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How they make a hillclimb look so easy ?

JimmyKJimmyK Posts: 712
edited August 2010 in Training, fitness and health
I remember being out on a half century and riding up a real swine of a hill. I thought I was doing ok, but from out of nowhere this guy flashed past me , said hello, and whizzed right on up that hill. He made it look so ridiculously easy and wasnt struggling one bit. He did the entire climb out of the saddle and looked very impressive indeed.

I average around 18.0 to 18.5 mph on my rides, and for a 40 yr old hobbyist with MS , Im pleased with that, but this guy would be an at least 20mph average rider and probably a lot more.

I dont get disheartened watching a guy like that, it actually encourages me to do better. What Im curious about though is, he made a long, steep pig of a climb look like he was taking a stroll around the pond. How the heck do you do that ? Is it a physical make up, age, nutrition or quality of bike issue ?

Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Aaah, it was you! I'd've stopped to chat if I'd've known!
  • joeyhalloranjoeyhalloran Posts: 592
    all of the above I would imagine, along with a load of hard work! Going uphill is all about power to weight (power comes from training, genes to adapt and recover, weight comes from watching what you eat and having the lightest kit)

    I can say that age will probabily have less to do with it than most think. After reading Mike Stroud's book survival of the fittest, I would say this is definately the lowest factor on your list.
  • There's no magic to hill climbing, just training: lots of it. Being light helps. Hill repeats help but are extremely painful. If you work on your all round bike fitness, you will go up hills quicker but you certainly need to include riding up plenty of hills in your normal riding.
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    Genetics. If his aerobic engine is naturally 20-30% more powerful than yours and assuming he's not carrying too much excess weight then there's no way you'll close the gap no matter how much you train or how much weight you lose. I doubt the bike makes much difference.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Training lots.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I'm miles faster up hills since I started training and eating properly...
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    I'm miles faster up hills since I got that hidden motor inside my frame.
  • PapapetePapapete Posts: 133
    Pokerface wrote:
    I'm miles faster up hills since I got that hidden motor inside my frame.

    You must have one of those Specialized bikes that Cancellara and Saxo Bank ride...........allegedly !!
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Agree with joey, some do have advantage naturally so don't beat yourself up about it.

    I've seen some relic cyclists on some sportives blowing away guys over half their age where judging by looks you wouldn't believe it.
  • ScrumpleScrumple Posts: 2,666
    not sure why people ever ask these questions....

    work
    train
    eat
    work more
    do more
    Get better dna

    Same as wondering why Usain runs quicker than Linford did. Or why Beckham is better than Vinny.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    As we are using analogies i.e. football, once you get to a certain level of fitness you have to stand out with flair/creativity/vision/talent. If you are not blessed with natural talent you have to work hard, which to some of us just isn't worth the effort involved as we may still not make the grade. 8)
  • JimmyK wrote:
    I remember being out on a half century and riding up a real swine of a hill. I thought I was doing ok, but from out of nowhere this guy flashed past me , said hello, and whizzed right on up that hill. He made it look so ridiculously easy and wasnt struggling one bit. He did the entire climb out of the saddle and looked very impressive indeed.

    I average around 18.0 to 18.5 mph on my rides, and for a 40 yr old hobbyist with MS , Im pleased with that, but this guy would be an at least 20mph average rider and probably a lot more.

    I dont get disheartened watching a guy like that, it actually encourages me to do better. What Im curious about though is, he made a long, steep pig of a climb look like he was taking a stroll around the pond. How the heck do you do that ? Is it a physical make up, age, nutrition or quality of bike issue ?


    just out of interest what hill was it you were going up?
  • JimmyKJimmyK Posts: 712
    the road between downpatrick and saintfield , I think the hill was after you pass through crossgar. that road section is quite hilly throughout, im always relieved when i hit saintfield :D
  • Percy VeraPercy Vera Posts: 1,103
    About a mile from Crossgar on the way to Saintfield there is indeed a hill, but it's not that steep. The guy probably saw you, put the hammer down to pass you then turned off at the top of the hill :lol: or he was just fitter than you
  • BarteosBarteos Posts: 657
    ... Coz... he cycles 15+ h a week all year round, rain or shine and doesn't use "bad" weather as an excuse for staying at home like most of UK cyclists... :roll:
  • JimmyKJimmyK Posts: 712
    Percy Vera wrote:
    About a mile from Crossgar on the way to Saintfield there is indeed a hill, but it's not that steep. The guy probably saw you, put the hammer down to pass you then turned off at the top of the hill :lol: or he was just fitter than you


    its a cumulative thing, i start out from ards and its 22 miles to the roundabout at downpatrick, when you turn right at the roundabout and head for saintfield , there are five hill sections and in total 23 miles back to ards. my all time best for those 45 miles and an extra 5 to make up the 50 was 19.3 av/mph . i have relapse and remitting multiple sclerosis and ill NEVER do that trip at 19 + av/mph ever again.......it hit me big time afterwards. I did the ards to carrickfergus castle loop which is another 50 miler in personal best of 19.4 av/mph and whaddya know, hit me like a ton of bricks with fatigue afterwards. i am a cycling loving hobbyist , 3 times a week rider and 18 -18.5 av/mph is easy for me to do and im not risking my health by pushing myself too hard for the 19+ av/mph times.

    i would LOVE to watch a real hill specialist at work , somebody of king of the mountains standard,now that would be an education and then some to cherish forever.
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    Maybe you were 30 miles into the ride, the other guy had just nicely warmed up and lived at the top of the hill.

    I must confess in my youth I tuned onto a hill from a side road just behind some guys with jerseys from a club I hadn't heard of, so probably were well into a long ride. Gave it everything I had and went past them on the climb with a friendly hello. As soon as I was out of sight at the top of the hill, I went through an open gate into a field and hid behind the hedge unable to breath until they had gone past.
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    term1te wrote:
    Maybe you were 30 miles into the ride, the other guy had just nicely warmed up and lived at the top of the hill.

    I must confess in my youth I tuned onto a hill from a side road just behind some guys with jerseys from a club I hadn't heard of, so probably were well into a long ride. Gave it everything I had and went past them on the climb with a friendly hello. As soon as I was out of sight at the top of the hill, I went through an open gate into a field and hid behind the hedge unable to breath until they had gone past.

    :lol::lol: love this story
  • CarbonCopyCarbonCopy Posts: 492
    doyler78 wrote:
    term1te wrote:
    Maybe you were 30 miles into the ride, the other guy had just nicely warmed up and lived at the top of the hill.

    I must confess in my youth I tuned onto a hill from a side road just behind some guys with jerseys from a club I hadn't heard of, so probably were well into a long ride. Gave it everything I had and went past them on the climb with a friendly hello. As soon as I was out of sight at the top of the hill, I went through an open gate into a field and hid behind the hedge unable to breath until they had gone past.

    :lol::lol: love this story
    +1 you sneaky git.I can imagine you chuckling away when you got your breath back :lol:
  • CumulonimbusCumulonimbus Posts: 1,730
    doyler78 wrote:
    term1te wrote:
    Maybe you were 30 miles into the ride, the other guy had just nicely warmed up and lived at the top of the hill.

    I must confess in my youth I tuned onto a hill from a side road just behind some guys with jerseys from a club I hadn't heard of, so probably were well into a long ride. Gave it everything I had and went past them on the climb with a friendly hello. As soon as I was out of sight at the top of the hill, I went through an open gate into a field and hid behind the hedge unable to breath until they had gone past.

    :lol::lol: love this story

    Me too :lol::lol::lol:

    Next time someone overtakes me i will convince myself that this is what they are doing :wink:
  • fatboy23fatboy23 Posts: 36
    nice story..reminds me of one of my late dad's tales of when he was out for run in the dales with his old cycling buddy, my dad was in his late 60's, and his mate was about 5 years or so younger.
    They had stopped for a "brew" at a cafe in Hawes, and got talking to a few very keen
    and "pro" looking 20 something lads...after a while they filed out of the cafe together, all parties girding up for the climb up Fleet Moss (a real beast-3 or 4 miles up onto the roof of the Dales)...the young bucks clipped in and bade my dad and Eric all the best for the climb, with a bit of advice to take it steady and how best to make it to the top. All taken in the best of spirits.
    Dad and Eric left it for a few minutes before following ,riding strictly steel and rat trap kit,, and I'm not sure how the young stags felt half way up Fleet Moss as the 2 pensioners passed them (Eric in the saddle chatting away, before turning on the gas properly and vanishing over the summit)..

    I suppose they should have known that this was Eric Wilson..several times winner of the Nat Hill Climb and who's record on the Nick of Pendle stood for 20 odd years before Boardman eventually took a few seconds off it. :)
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Very true, you cannot ever rule out the guy strolling by isn't a pro or a high calibre rider just out to stretch his legs! :D
  • love2ridelove2ride Posts: 224
    Being quite light and skinny helps!
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    I find I am quit fastish up hills and I'm not even a climber, I weigh like 77kg and have abit of fat on me, especially moobs and stomach fat
  • laelae Posts: 555
    ^ yeah same here - I'm a bit flabby and not particularly fit, but I'm quicker up the hills than my friend (who is a semi-pro rower and probably the fittest and strongest person I know), but I weigh 65kg and he weighs about 100.
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