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Too Hard

T.C.T.C. Posts: 495
I went to the lake district tue planning on cycling part of the FWC , i think im a reasonable fit cyclist , done the etape once , wicklow 200 and the dragon ride i also did 6 days in the alps last year with no undue problems , not super fast like some on here , but not to the point of struggling , anyway i started to go up Honister pass and half way up realized that i wasn't going to make it , i seem to be scared cause i'm clipped in and just don't seem able to go up hills like these , only bwlch y groes is the other hill i failed on , i decided to go back and did an 80 miler to hartside height pass and back , again i went up hartside comfortably well 8,9 10 mph ,i admire everyone who can do these passes but i'm wondering what my problem is , i can go up 20% but maybe a 25% is beyond me , i'm not overweight ( don't think so 13.4 stone , 6 ft .

Posts

  • Use lower gears then. It's the only way most of us can get over really steep climbs.


    <font size="1">Time! Time! It's always too long and there's never enough!</font id="size1">
  • vermootencpvermootencp Posts: 1,298
    Just keep doing them. I was like this on one climb in Yorkshire, it really pi<b></b>ssed me off, kept trying kept having to stop. I also kept falling off cos of being clipped in. Then one day.... I made it. Also, lose some weight, it's always good advice.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    <font size="1">"I'll do what I can to help y'all. But the game's out there, and it's play or get played. That simple."
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    <font>"I\'ll do what I can to help y\'all. But the game\'s out there, and it\'s play or get played. That simple."
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  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    TC

    Just keep practicing and are you using the right gears? I went for a week's holiday in Eskdale a couple of years ago. My struggle up Birker Fell was comical. As for Hardknott, I cycled to the bottom, thought "nah, not likely" and turned around [:I]. I'm over a stone lighter now so Birker Fell at least should be a bit easier. I was slightly heavier than you back then and now I'm 12.4 (also 6ft) - I lost some unnecessary weight and hills are a lot easier.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • TC
    Just remember that Bill Nickson walked up part of Wrynose.
    I told him I would never let him live it down.

    Smaller gears, lots of practice.

    My Nemesis is Fleet Moss from Hawes. I have managed it once in about 10 tries.

    george

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  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I agree -some UK hills are insanely hard...if you thought Honister was bad then have a look at Hardknott West/Wrynose East - awful!

    I can only do these type of hills on my triple...lowest gear 30x27...I think I'd fail on anything lower...as I've heard guys saying just 'spin' up in a triple...christ almighty! even in a 30x27 i'm pedalling square....These hills are as much in your head as they are a physical trauma...people just look at whats in front and mentally give up...I just try to take one bit at a time...on the likes of Hardknott I'm in the mode'just make it to this corner'..then 'just make it to that bit'...if I had to think of how long I was going to be on an insane gradient I'd give up...For me the worst type are straight right up jobs...Wrynose East / Boltby Bank / Rosedale Chimney / Winnats Pass / Honister...for me these buggers offer no respite at all...and sometimes you can't but help look at whats in front...I somehow deal with Hardknott a bit better(although even with switchbacks its the most outrageous climb i've ever did), If Hardknott was 'pulled' straight up then I fear it would be too much...I'm doing the Wild Wales in August..having a go at Bwlch Y Groes from Dinas Mawddwy...this is one of those buggers I don't like and I reckon its going to really put me to the test...I've never failed so far but I've came close on Wrynose East once..disgusting!

    Small gears!..for me its the only way
  • gavintcgavintc Posts: 3,009
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by RICHYBOY</i>

    I agree -some UK hills are insanely hard...if you thought Honister was bad then have a look at Hardknott West/Wrynose East - awful!

    I can only do these type of hills on my triple...lowest gear 30x27...I think I'd fail on anything lower...as I've heard guys saying just 'spin' up in a triple...christ almighty! even in a 30x27 i'm pedalling square....These hills are as much in your head as they are a physical trauma...people just look at whats in front and mentally give up...I just try to take one bit at a time...on the likes of Hardknott I'm in the mode'just make it to this corner'..then 'just make it to that bit'...if I had to think of how long I was going to be on an insane gradient I'd give up...For me the worst type are straight right up jobs...Wrynose East / Boltby Bank / Rosedale Chimney / Winnats Pass / Honister...for me these buggers offer no respite at all...and sometimes you can't but help look at whats in front...I somehow deal with Hardknott a bit better(although even with switchbacks its the most outrageous climb i've ever did), If Hardknott was 'pulled' straight up then I fear it would be too much...I'm doing the Wild Wales in August..having a go at Bwlch Y Groes from Dinas Mawddwy...this is one of those buggers I don't like and I reckon its going to really put me to the test...I've never failed so far but I've came close on Wrynose East once..disgusting!

    Small gears!..for me its the only way
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I completely agree with these comments. I have a 34-27 for sportives. So my comments:
    a. low gears.
    b. mental attitude - take heart from others walking and you are better than them.
    c. don't look up - just push out the bit of road in front of you. looking up demoralises you with the amount of hill left.
  • Crag RatCrag Rat Posts: 16
    Try and brake the climb down into smaller sections, ie say to yourself I'll make it to the next tree or bend. When you get there pick another target and so on. This helps build some positive thoughts into a hard climb, you could also give yourself a reward when you get to said target. I use jelly babies. Other than that, try and relax as much as you can, Harknott, honistor and wrynose do have fearsome reputations and sometimes you can be beat mentally before you start climbing. Try and picture yourself getting to the top before you start climbing. Other than that low gears, take your time and remember your out enjoying yourself :D
  • Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
    I am 6ft2" and weigh at around 87kgs or so. This makes me a tad big for climbing but I love the challenge of hills. The first time I did Honister 3 years ago I made it up but got a shock. I failed on the last ramp of Hardknott that day and felt BAD and did a week in the Pyrenees and tried Hardknott again and made it just.

    I use a triple with 30*27 which I never use apart from climbs in Northern England as the place is littered with steep climbs. What works for me is to get into the right gear at the start(lowest) and spin and try to stay seated as much as possible. For climbs in the FWC staying seated is not an option most of the times but I try not to go into the red by pedalling as smoothly as possible and trying to breathe easily and when i get out of the saddle I make mental note to slow my pedalling as I usually speed up when 'honking'.

    As my brother Richyboy says it as much mental as physical on these types of climbs and you can be your own enemy if you get uptight which can effect your breathing and performance. I try to relax(easier said than done) and stay loose in the upper body area to maximise breathing. You cant help looking at a climb and any thought bar the next 100m of tarmac is the only thing in your mind - I try to tell myself that I will be at such a point in so many minutes or seconds and if I just hang on till then I'll be okay - then repeat.

    I did the FWC this year and made it around without walking but I wont forget Hardknott as it took everything I had to get up without stopping and at times I really wanted to. Over the years I have lost weight and got better on hills by practice and gaining confidence which comes with understanding on how far I can push myself without blowing.
    Brian B.
  • SeamusDSeamusD Posts: 30
    Yes that Honister pass is a bit of a b***ard. The last 1/2 mile is almost dead straight up at about 1 in 4 - it certainly seemed like it at the time. Riding a 39x25 I got to within 100 metres of the top and had to get off - only the second time ever on a road bike :oops: My advice is to try riding up it from the other side :wink: - it's still a hard climb, but much easier than from Buttermere.
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    It is also technique on these climbs.
    I was recently on cleeve hill in Cotswolds sportive and most got off and walked, some of my mates did and they are much more natural climbers than me, I am 12st6ls.
    The difference can be mental, one of my mates looked up and as he was stuffed gave up.
    I look at the floor, count revs and look up every 10 or so :D It is also about climbing position, far enough forward to stop front wheel lifting and enough weight on ack end to preven wheel spin. Pedalling action also affects wheel spin.
    personally on these really steep hills 25% to 30% I do not find much difference between usin 39/23 and 39/27 as I am going slow by then, approx 3.5mph on such climbs.
    It does take a lot of power to get up these climbs and not everyone can generate enough.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    SeamusD wrote:
    Yes that Honister pass is a bit of a b***ard. The last 1/2 mile is almost dead straight up at about 1 in 4 - it certainly seemed like it at the time. Riding a 39x25 I got to within 100 metres of the top and had to get off - only the second time ever on a road bike :oops: My advice is to try riding up it from the other side :wink: - it's still a hard climb, but much easier than from Buttermere.

    I reckon he did do it from Seatoller as he was copying the FWC route...I've been up Honister 3 times from Seatoller but never from Buttermere...it does look very hard from Buttermere aswell....maybe feel worse as the steepest part is the last km whereas the 1st km of the Seatoller side is the worst...both sides are awful IMO...
  • SeamusDSeamusD Posts: 30
    Well I was just up there doing some work and thought I'd take my bike along, got the map out and tried to find an interetsing route. Can't remember exactly where I went now, but it was a circular route past Buttermere and down through Seatoller and Keswick. So annoyed with missing out on the pass that I did it the other way round the next evening. Maybe I just paced myself better but I don't remember it being hard at all from that side.

    Tried OldWelshman's trick on my first Etape. It worked over the first cat 1, but not the second - the other time I walked. This year it's gears, gears and more gears!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    SeamusD wrote:
    Well I was just up there doing some work and thought I'd take my bike along, got the map out and tried to find an interetsing route. Can't remember exactly where I went now, but it was a circular route past Buttermere and down through Seatoller and Keswick. So annoyed with missing out on the pass that I did it the other way round the next evening. Maybe I just paced myself better but I don't remember it being hard at all from that side.

    Tried OldWelshman's trick on my first Etape. It worked over the first cat 1, but not the second - the other time I walked. This year it's gears, gears and more gears!

    You don't think Honister is hard at all from Seatoller :shock: I reckon your the only guy I've ever heard saying that...honestly.

    I've been up nearly every legendary brute in the UK(and many on the continent) and I reckon Honisters a pure Killer...in my top UK 10...i'm near spewing at the top of the 1st terribly steep disgusting section....I'm not the best climber right enough but I'm in a 30x27 and for what I saw on the FWC I reckon everyone thought it was brutal aswell...I reckon the otherside is maybe slightly tougher but not much....only my opinion of course...once I also heard a guy on this forum saying Hardknott West wasnt a bad climb either...he was of course insane!
  • SeamusDSeamusD Posts: 30
    Yes, well sometimes when you write things in a hurry they don't stand up very well to scrutiny. Apologies if I offended anyone. I'm certainly not claiming to be the greatest climber ever and the 5,000 odd people who beat me in the etape are certainly proof of that.

    It was a few years ago so my memory is a bit hazy. I can't remember the bottom at all. I do remember the bit near the top and just taking it steady and going scarily fast down the other side. When I say I don't remember it being hard at all I wasn't pushing it; I was puffing and sweating more than usual but I've felt a lot worse on other climbs and I wasn't dying. If I'd tried going any faster I probably would have been. I also remember wishing there were a few more hills like that down south to train on. It is an awesome climb in an incredibly beautiful place. Must get back there sometime and I'll give you an update :wink:
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