Living in flat areas (and Somerset)

squigs
squigs Posts: 149
edited February 2011 in Road beginners
Hi,
I live in Cornwall so have no choice but to do all my riding on hills, rarely a flat road in site.
Have just come back from a trip to Berkshire and Somerset and cant believe how flat the roads are around there.

I went up Cheddar Gorge then back down, then rode 21 miles to Brean averaging 18mph (normally 14mph), felt amazing.

Then on to Porlock hill (oh my F**king god)

If you live in flat areas do you tend to just go for mileage and speed? Im not used to this luxury. Really enjoyed it though.

Just for the record, the 21 mile ride through somerset had the same elevation gain as my 1.5 mile commute from work to home.
Sirrus Comp 2010 (commuting)
Roubaix Pro SL Sram red (Weekend sportives)
Certini Campagnolo Mirage (Turbo trainer)

Comments

  • Echo all those points, the only flattish road in Cornwall is the A30 west from Innis Downs for a few miles the rest are typically 1:20 or steeper. Not very good for average speeds but great for maximums if you are brave enough.
  • I'm lucky in that I live on the doorstep of the peak district and also the flat Cheshire plains. I'd be bored stiff without any hills!
    If you do what you have always done, you will get what you always got....
  • I live in a very flat area. Can see how if you only ever ride hilly terrain then it would be nice to ride in flat. However savor what you have, I hate not having any climbs in the area and it gets soooooo boring just plugging away on the flat, especially into a killer wind. Would happily swap with you :wink:
    "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college! " - Homer
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Porlock Hill, are you mad :)

    I normally do the toll road as it is absolutely lovely. It was resurfaced last year, has beautiful views and a noticeable but even gradient. Spintastic.

    I often visit Minehead and I have always thought that one of the features of that area is that that there aren't many flat roads around so I guess hilly is a relative term.

    Liviing in ithe Cotswolds, I cannot imagine a completely flat ride being "normal". I also have a perfect excuse for rubbish 10M TT times.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 18,880
    edited February 2011
    Same in Devon - rides vary between 500ft to 1000ft per 10 miles of route. Maybe we should set up an exchange register where the 'hillies' swap places with the 'flatties'. I don't think it's necessarily the most mountainous areas that have the most climbing, as in mountain areas the roads are more likely (I think) to work with the contours as much as possible. In Devon, the roads (of which there are 8000 miles in total) mostly just go randomly up and down.

    Actually, on the whole, I enjoy having a wide selection of hills around ... but just occasionally I would like to have the option of a truly flat ride!
  • Garz
    Garz Posts: 1,155
    I thought the pennines were pretty hilly and that a trip over to N.Ireland would only have hills near the Mourne's. Found out that it is actually quite undulating in those parts, in the car it can be pretty deceiving!
  • squigs wrote:
    ......Somerset and cant believe how flat the roads are around there.

    Then on to Porlock hill

    Porlock Hill is in Somerset! :oops:
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I don't think it's necessarily the most mountainous areas that have the most climbing, as in mountain areas the roads are more likely (I think) to work with the contours as much as possible.

    Never seen any evidence of that in the Lakes! The roads seem more prone to seeking out every lump and bump to maximise the climbs........ Similarly, in the Dales, even the valley bottom roads are up and down all over the place.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • squigs
    squigs Posts: 149
    Lillywhite wrote:
    squigs wrote:
    ......Somerset and cant believe how flat the roads are around there.

    Then on to Porlock hill

    Porlock Hill is in Somerset! :oops:

    I know! I rode it yesterday afternoon.
    Im confused by your comment, please explain!
    Sirrus Comp 2010 (commuting)
    Roubaix Pro SL Sram red (Weekend sportives)
    Certini Campagnolo Mirage (Turbo trainer)
  • Lillywhite
    Lillywhite Posts: 742
    edited February 2011
    squigs wrote:
    Im confused by your comment, please explain!

    Read your opening post again. You said the roads in Somerset were flat and then went on to say you rode Porlock Hill which is probably has a gradient of 1 in 3 or 4 in places. :shock:
  • navrig
    navrig Posts: 1,352
    Never heard of Porlock Hill. From Wiki:
    Porlock Hill is a section of the A39 west of the village of Porlock. The road climbs approximately 1,300 ft (400 m) in less than 2 miles (3.2 km) up onto Exmoor: a very steep hill with gradients of up to 1 in 4 and hairpin bends.[1] The hill must be driven slowly and with great care. At the bottom of the hill there have been numerous accidents when coaches have crashed into walls as their brakes failed. As you walk near the bottom of the hill you will often smell burning brakes from cars.

    Good on you.
  • squigs
    squigs Posts: 149
    Lillywhite wrote:
    squigs wrote:
    Im confused by your comment, please explain!

    Read your opening post again. You said the roads in Somerset were flat and then went on to say you rode Porlock Hill which is probably has a gradient of 1 in 3 or 4 in places. :shock:

    I have read the qoute and I quite clearly state that I could not believe how flat the roads are in Somerset (which isnt that small a county). At no point have I said that the entire county of Somerset has no hills what so ever.

    Please read the entire post I made, do not focus on words you want to see, just the ones that are there!

    But you also dont point out that I mention Cheddar Gorge which is also in Somerset.

    Oh, and also there is a 7 mile flat road in Cornwall,sorry for misleading you into thinking there was no flat road in the entire county of Cornwall
    Sirrus Comp 2010 (commuting)
    Roubaix Pro SL Sram red (Weekend sportives)
    Certini Campagnolo Mirage (Turbo trainer)
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 18,880
    Rolf F wrote:
    I don't think it's necessarily the most mountainous areas that have the most climbing, as in mountain areas the roads are more likely (I think) to work with the contours as much as possible.
    Never seen any evidence of that in the Lakes! The roads seem more prone to seeking out every lump and bump to maximise the climbs........ Similarly, in the Dales, even the valley bottom roads are up and down all over the place.
    Well, here's a quote from a long-ago post, on which I based my observation:
    PeteMadoc wrote:
    The route was 51.5 miles with approx 4,820 feet of ascent according to my Garmin 305.
    Are you sure this is correct? 4820 feet?

    I cycled 51 miles around the mountains of Snowdonia this morning up two mountains with the usual ups and downs too. My gps thingy said I'd done just over 3000 feet of climbing. Snowdon itself is 3560 above sea level, that would mean that in just 50 miles you'd climbed the equivalent of thje height of snowdon plus another 1260 feet. That just doesn't sound right. the whole route would have to be uphill.
    That's not to say that there isn't climbing in mountainous areas, but the amount of climbing isn't in direct proportion to the size of the mountains. Having said that, I'm not going to pretend that Hardknott & Wrynose passes are flat.
  • DHTT
    DHTT Posts: 345
    If you want a flat route in Cornwall round Goonhilly/The Lizard is pretty flat :D
  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    squigs wrote:
    Lillywhite wrote:
    squigs wrote:
    Im confused by your comment, please explain!

    Read your opening post again. You said the roads in Somerset were flat and then went on to say you rode Porlock Hill which is probably has a gradient of 1 in 3 or 4 in places. :shock:

    I have read the qoute and I quite clearly state that I could not believe how flat the roads are in Somerset (which isnt that small a county). At no point have I said that the entire county of Somerset has no hills what so ever.

    Please read the entire post I made, do not focus on words you want to see, just the ones that are there!

    But you also dont point out that I mention Cheddar Gorge which is also in Somerset.

    Oh, and also there is a 7 mile flat road in Cornwall,sorry for misleading you into thinking there was no flat road in the entire county of Cornwall

    So your commute would seem pretty flat to someone riding Porlock Hill and Cheddar Gorge everyday?
  • squigs
    squigs Posts: 149
    "So your commute would seem pretty flat to someone riding Porlock Hill and Cheddar Gorge everyday?"

    Indeed, but that would mean a 100 mile round trip commute, which as hardcore as it sounds would be quite difficult to do everyday, so compared to my 1.5 mile!!!

    But I have looked a little further into this and Porlock to Cheddar has an elevation gain of 2000ft. Any 50 mile route from my place in Cornwall will be at least 5000ft. So yes, it would seem pretty flat.
    Sirrus Comp 2010 (commuting)
    Roubaix Pro SL Sram red (Weekend sportives)
    Certini Campagnolo Mirage (Turbo trainer)
  • Living in Blackpool,I'm faced with a 50 mile round trip to get to the nearest hills(Trough of Bowland).I'm hemmed in by the sea one way and pancake-flat terrain the other.
    Squigs- I think I long for hills like you wish for flat routes.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 18,880
    Squigs- I think I long for hills like you wish for flat routes.
    Actually, as far as cycling is concerned, Somerset round the Taunton area does give you a pretty good choice - plenty of hills to the south (Blackdown) or north west (Quantocks), and loads of flat stuff too round the Bridgwater levels. And also plenty of varied roads on all terrains. There really isn't anything flat in Devon, apart from the beach at Woolacombe..

    But like Somerset, Devon has got plenty of roads to explore, even if they do go up and down constantly. Here's an 'interesting' fact: Devon crams its 8,000 miles of roads into 2,590 square miles; the whole of Scotland has 32,000 miles of road, but in 30,414 square miles. Mind you, most of the Devon roads don't really go from anywhere to anywhere else in particular.
  • Actually, as far as cycling is concerned, Somerset round the Taunton area does give you a pretty good choice - plenty of hills to the south (Blackdown) or north west (Quantocks).

    My legs can vouch for that :wink:
    You're the light wiping out my batteries; You're the cream in my airport coffee's.