Hills

willow71uk
willow71uk Posts: 114
edited May 2013 in Road general
I have to admit that i f#@*ing hate them with a passion. If i can avoid a hill then i will. Yesterdays club ride was going to be a very lumpy ride up Angelzarke, i made my excuses and left the group early around Chorley saying i wanted to get back for the CDNW Pimbo race. I can keep up with the best of them pace wise on flats and do well at cafe sprints but Hills :evil: I just don't get why anyone would enjoy them. I know to get better you have to do them but i just can't stomach them and it's a problem i'm gonna have to try and sort out when Summer finally arrives and more hilly rides happen.
«13

Comments

  • Cleat Eastwood
    Cleat Eastwood Posts: 7,508
    Maybe thats the problem, trying to take 'racing' legs up hill - you need to do climbs consistently not only to get used to them but to know your own body and its limits. Its a tough one, because if your pleasure comes from being with the fast boys it does seem a waste to spend time perfecting a technique you'll use for maybe 15minutes of a ride. Also in the sprints you have a definite opponent - if you dont get worked over by the hooligans :D - try and see the hill as the opponent and dont bother what others are doing - and it i smuch easier following a wheel. Anyway, i'm the opposite - I quite like the climbs, its the descents I don't like - and if all else fails you could join 5 gels at the back with his bacon butties. :lol:
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • iGaz
    iGaz Posts: 36
    willow71uk wrote:
    I have to admit that i f#@*ing hate them with a passion. If i can avoid a hill then i will. Yesterdays club ride was going to be a very lumpy ride up Angelzarke, i made my excuses and left the group early around Chorley saying i wanted to get back for the CDNW Pimbo race. I can keep up with the best of them pace wise on flats and do well at cafe sprints but Hills :evil: I just don't get why anyone would enjoy them. I know to get better you have to do them but i just can't stomach them and it's a problem i'm gonna have to try and sort out when Summer finally arrives and more hilly rides happen.

    Sounds like you alredy understand your problem here because you can't just keep dashing off from your club rides if they hit a hill it's not fair on yourself to miss out on something good just because of a hill.

    Whats your problem ? are you worried that you will be out of breath at the top and struggle to keep up once you get their or do you not want the club to know you have a weakness for hills.

    If it's any of those two then I would suggest just bringing it up in conversation and telling them your not the greatest when riding hills.

    I would say start small and go up bigger and bigger hills but truth is i would actually say go find your biggest hill locally and just tackle it now and again even though you hate it and want to avoid it make a point of really aiming for that hill and your aim is to crack it with ease in the end. Your probably never going to like them but at least in the future you know they wont occupy your thoughts as much.
  • imsimon
    imsimon Posts: 181
    agree with the above, I would find the worst (best) hill near to you, go out on your own and have a go! it sounds like your competitive so get strava going on the hill and try and beat yourself!
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    All of the above. Just fight the bugg3rs!

    Have to admit that I love the climbs. Being a short arse and sitting at a fairly light weight it’s the only time I get to shine. I can hang in a fast group and take a good turn on the front, but when the freight trains come out for the sprint I can’t hold the pace. However, give me a good gradient and I’ll give it my best to break away. On the club’s reliability run the other week I spent quite a bit on the front with an even shorter chap and we were constantly getting told to slow the pace. It was quite satisfying ;-)
  • willow71uk
    willow71uk Posts: 114
    Just before Xmas we did a ride up Tockholes which absolutly killed me, i got up there albeit a good few hundred yards behind everyone, but i bonked big time on the ride home.
    Cleat even 5 gels would be me up a hill :) you still haven't said who you are yet by the way?
    There is some nasty hills round here Shaley Brow, Ashurst, Parbold and Hunter's. Problem is again is if i am on my own i am more likely to quit half way up. I need someone from the club to take me up some hills and ride with me to keep me going. It's something i will have to bring into conversation on the next club ride.
  • MartinB2444
    MartinB2444 Posts: 266
    Are you using sensible gears?
  • I did a ride up anglezarke on sat and it regularly features on my long sat/sun rides. I have to admit that I LOVE them. I'm a sadist when it comes to hills, the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned! The area around rivington/darwen/haslingden has some corkers if you know where to look. I probably suffer just as much as you do going up them, but herein lies the crux of the matter, some folk just like to suffer and others don't...simples!

    I think it has to be in your blood. I don't think its something you can learn to love.

    Anyway, I need to particularly love them this year, as I'll be no doubt suffering up hardknott pass on the 'Fred' and in july when I'll be going up the galibier and alp d'huez on the 'marmotte'!
  • willow71uk
    willow71uk Posts: 114
    Are you using sensible gears?
    50/34 12-28
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Last time I "gave up" going up a hill I was a teenager ... now I just grind away until I'm at the top ...

    MTFU and ride some hills - by yourself !
  • Bustacapp
    Bustacapp Posts: 971
    I'm afraid the only answer to your problems is 2 words:

    Shaley Brow

    As we have discussed before I hit this hill every single week (and it kills me every single week) but it serves it's purpose in making every other hill in the area seem easy in comparison. I am not built for hills but for some reason I just keep seeking them out. For instance my Sunday ride took in the following:

    Moss Bank
    Shaley Brow
    Alma
    Ashurst Beacon
    Parbold
    Ashurt Beacon (reverse)
    Shaley Brow (reverse)
    Crank
    Fairfield
    Moss Bank (reverse)

    I do always get nervous still on the approach to Shaley.
  • MartinB2444
    MartinB2444 Posts: 266
    willow71uk wrote:
    Are you using sensible gears?
    50/34 12-28
    That's sensible :D
  • willow71uk
    willow71uk Posts: 114
    Bustacapp wrote:
    I'm afraid the only answer to your problems is 2 words:

    Shaley Brow

    As we have discussed before I hit this hill every single week (and it kills me every single week) but it serves it's purpose in making every other hill in the area seem easy in comparison. I am not built for hills but for some reason I just keep seeking them out. For instance my Sunday ride took in the following:

    Moss Bank
    Shaley Brow
    Alma
    Ashurst Beacon
    Parbold
    Ashurt Beacon (reverse)
    Shaley Brow (reverse)
    Crank
    Fairfield
    Moss Bank (reverse)

    I do always get nervous still on the approach to Shaley.
    :shock: Kudos mate
  • TheSmithers
    TheSmithers Posts: 291
    If I could pick one area of my cycling I'd like to be good at over any of the others, it's climbing. If you become a good, strong climber, the rest of your cycling will come. I hated hills when I first started, and I remember nearly being sick and filling my cycling shorts on the first serious attempt I made at a pretty serious hill. Over the winter, I've been doing rides with more climbing than descending to work on this area and it really has paid dividends! Now, hills that I used to struggle with I can do without a second thought. When that happens, and it dawns on you how much you've improved, the feeling is amazing!

    Like it or not, hills are a very big part of cycling in this country and you'll never be a complete cyclist unless you can get over your fear of them. Stick with it!
  • Bustacapp
    Bustacapp Posts: 971
    willow71uk wrote:
    :shock: Kudos mate

    Thanks dude. I'd like to point out that I'm slow going up the hills (I still weigh over 17 stone) but once I got Shaley out of the way everything else seemed easy(ish).
  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    I'm not fast, and I don't ride in groups much, but my attitude to hills is that I win if I don't have to get off and walk.

    My current scary hill is White Down Lane in Surrey, which I've done twice now. I was tired by the time I got to it yesterday, and I very nearly had to get off and walk.

    But I'd second the advice of others - pick the biggest, baddest bastard of a hill you can find and ride that on your own. Even if you do have to get off and walk to start with, measure your progress by how far up it you can get.

    Then when you've done that, it will still be a bastard, but it won't cause the same feeling of dread.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • philbar72
    philbar72 Posts: 2,229
    only a couple of weeks ago, i was bemoaning hills, but they are an important part of the overall picture in cycling.
    thanks to a club ride i do, which takes in a couple of big lumps, i really enjoy them, being vaguely competetive with the others on the ride but not neccasarily very rapid. they are a challenge and should be enjoyed. i'm getting better at them as well,and all you need is a fair bit of hard work and dedication to get better. this week i came 3rd out of 8 trundling up box hill (the guy that got up the hill first did it in under 6 minutes!) so was good to see progress...! keep at it!
  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    willow71uk wrote:
    Problem is again is if i am on my own i am more likely to quit half way up. I need someone from the club to take me up some hills and ride with me to keep me going.
    Hmm, having read this I'm not sure what's for the best, since you're very different from me.

    I figure that there will always be greater and lesser riders than me, so it's pointless relying on someone else for motivation. It would feel to me as if the achievement was only partly mine in that case.

    Once I start up a hill, it's me against the hill, and the goddamn hill ain't gonna win if I can do anything about it.

    I am, however, thinking of swapping my 12-28 for a 12-30 :)
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • southdownswolf
    southdownswolf Posts: 1,525
    Everyone is giving bad advice...

    Pick the worst hill and ride up it? Not good enough.
    Pick the worst hill, ride up it, coast down, then do it again. :twisted:

    Reps are the way to go, nice and easy, just keep going. Get into a cadence that you are comfortable with and just keep going.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Everyone is giving bad advice...

    Pick the worst hill and ride up it? Not good enough.
    Pick the worst hill, ride up it, coast down, then do it again. :twisted:

    Reps are the way to go, nice and easy, just keep going. Get into a cadence that you are comfortable with and just keep going.

    Nearly there -

    pick the worst hill with a trail up the side of it ...
    find a friend with a young child - put them in a trailer, attach the trailer to the back of your bike and then ride the hill ....

    I think I need to change my "bike" on Strava - it normally weighs ~11kg with all the claptrap onboard ... but with trailer & load it's nearer 40kg! Still - a good test of legs, lungs & heart!
  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    Pick the worst hill and ride up it? Not good enough.
    Pick the worst hill, ride up it, coast down, then do it again. :twisted:
    This is bad advice - until you can do it once reasonably comfortably, at which point reps start to make sense.

    I was so close to having to get off on WDL yesterday that I literally wouldn't have been capable of doing it a second time.

    I'm getting the impression that quite a few people that have been cycling for ages, are strong and fit, possibly quite young as well, have forgotten what it's like at the beginning if you're none of those things.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • southdownswolf
    southdownswolf Posts: 1,525
    Slowbike wrote:
    Everyone is giving bad advice...

    Pick the worst hill and ride up it? Not good enough.
    Pick the worst hill, ride up it, coast down, then do it again. :twisted:

    Reps are the way to go, nice and easy, just keep going. Get into a cadence that you are comfortable with and just keep going.

    Nearly there -

    pick the worst hill with a trail up the side of it ...
    find a friend with a young child - put them in a trailer, attach the trailer to the back of your bike and then ride the hill ....

    I think I need to change my "bike" on Strava - it normally weighs ~11kg with all the claptrap onboard ... but with trailer & load it's nearer 40kg! Still - a good test of legs, lungs & heart!


    :D :twisted:
  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    Slowbike wrote:
    find a friend with a young child - put them in a trailer, attach the trailer to the back of your bike and then ride the hill ....
    @OP: I'd suggest you ignore the willy-wavers.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • southdownswolf
    southdownswolf Posts: 1,525
    Pick the worst hill and ride up it? Not good enough.
    Pick the worst hill, ride up it, coast down, then do it again. :twisted:
    This is bad advice - until you can do it once reasonably comfortably, at which point reps start to make sense.

    I was so close to having to get off on WDL yesterday that I literally wouldn't have been capable of doing it a second time.

    I'm getting the impression that quite a few people that have been cycling for ages, are strong and fit, possibly quite young as well, have forgotten what it's like at the beginning if you're none of those things.

    I was saying tongue in cheek... you are correct that reps maybe too much if just starting out, especially if choosing the hardest hill.

    As for being young and fit, I only got back on a road bike in the last 2 years and I will be 40 this year.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Slowbike wrote:
    find a friend with a young child - put them in a trailer, attach the trailer to the back of your bike and then ride the hill ....
    @OP: I'd suggest you ignore the willy-wavers.
    you missed the bit of making sure it was a trail ... and not easy tarmac!


    sheeze ... can't get the quoters these days ....


    if the OP can't work out what's serious advice and what's banter then hes got more problems than just riding up a hill ... the fact that the OP group rides and does "well" at sprints suggests that he's more than capable of working it out for himself ..

    Now, if you feel intimidated by a bit of banter then IMHO you need to take life a little less seriously!
  • TheSmithers
    TheSmithers Posts: 291
    Everyone is giving bad advice...

    Pick the worst hill and ride up it? Not good enough.
    Pick the worst hill, ride up it, coast down, then do it again. :twisted:

    Reps are the way to go, nice and easy, just keep going. Get into a cadence that you are comfortable with and just keep going.

    The only advice for the OP is to not shy away from hills and incorporate more hill climbing into his rides. I don't think it's necessary to coast down and do it again and again. Just doing a big climb once a week will see improvements.
  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    Slowbike wrote:
    Now, if you feel intimidated by a bit of banter then IMHO you need to take life a little less seriously!
    :)

    Yes, possibly :)

    However, there is a strong tendency here for people to say things like "Oh, I'm not fast, I can only get up Box Hill in 8 minutes", and "there are only two hills on the Ride London 100, the rest of it is flat so it's not a physical challenge", and other stuff like that.

    I expect people aren't intentionally willy-waving, they just judge things by what they can do. But it's still unhelpful if someone further down the pecking order is asking for actual help.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    The advice has already been given - ride up hills more. There's not really any other advice to give. There’s no magic fix. Maybe move to Holland?
  • willow71uk
    willow71uk Posts: 114
    1 big hill a week it is then :cry:
  • Bustacapp
    Bustacapp Posts: 971
    willow71uk wrote:
    1 big hill a week it is then :cry:

    :) - where you gonna go?
  • willow71uk
    willow71uk Posts: 114
    Hunter's or Stoney i think