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If you live in the mountains....

Old 11-22-20, 07:00 AM
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If you live in the mountains....

I realized if you lived smacked dab middle of the mountian with plenty of long, steep gradients, there's just no way to make easy recovery rides especially if you have to commute daily up and down the mountain. You'll just have to grow and adapt to it until it becomes "easy" but until that, it will lots of pain.

For the first time, I've been venturing out of the city in the nearest mountains and that was my realization. Before your body could adapt (if it ever adapts) all rides will be very hard. Most of the local mountain commuters simply walk their bike up the steep sections.
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Old 11-22-20, 07:49 AM
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Yes, hills can be more difficult than flatland. Who knew....
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Old 11-22-20, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Yes, hills can be more difficult than flatland. Who knew....
The point I'm trying to get across is that if you live up a mountain with long steep gradients, you won't have easy rides.

So it kinda ruins structured training plans if you're only starting because you'll have no easy recovery ride days.

You can still take it easy in shallow gradients but not with steep gradients.

Fortunately for me, I have adapted very quickly in just two rides in steep mountain roads within just 5 days. It became a lot easier in the 3rd attempt, barely pain in my legs anymore and easy breathing.

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Old 11-22-20, 11:16 AM
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Is there more than one Manila in the Philippines? Because every elevation data map I've ever seen, the highest point in the city proper is about 300 feet above sea level. I have absolutely zero idea what the OP is on about-- Manila is a port city-- vast portions of it are going to be pancake-flat.

I live at around 1,250ft above sea level. If I ride due east, I gain a paltry 4,900ft of elevation in 20 miles. Forty miles gets me 7,500ft. I have local paved roads that are higher than the highest point in the entire Philippines. And guess what-- I have <zero> problem finding flat land.

If you can't find a place to do an easy ride, you're not looking hard enough.
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Old 11-22-20, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
The point I'm trying to get across is that if you live up a mountain with long steep gradients, you won't have easy rides.

So it kinda ruins structured training plans if you're only starting because you'll have no easy recovery ride days.

You can still take it easy in shallow gradients but not with steep gradients.

Fortunately for me, I have adapted very quickly in just two rides in steep mountain roads within just 5 days. It became a lot easier in the 3rd attempt, barely pain in my legs anymore and easy breathing.
Yes, this has been an issue for me. I live in the bottom of a hole, about 8 miles from the Cascade foothills. It's uphill in every direction. Not mountains, just foothills, but the roads are just as steep. That made the concept of an aerobic base unfamiliar. It was always, "go hard or go home." I developed a terrific anaerobic engine on a puny aerobic one. Now that I'm an Old Man, I'm trying to develop more aerobically, which involves a great deal of time on my rollers. I probably wouldn't have done this without the Covid.

Yeah, I remember back when, starting a ski vacation totally out of shape, my legs would be sore for 3 days, then that was that and I could ski 40,000 feet every day, no problem. Not anymore.
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Old 11-22-20, 12:09 PM
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You don't have to do recovery rides in a structured training plan. Do they help with recovery? Evidence suggests so, but your body can recover just by not riding at all.

Doing long base miles at endurance zone is another issue, though.
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Old 11-22-20, 07:06 PM
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i was in manila once. very flat. gotta head westish for mountains. i don't recall anything too difficult though.

do they still drive jeepnees there?
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Old 11-22-20, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Is there more than one Manila in the Philippines? Because every elevation data map I've ever seen, the highest point in the city proper is about 300 feet above sea level. I have absolutely zero idea what the OP is on about-- Manila is a port city-- vast portions of it are going to be pancake-flat.
Read my OP again.

I did it outside the city. It wasn't a very high mountain but has plenty of long steep gradients. Some of the climbs required being out of the saddle continously for several minutes even in 34 / 32 gearing. I headed out at a day and time where I expect to meet tons of serious cyclists on the way up but came across none. Lots of young roadies in the area. They were all climbing the other side (where I went downhill).

So I have to assume, it's a difficult climb.

If you can't find a place to do an easy ride, you're not looking hard enough.
There were houses lining the roads in those mountains. I'm just thinking if I lived in one of those.

Sure, I can go down to the flat lands and have easy rides but what about the return trip home? I'll still have to climb those steep gradients up. All daily rides will be hard at some point.
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Old 11-22-20, 08:26 PM
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I think the OP is saying "if". I know there are riders on here who live in the Colorado uplands where everywhere is either up or down. I've also wondered about what they do for base rides. Ride an MTB with slicks and gear way down? Even that's not the same because of inertial load.
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Old 11-22-20, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
i was in manila once. very flat. gotta head westish for mountains. i don't recall anything too difficult though.

do they still drive jeepnees there?
I did it outside the city if you read my OP. The closest mountains outside the city from home are east and that's where I went. The trip back and forth can be made well under 2 hours if the traffic is light

Sadly, the jeepneys are slowly being phased out. They will be replaced with minibuses.
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Old 11-22-20, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I think the OP is saying "if". I know there are riders on here who live in the Colorado uplands where everywhere is either up or down. I've also wondered about what they do for base rides. Ride an MTB with slicks and gear way down? Even that's not the same because of inertial load.
Go slow enough and it becomes very difficult to stay balanced especially going up a steep gradient!

What if just walking the bike up, would that count as "recovery ride"?
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Old 11-22-20, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
You don't have to do recovery rides in a structured training plan. Do they help with recovery? Evidence suggests so, but your body can recover just by not riding at all.

Doing long base miles at endurance zone is another issue, though.
Not riding seems like a good option but if you have to commute daily in such environment too
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Old 11-22-20, 08:53 PM
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I live east of Portland, and though not halfway up a mountain, it is a little challenging to put together a good long steady effort ride. Contrast to when I lived in west Texas, where I had to ride ten miles to find a hill. I'll take the mountains though, because it's not boring af.
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Old 11-22-20, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Not riding seems like a good option but if you have to commute daily in such environment too
Use an e-bike, scooter, moto, car, or move?
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Old 11-23-20, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Use an e-bike, scooter, moto, car, or move?
E-bike sounds like a good idea!
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Old 11-23-20, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Go slow enough and it becomes very difficult to stay balanced especially going up a steep gradient!

What if just walking the bike up, would that count as "recovery ride"?
Shallower hills? In the long run, steady moderate efforts on shallower hills might pay off. In the short run, it feels like much faster progress to go hard all the time. That only works so long, though.
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Old 11-23-20, 03:30 PM
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I have to do about 500 feet of climbing just to get to a flat road that doesn't have stop signs every 2 blocks. I actually kinda like it that way.
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Old 11-23-20, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Shallower hills? In the long run, steady moderate efforts on shallower hills might pay off. In the short run, it feels like much faster progress to go hard all the time. That only works so long, though.
If the place offered that option but one of the nearest mountain neighborhoods I've been frequenting has continuous 15% gradient for 1.2 kilometers! Runners seem to train in that route but no cyclists.
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Old 11-24-20, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Not riding seems like a good option but if you have to commute daily in such environment too
If you have to commute, then it's not training, it's commuting.

You can train while commuting, of course, but the hyper-focus on very specific training isn't practical in certain situations.

Suffice to say, if someone is committed to pure performance, they don't have to worry about riding up mountains on easy days. They either choose a different route, a different locale, or ride on a trainer.

There are sacrifices that must be made in pursuit of athletic achievement. Favorable terrain is one of them.

In any case, riding up hills isn't the issue, in my opinion. You can spin your way up most climbs at 200 watts or even less with appropriate gearing. The real issue is the massive amount of coasting and soft-pedaling you have to do on descents. It's a much bigger problem when you have limited time to train and your two hour rides only contain one hour of actual pedaling...
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Old 11-25-20, 09:35 PM
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For the first year I got back into riding every time I wanted to ride I had to put my bike in the car and drive it to the nearest MUP.

Second year, which is just now finishing up, I was able to start riding on my street and beyond. My current "short loop" is 7 miles long with 850 feet of ascent, my "long loop" is 26 miles with 2900 feet of ascent. Both loops finish the same way with .6 miles downhill to my place after a .7 mile climb of a 160 feet ascent. Either route I'm always happy to get right off the bike once I get to my place, not thinking about a recovery ride which if I want flat I need to head out with bike in car.
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Old 11-25-20, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
For the first year I got back into riding every time I wanted to ride I had to put my bike in the car and drive it to the nearest MUP.

Second year, which is just now finishing up, I was able to start riding on my street and beyond. My current "short loop" is 7 miles long with 850 feet of ascent, my "long loop" is 26 miles with 2900 feet of ascent. Both loops finish the same way with .6 miles downhill to my place after a .7 mile climb of a 160 feet ascent. Either route I'm always happy to get right off the bike once I get to my place, not thinking about a recovery ride which if I want flat I need to head out with bike in car.
I've been using my set of resistance rollers for ~25 years. That's where I do my steady moderate riding. I use them a lot, at least 1000 miles/year. I don't do many recovery rides. I either take the day off or just ride easier. I've found it hard to develop enough aerobic endurance for my needs by riding mostly hills.
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Old 11-26-20, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I've been using my set of resistance rollers for ~25 years. That's where I do my steady moderate riding. I use them a lot, at least 1000 miles/year. I don't do many recovery rides. I either take the day off or just ride easier. I've found it hard to develop enough aerobic endurance for my needs by riding mostly hills.
I'll experiment doing hard climbs everyday or only 3 days/week. Easier rides in between.
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Old 11-26-20, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I'll experiment doing hard climbs everyday or only 3 days/week. Easier rides in between.
Yes. Set up a good experimental protocol. What results will you be looking at?
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Old 11-26-20, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Yes. Set up a good experimental protocol. What results will you be looking at?
I really don't know but I suspect it depends on what the rider wants to accomplish?
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Old 11-26-20, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Yes. Set up a good experimental protocol. What results will you be looking at?
I'm simply looking to get faster on the long and steep climbs. I run out of breath long before my legs burn if I don't pace and push a little harder. I'm thinking if I'm looking to get faster on the steep climbs, I really need to work on my aerobic fitness.

Getting short on breath is the worst feeling and makes you want to get off the the bike and do the embarrasing walk of shame on the way up! Don't know if it's the Covid mask (which is mandatory under the law without any exceptions, not even if you're climbing long and steep hills!)

Last edited by cubewheels; 11-26-20 at 07:44 PM.
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