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Can someone look at my route & tell me why...

KingCustardKingCustard Posts: 49
edited October 2010 in Road beginners
...I'm so shagged?!!

This is my normal "long" ride. It's only 16 or so miles, but I struggle to get the time to do further. 1hr 5 mins is my best time so far. Riding a Focus Variado Compact.

http://www.mapmyride.com/route/gb/ledbury/765128589184261484

Now, whilst I've not been cycling long, I'm not massively unfit (just over 11st, 5'6"). But a lot of the route is up & down, without having any real climbs. Can someone look at the route on MMR & enlighten me as to how the elevation works on it? As far as I can make out, the elevation chart for the whole ride doesn't look particularly challenging, but there's a hill between point 6 & 7 that I can get up at a max of 10mph, then the road between point 8 & the A417 through Donnington has me blowing out of my censored as it just seems to be a relentless slog without looking particularly steep! Likewise, it just seems to be a long haul up through Eastnor until I hit the Worcester road again.

I get back home feeling like I could ride on for a good few miles, but I'm just concerned at how hard I find the climbs I have to do. I can get up them without stopping now, & in a slightly higher gear than I used to, but I'm not even sure if they count as hills! It just dents my confidence with regards to going out & attempting rides which I know have got "proper" climbs - ie, up & over the Malverns, or Evendine Lane in Colwall, which if I understand Map My Ride correctly (doubtful) is about 14%.

Cheers in advance. :)

(Oh, & yes, I know... I should MTFU. :wink: )

Posts

  • Dave-MDave-M Posts: 206
    It will come over time.

    When I started riding in April I used to grind up some hills, almost using the lowest gears as I could.

    The same route now I don't need to get out of the big chainring.

    However, thats taken 6 months and 2000 miles.

    It doesn't come easy!
    2010 Specialized Allez Elite
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  • gbsgbs Posts: 450
    I agree, the profile looks benign and I think should not give difficulties to a reasonably fit rider on a well set up road bike. No doubt more experienced riders will be along later this morning but the issue of cadence arises in my mind.

    FWIW I find that, on shallow slopes like these spinning, is often frustratingly slow - it feels more like twiddling and I do not feel engaged with the road surface. I prefer to use a higher gear, feel a "bite" when I push down with the toes and focus on pulling back the foot after the 6 o'clock point and I will accept a cadence as low as 65rpm on climbs of less than say 250m in length.

    BTW I rarely stand but we all differ in what we feel is optimal.

    To improve I guess you will need to do this run at least once/week.

    Finally, maintain yr log - a target like 1 hour will motivate.
    vintage newbie, spinning away
  • tlw1tlw1 Posts: 18,361
    its all about the miles
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,473
    It'll come.

    You could be an ultra fit athlete and still struggle with cycling due to the use of different muscles.
    I can cycle at a pace to keep up with people who race but can't run for peanuts........
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • theres no climbs on this as such, more like a couple of long drags, but these can feel harder than a short sharp climb because as the name suggests they "drag" on for ages sometimes especially if your down to 10 mph and into a headwind, dont let it put you off a ride with harder hills, the steeper 10-20% sections are usually quite short they hurt but they are over fairly quickly, i,d rather several hills like this in a ride than long shallow climbs that go on for miles and grind you down.
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587

    This is my normal "long" ride. It's only 16 or so miles, but I struggle to get the time to do further. 1hr 5 mins is my best time so far. Riding a Focus Variado Compact.

    if 16 miles is your 'long' route - what sort of distance are your 'short' ones...? I know we're all different, but in my opinion, any ride under 45 miles would be classed as short. The longer you spend on your bike, the better your aerobic fitness will become.

    Now, whilst I've not been cycling long, I'm not massively unfit (just over 11st, 5'6").

    Height and weight is no indication of 'fitness'. Height just indicates how tall you are and weight just indicates how heavy you are. Your 'fitness' is defined by how well trained your heart, lungs and legs are.
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    I know this stretch, it forms part of a 60 mile charity ride I've done for the last couple of years (you get a 30 mile warm up before tackling it :) ).

    The first stretch is a hill, the second more of a drag and as the other posters have said, you just need to stick at it. Try cycling the reverse direction and see how that makes you feel - sometimes I find myself "looking forward" to hills (in a negative way) and this impacts on my pace.
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • KingCustardKingCustard Posts: 49
    edited October 2010
    Thanks for the replies. :)

    I understand that it's not particularly taxing as a route, but I'm just trying to work out how the elevation thingy on MMR works. I've just mapped the road through Donington on it's own, & it seems to suggest it hits 7%, which it doesn't do when I include it as part of te whole route?

    http://www.mapmyride.com/route/gb/ledbury/704128592463829212
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    whichever way you look at it - a total height gain of less than 500ft over 16 miles means it's basically flat.
  • softlad wrote:
    whichever way you look at it - a total height gain of less than 500ft over 16 miles means it's basically flat.

    Well, yes! I know it'll get easier the more I do it, as it has done - it's loads easier than when I first started out as it is.

    Am just a bit confused about working out the elevation on MMR.
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    Try www.bikehike.co.uk - although you can no longer save routes on there, it might give you a bit more elevation info. I wouldn't get too hung up on the elevation info - it is what it is, regardless of what any of these mapping sites may tell you.... ;)
  • morstarmorstar Posts: 3,261
    If you want some zip in your legs when you get to the climbs (or drags). Try varying your pace a little.

    If you just tackle every ride going as fast as you can, you will always feel on the limit and any drag upwards will feel like a slog.

    Next time you ride it, make a concious effort to ignore the time and ride more slowly than you have been doing. When you get to your challenging bits, f***ing bury yourself and then roll home (or maybe even have another go after a coupe of minutes recovery).

    You will surprise yourself how quickly you ride up them. Next time you do your route at full pace, you may just find they less of both a mental and physical barrier. Or alternatively they still are but slowly but surely you'll find you're getting quicker.

    We all want to ride our routes quicker every time we sit in the saddle but often the way to do this is to change the way we tackle our rides. It can be just as satisfying to get home having ridden a climb like never before even though your actual ride time was pretty slow.
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    Sorry but if you are, in your own words, 'shagged' after completing that ride in 65 minutes then you are unfit. I'm pretty sure, based on a local route we ride together, my overweight and unfit other half could do that route faster without too much trouble. Having a BMI within the 'healthy' range does not make you fit. IIRC there was something reported in the BBC news about naturally skinny people who don't do exercise being less healthy than 'fat' (BMI over 25) who do regular exercise.

    But don't get me wrong....I'm not having a go, it's just that you need to build up your fitness. Just keep plugging away at that route and as your fitness builds you'll feel stronger and go faster. You'll extend the route to fill the same time and before you know it you'll be doing your first 100 miler.
  • I have a 16 mile loop that I do but opposed to you this is one of my short routes that I do if I have a spare hour, I usually do between 35 and 50 miles but anyway I have just recently got my 16 miler to under an hour, 2 seconds under to be precise. what I did to get the time down was focus on anytime I caught myself freewheeling, and pedalled. this may sound weird but if I needed a rest rather than freewheel I would drop into an easier gear and continue to spin. This alone knocked almost 4 mins of my time, I now put some focus on this on all my rides now except while I take a drink but I think as a beginner you may be surprised how much you freewheel!
    It also may be worth finding the time to get a longer ride in once a week!
    I'm a beginner too so this might be a load of rubbish what I've written but I find it works for me!
    getting faster, fitter, and skinnier by the day!
  • @morstar - yeah, I pretty much try & ride as fast as possible for the whole route in order to get the time down, I might try & take it a bit steady & see if that helps.

    @schweiz - I'm not necessarily "shagged" to be honest, just a figure of speech to describe my mental state in wondering why I find the long drags to be a, well, drag! I always feel like I could ride on for a good few miles, & on occasion have gone for a 5 mile run after completing the 16 mile bike ride. I only mentioned my height & weight with regards to fitness so people didn't think i was 5'6" & 18 stone!
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 7,587
    softlad wrote:
    Now, whilst I've not been cycling long, I'm not massively unfit (just over 11st, 5'6").

    Height and weight is no indication of 'fitness'.

    Fortunately.
    Ben

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  • ProssPross Posts: 23,936
    The elevation data on MMR picks up level information at fiarly well spaced out points and averages out the gradient so if you have a short, steep section it will pretty much ignore it and just tell you you have done a longer, less severe climb. If you know where the climb is within a ride you can just map that section and it is more likely to show up. From my experience the elevation on MMR is quite conservative.
  • Pross wrote:
    The elevation data on MMR picks up level information at fiarly well spaced out points and averages out the gradient so if you have a short, steep section it will pretty much ignore it and just tell you you have done a longer, less severe climb. If you know where the climb is within a ride you can just map that section and it is more likely to show up. From my experience the elevation on MMR is quite conservative.

    Cheers, this is what I've been trying to figure out - can'tt work out why the uphill drag through Donnington basically doesn't exist when mapping the whole route, but map Donnington on it's own & it allegedly hits 7%.
  • Ive rode some of that route and it isnt flat by any means.Not that its hilly either or rolling that doesnt really make sense does it lol. Ive been riding for about a year and have slowly built up my miles. I learnt that going flat out all the times doesnt really work for me and i do intervals now. this is one of my routes.just love going over castlemorton common
    .http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-ki ... 8309912681
    SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES; NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Ive rode some of that route and it isnt flat by any means.Not that its hilly either or rolling that doesnt really make sense does it lol. Ive been riding for about a year and have slowly built up my miles. I learnt that going flat out all the times doesnt really work for me and i do intervals now. this is one of my routes.just love going over castlemorton common
    .http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-ki ... 8309912681

    Nice route. I think I may steal it. :D
    Purveyor of "up" :)
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