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Unsuspecting you ever dragged into a hard climbfest ride? What happened?

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Unsuspecting you ever dragged into a hard climbfest ride? What happened?

Old 06-24-20, 01:42 AM
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ooga-booga
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Unsuspecting you ever dragged into a hard climbfest ride? What happened?

anyone ever get dragged/guilted/suckered into an "easy" ride that ended up being a ridiculous climbfest? how's you do?
destroyed? destroyer? failed friendship(s)? call of shame? held your own? tell your stories.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 06-24-20 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 06-24-20, 01:46 AM
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Yup.

Being the old dude in a younger group, the result was predictable.

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Old 06-24-20, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
anyone ever get dragged/guilted/suckered into an "easy" ride that ended up being a ridiculous climbfest?
What does "climbfest" have to do with how hard a ride is?
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Old 06-24-20, 04:36 AM
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Years ago 3 cycling friends and I decided to do a 5 day self-supported, credit card style touring ride, from Waynesboro VA to Williamsport VA. None of us were racers or high mileage cyclists, but the guy who was in the best shape planned the route. I had done some bike touring, the rest none. The guy who had done the least amount of biking was the kind of guy who is always the most prepared, carries the most stuff.

The first day included a climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Looking now at the Strava segment, it was just over 3 miles and only 3% average grade, but: (1) there are several stretches of 15 - 20%; (2) we were on loading hybrid bikes; and (3) this was 25 years ago, I'm sure erosion has lowered the average grade since we did it...

About halfway up, the least mileage/most prepared guy released why he didn't really need a spare cell phone charger, a pint bottle of chamois cream, a candleabra, piano music book, etc... Took a while for him to reach the top - the next day at a local post office he shipped home nearly half of what he had been carrying.

On that Strava segment, the KOM averaged just under 20 mph - that was our downhill speed getting off of the BRP. I'd guess we averaged 5-6 mph going up that climb while moving...
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Old 06-24-20, 05:13 AM
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A regular occurrence in my weekend group.It started years ago as mostly social group but has gotten more intense as some guys have gotten into racing and training to hit personal goals at endurance events. Participation has dwindled..one original member who has since dropped out once famously said about the regularity of his being dropped during unexpectedly intense rides, “I can go for a ride by myself anytime I want”. Periodically the race/training set lament the dwindling numbers and put a call out for a more relaxed social ride to encourage more particpants. Its always a lie. The rides start sedately enough but the competitive juices get flowing and invariably hammers are dropped. I have always been a middle of the pack kinda guy so often could hang on or would serve as kind of a bridge between the lead group and trailers, but I have been riding mostly solo during COVID and am finding I don’t really miss the group.
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Old 06-24-20, 05:53 AM
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Did the Monte Zoncolan last summer in July at 1PM on a crazy hot day. Had to stop on the side of the road the first time I did because I tried to keep 90rpm leg speed, strictly impossible.

averaging 20% over 2 miles

a total climb of 8 miles with average 13.6%

Did it the second day in 1h05mins

since I came back from Italy, everything is flat
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Old 06-24-20, 06:42 AM
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My idea of a "hard climbfest" is what others would likely call the hill to get off their driveway.

A friend and I were on a ride in Atlanta just checking things out. Hit a hill over by West End/the cemetery that caught both of us quite by surprise. We tried like heck to get up it and thought it ended at a curve...we walked from the curve up...

Another time we were on a big group ride. One of the group leaders is a racer/rider on the side and just for "fun" he opted to lead the ride over the hilliest route he knew to break the group up some. A great bunch of us got dropped, so we just created our own ride as we found MARTA and other of our own ways home.
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Old 06-24-20, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
What does "climbfest" have to do with how hard a ride is?
Oh...just about everything.
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Old 06-24-20, 10:11 AM
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I think for more "all together" rides, hills aren't the best to have a good time together. It could be, if you're similar skill and weight and choose to stay together to chat and have a good time. Especially if some folks are better at flats and some at hills. I'd keep it on average 40 feet gain per mile or less. Meaning, 800 feet or less for 20 miles. Seems reasonable.

Now, I will say, I don't like it when supposed "A" group rides wind up being complaint fests and moaning about hills when the route has less than 60 feet per mile elevation on average. Grow up. It's the "A" group. Sure, it might be a group effort for the most part but it's not a cafe' nose breathing cruise either.

We get lots of complainers about hills and the pace up them in that group. I've recently abandoned it. It's perfectly fine the makeup of the group, so I'll just part ways. They're mostly super high mileage zone 1 riders who can't be bothered to lay off the microbrew and make it up a hill. Microbrew is great, but that and too much food truck after the rides means hills are tougher. Enjoy the B group instead.

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Old 06-24-20, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
What does "climbfest" have to do with how hard a ride is?
you ignored the adverb
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Old 06-24-20, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
A regular occurrence in my weekend group.It started years ago as mostly social group but has gotten more intense as some guys have gotten into racing and training to hit personal goals at endurance events. Participation has dwindled..one original member who has since dropped out once famously said about the regularity of his being dropped during unexpectedly intense rides, I can go for a ride by myself anytime I want. Periodically the race/training set lament the dwindling numbers and put a call out for a more relaxed social ride to encourage more particpants. Its always a lie. The rides start sedately enough but the competitive juices get flowing and invariably hammers are dropped. I have always been a middle of the pack kinda guy so often could hang on or would serve as kind of a bridge between the lead group and trailers, but I have been riding mostly solo during COVID and am finding I dont really miss the group.
I think this is really common among long-term group rides. I've been with the same group since 1995. There are always changes, especially as riders age. Some never give up and stay with it, some say, "that's enough of that crap for me" and drop out. We have created different sub-groups and differing ride goals to try to keep people coming out. It's a social thing and we miss those who drop out. The critical element has been that we start from somewhere near a tavern and after the ride everyone comes in and has a beer and some eats. Those who don't come in don't become long-term group members.

When I started with the group, I was off the back pretty much every ride, but I got better and wound up leading the fast group. I aged out of that and started tandeming with my wife, eventually coming back to the group rides with our tandem and riding with one of the slower groups. The way to have more moderate rides is to split the group and have ride leaders for each sub-group. We often have 3 groups, sometimes on the same route, sometimes with route variations. Doing that, it's possible to have stay-together rides without frustrating anyone. The stronger riders just lead more and try to set a pace that won't make them wait too much.

Since Covid, no group rides, but we have been posting our solo rides, partly to stay in contact and partly to tell others where the Covid Alleys are and what's open and a safe place to refuel. It looks like it'll be a long time before there's group rides again. Traffic volumes are pretty much back to pre-Covid levels, i.e. we are experiencing a surge, just like a lot of states, and there's no way to get a clean bill of health.
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Old 06-24-20, 07:32 PM
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Six notches, including the dirt road over Jefferson, and about 100 mi in the Whites with a bunch of Cat Is and IIs, back in the early 80s. They were kind enough to take turns seat-slinging me at the end.
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Old 06-24-20, 07:38 PM
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To the OP's question, yes. We once showed up for a club ride billed as Moderate, 14-15 mph. We were a bit shocked to see a group of youngers, all on carbon or Ti bikes with race wheels. They dropped us on the first hill and we never saw them again. OTOH, we never saw the sweep who'd started behind us either, so I guess we did OK. We liked the route and had a fine ride, nothing wrong with that, but it wasn't what we'd hoped for. That winter we eventually found a club ride leader who actually led Moderate. We were able to stay with that group. This was during a period when we were training on the tandem, trying to get strong enough to be able to rejoin the group I rode with on my single, which we did, sort of, as above. My wife found to no great surprise I guess, that all my riding friends also became her riding friends. She gets a lot of respect for showing up and riding her ass off, just like everyone else.
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Old 06-24-20, 07:43 PM
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Does doing it to yourself count? Google Maps is 2D, and reality seems to prefer up-and-down.
I once made a left instead of a right one afternoon "just to see what was over there," and doubled the day's elevation gain in like 4 miles-- about 30 miles from home.
I'd never laid eyes on Torrey Pines before, and hit the base of at at mile 140 of a 157 mile journey of nonsense.
Rather than driving out to Glendora to do GMR, I rode 40 miles out there, climbed 6,500ft, then rode 40 miles home. On the 4th of July.

I do not make good decisions.
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Old 06-24-20, 07:49 PM
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I'm usually "that guy" . The one that perpetrates the crime.

Normally it's after one of my teammates crushes me on a flat ride, and he starts chirping about how I wheelsucked all day long.
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Old 06-24-20, 08:57 PM
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When the usual fast group advertises an easy recovery ride, it never is easy.

When the usual group is joined by a couple of fast guys, it never is easy.

#nevertrustcyclist
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Old 06-25-20, 03:03 AM
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I am a part of a Whatsapp group of cyclists that ride in my neck of the woods - a bunch of recreational riders, a bunch of long distance types and a bunch of racers. Here, the discipline is actually quite good - there is a hammerfest group and there is an endurance group, and the latter actually does ride at endurance pace, with regular re-group points. Only in the last 15km or so on the way back does the leash come off.

Honestly, i tihnk it is a massively dick move to position something as a social/no-drop/endurance ride and then make it a hammerfest. It's barely a step up from "Cat 6" racing against a stranger you just saw on the road. Save it for races or, if you want to go fast, plan accordingly

Our team group rides may have someone going "ok guys, easy Z2 tomorrow, get some volume in" but it is a given that 5 min into it, someone's legs would have fallen off, another person would be trying to find pieces of his soul and yet someone else would be looking for brake rub. I is just a given that the weekend group rides are sufferfests and everyone who joins comes in with the understanding that there is no mercy. And that's fine.

But if you are doing a social/easy ride, keep it a social/easy ride.
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Old 06-25-20, 05:59 AM
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38 years ago I was asked to join in on a ride that was easy. On unfamiliar roads we started a climb and in short order the group was out of my sight. The minutes of separation seemed like an eternity and the thought of being lost was setting in when I came to a fork in the road. I went left and 5 minutes later was relieved to see everybody chill'n out at a gas station. "WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG" was the question with "I don't climb too well" being the answer and the rest of the ride some one would stay back. Ego deflated I decided that being dropped was not an option so with training and time I became the one making the top-turning around-descending behind everybody and climbing up with the last rider.
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Old 06-30-20, 10:14 PM
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5 years ago the wife and I went on a group ride with some friends. It was organized by more experienced / enthusiastic cyclists so we were apprehensive about being able to keep up. We were reassured that it was 'mostly flat' with some 'gentle, rolling hills'.

'Gentle, rolling hills' translated to 'Enjoy 300 feet of elevation gain in 7/10ths of a mile'. They kept having to wait for us on the climbs.

We made the best of it and had fun anyways. Well, except for the parts where we were almost barfing.
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Old 07-01-20, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
What does "climbfest" have to do with how hard a ride is?
Exactly.
It is only hard if you have to do them fast.
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Old 07-01-20, 03:23 AM
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^yah...cause no one ever struggles up a ohwheredidthisrandomhillcomefrom at 7% or more, regardless of pace and/or placement in said hard climbfest ride...
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Old 07-01-20, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
^yah...cause no one ever struggles up a ohwheredidthisrandomhillcomefrom at 7% or more, regardless of pace and/or placement in said hard climbfest ride...
If they're struggling to ride up a 7% paved road regardless of pace, and they ride in area where 7% hills aren't exceedingly uncommon, then they have a serious problem with their bicycle setup.

(And yes, I'm saying that a very large fraction of people on road bikes have a serious problem with their bicycle setup.)
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Old 07-01-20, 04:20 AM
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good to know you haven't had an/any issue(s) cresting a 7%+ paved hill regardless of pace on a hilly ride. impressive. david essex cat 1+ rock on. happy trails & riding/climbing.

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Old 07-01-20, 07:21 AM
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After reading the above posts, it just confirms riding solo is the way to go for me. At 57 y/o 205 lbs in fair shape, I am not keeping up with the young'ins and I like to define my own pace, courses, climbs and rest stops. It just makes for a more enjoyable experience for me. Not that I do not like some company on occasion, there will always be some tension regarding falling behind or having to wait or double back.
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Old 07-01-20, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
Exactly.
It is only hard if you have to do them fast.
Sure, that's why absolutely everyone heads up Hwy.38 to Onyx Summit. Heck, that road only averages ~5%, and the climb is barely 20 miles long. Anyone can just bang that out. The fun begins above 7,500ft anyway.

What constitutes a "climbfest" varies from person to person. I can't do Onyx at any kind of impressive speed, but I'll get there-- and it is hard. Really hard. Climbing 8,000ft in 40 miles hurts (I can see the mountain outside my window right now,) no matter who you are or how fast you do it.
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