the flat at the head of the bunch with no difficulty for hours.
But on the climbs I had to work far far harder to try to protect the contenders. In order to protect them better, I had to invest a huge amount of time in training on climbs.

This would mean selecting gradual climbs of perhaps 4-5 miles and pedalling them repeatedly in order to get my body "in to climbing mode"
These steady climbs allowed me to improve my climbing. As I became more accustomed and my body was able to withstand the exertion, I started to climb shorter more steep climbs of 12%+.
These climbs were a real killer for me but even if it meant using the triple gear I'd use it without hesitation to get over a climb. The more I practiced the more I improved.

Repeated application brought about better results. But it was hard, very hard, work.
With my physical build, weight was always going to be an issue for me. My racing weight was 13 stone (182 lbs). The lower my weight was the easier climbing was.

Since retiring from racing my weight is closer to 15 stone (210 lbs). This weight coupled with far less training makes climbing those training climbs far more difficult (and I'm nearly 25 years older!).

My advice is keep working at it.
 

limerickman

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Mr. Beanz said:
We live near a road they call GMR (Glendora Mtn Rd). Popular cyclist ride. I find it hard to believe but thee are a ton of riders that are scared to try it. The easy rt is 8 miles at 6% (2300ft gain). I will never understand why because hills/mtns make you stronger and a better cyclist.

My wife used to be terrified but after taking her up a few times, she thinks of it as an accomplishment not something to avoid.

She has done the 9 mile climb many many time. She has also done the 21 mile climb 5,000 ft a few times to Mt Baldy Village.

IMG_7138_zpscad591e2.jpg


IMG_6958_zps6d944d94.jpg


IMG_6974_zps9d0cda5e.jpg
Fair dues to her.

from those pictures the road surface looks ideal to pedal and the gradient doesn't look too taxing (but photos might give a false impression of the gradient)

You're right though repeat application of training climbs leads to improvement and it improves the body's ability to withstand the exertion needed to climb.
 

Mr. Beanz

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Aug 18, 2015
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limerickman said:
Fair dues to her.

from those pictures the road surface looks ideal to pedal and the gradient doesn't look too taxing (but photos might give a false impression of the gradient)

You're right though repeat application of training climbs leads to improvement and it improves the body's ability to withstand the exertion needed to climb.

It's 8 miles at 6% average. Couple of short sections with a very short 10%. Nothing too tough, just enough to scare away many of the cyclists I know! :D This road is actually part of the Tour of California. B)
 

limerickman

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Mr. Beanz said:
It's 8 miles at 6% average. Couple of short sections with a very short 10%. Nothing too tough, just enough to scare away many of the cyclists I know! :D This road is actually part of the Tour of California. B)
I follow TV coverage of the ToC over here in Europe - so I'm familiar with the type of climbs shown in your photos.

The breeze would be a factor, I'm guessing.

Eurosport coverage is excellent. Cambria stage last year was spectacular.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biq2fj72jBI
 

Mr. Beanz

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limerickman said:
I follow TV coverage of the ToC over here in Europe - so I'm familiar with the type of climbs shown in your photos.

The breeze would be a factor, I'm guessing.
Or lack of a breeze. It gets really hot up there and a breeze would be most welcomed while climbing.

It does get very windy at times. I once did a ride with some forum members years back. Wind gusts up to 40-50 MPH. One guy was blown over and knocked out cold. Pretty scary, concussion I think he broke a rib too.

Another view of one of the sections. It's fire area too. Gets hot an windy. This was a few years back months after a big fire, most of the entire mountain range burned. :eek:

m8.jpg
 
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CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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Quote by Lim:
"My racing weight was 13 stone (182 lbs). The lower my weight was the easier climbing was."

Holy ****, Lim! I had you pegged for a 150 Lb. leprechaun! Yeah, 182 Lbs. isn't the realm of climbers outside of a few, like the Big Mig and Jan Ullrich after a long winter of smorgasbords.

I'm sitting right on 160 and wish I could drop 5 pounds.



Mr. Beanz, beautiful climbs! Kudos to you and your wife for riding them. I spent a week in Pomona a rode a few of you 'hills'. Not so much terrifying as just plain fun to go up AND down.
 
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Mr. Beanz

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CAMPYBOB said:
Mr. Beanz, beautiful climbs! Kudos to you and your wife for riding them. I spent a week in Pomona a rode a few of you 'hills'. Not so much terrifying as just plain fun to go up AND down.
Did you get a chance to ride up Glendora Mtn Rd/ Glendorra Ridge Rd?

It's a beautiful road and I don't understand why more cyclists ( I know) would not want to ride it. Although the population on the road has grown in the last few years.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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CAMPYBOB said:
Quote by Lim:
"My racing weight was 13 stone (182 lbs). The lower my weight was the easier climbing was."

Holy ****, Lim! I had you pegged for a 150 Lb. leprechaun! Yeah, 182 Lbs. isn't the realm of climbers outside of a few, like the Big Mig and Jan Ullrich after a long winter of smorgasbords.

I'm sitting right on 160 and wish I could drop 5 pounds.



Mr. Beanz, beautiful climbs! Kudos to you and your wife for riding them. I spent a week in Pomona a rode a few of you 'hills'. Not so much terrifying as just plain fun to go up AND down.

150lbs, I wish.

My racing weight was between 175-180lbs.
If memory serves I did get down to 165lbs but that was the exception.
I'd have the same frame as Ullrich and Indurain but that's where all similarities end :D
 
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limerickman

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Mr. Beanz said:
Or lack of a breeze. It gets really hot up there and a breeze would be most welcomed while climbing.

It does get very windy at times. I once did a ride with some forum members years back. Wind gusts up to 40-50 MPH. One guy was blown over and knocked out cold. Pretty scary, concussion I think he broke a rib too.

Another view of one of the sections. It's fire area too. Gets hot an windy. This was a few years back months after a big fire, most of the entire mountain range burned. :eek:

m8.jpg

Thanks for the photos.

Yeah, I'm aware of this years drought in California
 
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Uawadall

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Jun 14, 2015
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Wow, based off of some of your post, I have a long way to go,lol...I'm still relatively new at this, but have noticed i'm much quicker than most going up short steep climbs. I can either sit and do a super fast cadence or stand and bring my way through it. I'm use to long hills and steep hills, but am not use to both of those combined. I did the hill again today in 90 degree heat and shaved off another 3 seconds from my last time! I think my next goal should be to fine a steeper long stretch since I know I can do this one.

Mr. Beanz said:
We live near a road they call GMR (Glendora Mtn Rd). Popular cyclist ride. I find it hard to believe but thee are a ton of riders that are scared to try it. The easy rt is 8 miles at 6% (2300ft gain). I will never understand why because hills/mtns make you stronger and a better cyclist.

My wife used to be terrified but after taking her up a few times, she thinks of it as an accomplishment not something to avoid.

She has done the 9 mile climb many many time. She has also done the 21 mile climb 5,000 ft a few times to Mt Baldy Village.

Mr.Beanz-I need to feel some pressure and really test myself with certain stretches of my route. The "terrifying hill" is where I pull the most out of myself and improve.Never understood why someone wouldn't attempt it.Worse comes to worse, you get off the bike and walk it or turn around.

limerickman said:
150lbs, I wish.

My racing weight was between 175-180lbs.
If memory serves I did get down to 165lbs but that was the exception.
I'd have the same frame as Ullrich and Indurain but that's where all similarities end :D

Limerickman-Most people who cycle tell me i'm built for climbing and I'm usually the fastest climber in my local group(not saying much as its not for competition). I'm 6'4" and currently weigh 165 pounds. I guess i'll see big improvements with practice and experience. I'm not sure my all out sprinting abilities, none of our local roads are truly flat. Did losing pounds make you that much faster?I'm the type of guy that can lose weight easily,but wouldn't attempt it(i'm not racing and have other activities that extra muscle comes in handy). Although I do dip to 160's if I do 4 or more rides in 1 week...
 
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BobCochran

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My weight is 213 pounds.

I need to train on hills like these, too. Maybe I can take a few days off work and bicycle to northwestern Maryland and hope to find some long climbs. However, the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge areas might be better, I don't know.

Thanks a ton

Bob
 

limerickman

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Uawadall said:
Limerickman-Most people who cycle tell me i'm built for climbing and I'm usually the fastest climber in my local group(not saying much as its not for competition). I'm 6'4" and currently weigh 165 pounds. I guess i'll see big improvements with practice and experience. I'm not sure my all out sprinting abilities, none of our local roads are truly flat. Did losing pounds make you that much faster?I'm the type of guy that can lose weight easily,but wouldn't attempt it(i'm not racing and have other activities that extra muscle comes in handy). Although I do dip to 160's if I do 4 or more rides in 1 week...
Losing weight did improve my climbing performance. I was able to climb more quickly, plus I was able to climb more quickly for longer.

The big benefit I found was that my body was able to withstand better the physical exertion of climbing, when my weight was reduced.
When I was heavier, I was able to still climb but my performance was poorer and the recovery from an effort took longer.