What do most people consider to be a 'hilly' ride?

jcondylis01
jcondylis01 Posts: 50
edited April 2013 in Road general
So I went for a ride yesterday around the South Downs area and after checking my Garmin I found that I had done 55miles with 1198m of elevation gain. I'm just wondering what sort of gain most people class as a hilly ride?
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  • gaddster
    gaddster Posts: 401
    It's hilly here where I am, about 800m of climbing every 25 miles (the routes I take) which I consider hilly!
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  • southdownswolf
    southdownswolf Posts: 1,525
    I'd say that the 4000ft of climbing in 55 miles is quite hilly. It's not on a par with some who will ride around the Peak District, Lakes, Cornwall, Highlands etc every day, but not bad.

    Out of interest, whereabouts in the South Downs are you? I live in Eastbourne, so very often do a 15-20 mile loop around Beachy Head/Birling Gap from Eastbourne seafront. That way it means I can get a little bit of hill training in even if only going out for an hour or so.
  • I'd say that the 4000ft of climbing in 55 miles is quite hilly. It's not on a par with some who will ride around the Peak District, Lakes, Cornwall, Highlands etc every day, but not bad.

    Out of interest, whereabouts in the South Downs are you? I live in Eastbourne, so very often do a 15-20 mile loop around Beachy Head/Birling Gap from Eastbourne seafront. That way it means I can get a little bit of hill training in even if only going out for an hour or so.

    I live in Southampton, but my mate and I head out that way quite a bit, as I'm training for the Long One Sportive (June 29th) and it takes in most of that area. We also took in Butser Hill yesterday for the first time (from Harvesting Land end), its a real killer!
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    So I went for a ride yesterday around the South Downs area and after checking my Garmin I found that I had done 55miles with 1198m of elevation gain. I'm just wondering what sort of gain most people class as a hilly ride?

    That's pretty hilly IMO.

    Contrary to what you'll be told on this thread there's no rule to what is and what isn't a hilly ride. You decide yourself.
  • I'd say that the 4000ft of climbing in 55 miles is quite hilly. It's not on a par with some who will ride around the Peak District, Lakes, Cornwall, Highlands etc every day, but not bad.

    Out of interest, whereabouts in the South Downs are you? I live in Eastbourne, so very often do a 15-20 mile loop around Beachy Head/Birling Gap from Eastbourne seafront. That way it means I can get a little bit of hill training in even if only going out for an hour or so.

    I live in Southampton, but my mate and I head out that way quite a bit, as I'm training for the Long One Sportive (June 29th) and it takes in most of that area. We also took in Butser Hill yesterday for the first time (from Harvesting Land end), its a real killer!

    Have you ridden much of the roads around the Fontwell area heading north/north-west?
  • stueyboy
    stueyboy Posts: 108
    I remember reading on this forum somewhere that if you work out the percentage climbed vs. distance travelled you get a feel for relative hillyness. So 1% is reasonable, 2% is hilly and 3% is very hilly. Your route worked out at 1.4% so reasonably hilly by that calculation
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    1,000ft per 10 miles is what I would classify as hilly, but that's not to say that a route can't be more difficult with less, especially if it's quite sharp.
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  • Grill wrote:
    1,000ft per 10 miles is what I would classify as hilly, but that's not to say that a route can't be more difficult with less, especially if it's quite sharp.

    I agree with that. I've found that a flatter route with a very steep but short hill can be tough, especially if you are doing a tempo/interval session.
  • And I guess also that distance between climbs is also a factor in how hilly you feel a ride is? You could have a lot of short, steep stuff in quick succession and that would feel as hard as longer ride which takes in a few longer climbs.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    10,000ft in 100miles in old-money is what I'd classify as 'hilly', so in new money, 3000m in 160Km which is the 2% rule. It also depends on the severity of the climbs - I've ridden in Cornwall a fair bit, and whilst you rarerly get above 250m, when you're climbing successively from sea-level and the gradient is 20%, it's a far tougher work-out than say a day in the Peak District.
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  • richie771
    richie771 Posts: 20
    Taller riders find climbing easier as they are nearer the top :shock:
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  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    I gauge hilly rides on whether I had to go up any hills or not. Works for me.
  • supermurph09
    supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Grill wrote:
    1,000ft per 10 miles is what I would classify as hilly, but that's not to say that a route can't be more difficult with less, especially if it's quite sharp.

    ^^^ this. I'd say that was a good indictor. I squeezed in 20 miles last night which had 2000ft of climbing. Certainly felt hilly!
  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    Contrary to what you'll be told on this thread there's no rule to what is and what isn't a hilly ride. You decide yourself.
    +1

    I decide if a route is hilly based on whether my legs or my lungs are limiting. On the flat I tend to run out of lungs a long time before my legs hurt too much to continue. Whereas on hills, it tends to be the other way round.

    As examples, this, with Leith and Box Hills, and all the up and down needed to get to them, feels very hilly to me (and it's less than 500 feet per 10 miles). Whereas this doesn't.

    Doubtless stronger riders will view my 'hilly' as merely undulating, but so what.
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  • southdownswolf
    southdownswolf Posts: 1,525
    I'd say that the 4000ft of climbing in 55 miles is quite hilly. It's not on a par with some who will ride around the Peak District, Lakes, Cornwall, Highlands etc every day, but not bad.

    Out of interest, whereabouts in the South Downs are you? I live in Eastbourne, so very often do a 15-20 mile loop around Beachy Head/Birling Gap from Eastbourne seafront. That way it means I can get a little bit of hill training in even if only going out for an hour or so.

    I live in Southampton, but my mate and I head out that way quite a bit, as I'm training for the Long One Sportive (June 29th) and it takes in most of that area. We also took in Butser Hill yesterday for the first time (from Harvesting Land end), its a real killer!

    Have you ridden much of the roads around the Fontwell area heading north/north-west?

    I tend to stay local to me, around Brighton, Hastings etc or head up towards Crowborough for some more hills.
  • snowley
    snowley Posts: 149
    I would say that was hilly, but again it depends on the interval between each climb and the severity of it.

    In the area you refer to, I would say that was hilly. Some nasty gradients around there.
  • bernithebiker
    bernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    I use the 1% rule.

    Ride 50km and if it's over 500m climb it's hilly.

    Very hard to find any ride round our way that gives less than 1% climbing.

    Of course, this is not hardcore climbing like in the Alps where 2%+ is the norm, but hillyish, nonetheless.
  • priory
    priory Posts: 743
    cycling in the matlock/alfreton area I expect 1000ft per 10miles is usual. It is an occasional treat to cycle somewhere flatter, like nottinghamshire/north lincs.

    i have been to bikely to check this and used the new beta mapping view. I could not find the elevation display for my routes. Are we going to lose elevation graphs?
    It seems to me that is the only reason to use bikely rather than google. The route drawing system is much better on google.
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  • jezzpalmer
    jezzpalmer Posts: 389
    My Strava says 28,000ft in 390miles.

    I consider it to be quite hilly around here (S.Wales), I don't think I can go flat for more than 3 miles anywhere around here.
  • So I went for a ride yesterday around the South Downs area and after checking my Garmin I found that I had done 55miles with 1198m of elevation gain. I'm just wondering what sort of gain most people class as a hilly ride?
    This is going to sound bloody stupid, but I reckon a hilly ride is a ride with proper hills in it.

    If you're going up n' down the South Downs, I'd definitely call that hilly. The Downs are the sort thing you can point at and say "that's a hill", and they definitely feel like hills when ridden up! If you were, however, riding around the minor roads south of the Surrey Hills without actually going into the hills themselves but doing about the same rate of ascent per mile (as I was last weekend), I wouldn't call that hilly - constant up n' down, virtually no flat at all, but nothing you'd really call a hill.
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  • philwint
    philwint Posts: 763
    I have 3,000 feet in my head as a hilly ride.

    For no other reason than i spent a lot of time hill walking in my youth and a "Munro" is a hill of 3000ft or more.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munro

    Therefore if i do more than 3000ft of climb in a ride i know I've 'done a Munro' so it must have been a hilly ride.

    I don't compare it to distance, so could be a 30 or 70 mile ride, but as long as I've done 3000ft of up it was hilly :D
  • nickel
    nickel Posts: 476
    Generally go by the 1000ft per 10 miles rule. It also depends how the climbing falls in a ride though, I did a sportive last year which was 113miles/7000ft of climbing, but about 5000ft of that fell in the space of 45 miles.
  • Jon_1976
    Jon_1976 Posts: 690
    5,152ft on a 56 mile ride is the most climbing I've done in one go. Probably one of my most enjoyabe rides, apart from being poorly prepared (took no food and 1 bottle). Last 15 miles were very slow and all I could think about was getting home to get some food.

    http://app.strava.com/activities/47512211
  • marylogic
    marylogic Posts: 355
    So I went for a ride yesterday around the South Downs area and after checking my Garmin I found that I had done 55miles with 1198m of elevation gain. I'm just wondering what sort of gain most people class as a hilly ride?
    This is going to sound bloody stupid, but I reckon a hilly ride is a ride with proper hills in it.

    If you're going up n' down the South Downs, I'd definitely call that hilly. The Downs are the sort thing you can point at and say "that's a hill", and they definitely feel like hills when ridden up! If you were, however, riding around the minor roads south of the Surrey Hills without actually going into the hills themselves but doing about the same rate of ascent per mile (as I was last weekend), I wouldn't call that hilly - constant up n' down, virtually no flat at all, but nothing you'd really call a hill.
    +1
    last week I rode 45 miles with 4000ft climbing but it was the 3 cat 3 climbs that made it hilly. Frequent undulations don't do it for me, I need to be doing "proper hills" too. (and yes, I know for some, cat 3 climbs aren't hilly but for me they are)
  • So I went for a ride yesterday around the South Downs area and after checking my Garmin I found that I had done 55miles with 1198m of elevation gain. I'm just wondering what sort of gain most people class as a hilly ride?
    This is going to sound bloody stupid, but I reckon a hilly ride is a ride with proper hills in it.

    If you're going up n' down the South Downs, I'd definitely call that hilly. The Downs are the sort thing you can point at and say "that's a hill", and they definitely feel like hills when ridden up! If you were, however, riding around the minor roads south of the Surrey Hills without actually going into the hills themselves but doing about the same rate of ascent per mile (as I was last weekend), I wouldn't call that hilly - constant up n' down, virtually no flat at all, but nothing you'd really call a hill.

    All I know is Butser Hill definitely felt like a hill!
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    Yeah I'd go with 100ft per mile too. The South Downs way is about 13k ft climb over 100 miles. But anything over 65ft per mile is going to be slow. A hill on the other hand is 5-10+ on road and 15-20%+ on mtb
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Interesting... I've done 104k on 2200 miles this year in east Cornwall according to strava. I would regard 50 ft per mile as pretty mild, 75 ft as undulating and 100 as pretty hilly. This seems to be true for lots of the keen ones I know regularly ride hilly routes including dartmoor
  • Bordersroadie
    Bordersroadie Posts: 1,052
    Mikey23 wrote:
    I would regard 50 ft per mile as pretty mild, 75 ft as undulating and 100 as pretty hilly.

    Precisely my take on it. I laugh at all the "average speed" threads on here because it differs wildly when proper hilly routes are taken, especially when the downhills are too hazardous to recoup speed lost on ascents.

    I'm doing a lot of 85-100 ft per mile routes at the moment in prep for the Fred, plenty of them around here. Over a Strava year I aim to do at least 75ft/mile average.

    I was amazed how it adds up, the feet climbed data, so my personal target, for a bit of fun, for the next few months, is to climb Mt Everest (29,000 feet) per month in at least 400 miles. Married with young kids so that target is quite a challenge for me!
  • marylogic
    marylogic Posts: 355
    I was toying with the idea of recording my rides in feet climbed rather than miles covered. The Mount Everest challenge sounds like a good one.
  • Mikey23 wrote:
    I would regard 50 ft per mile as pretty mild, 75 ft as undulating and 100 as pretty hilly.

    Precisely my take on it. I laugh at all the "average speed" threads on here because it differs wildly when proper hilly routes are taken, especially when the downhills are too hazardous to recoup speed lost on ascents.

    I'm doing a lot of 85-100 ft per mile routes at the moment in prep for the Fred, plenty of them around here. Over a Strava year I aim to do at least 75ft/mile average.

    I was amazed how it adds up, the feet climbed data, so my personal target, for a bit of fun, for the next few months, is to climb Mt Everest (29,000 feet) per month in at least 400 miles. Married with young kids so that target is quite a challenge for me!

    Good luck with that!