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Knackered at hilltops

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Knackered at hilltops

Old 07-08-20, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
There is a bit of "getting used to climbing" that isn't just about fitness. But it is easier, the fitter you are. Also, as the others have suggested, it's really not something that can be replicated by any means other than just "Ride up hills."

Here's an article I just read recently about Edwig van Hooydonck, the Belgian cyclist who won the Tour of Flanders twice by, well;

In the winter of 1988, Van Hooydonck devised an austere training routine. He would drive to the Geraardsbergen house of Superconfex directeur sportif Hilaire Van der Schueren and do five laps of the Muur-Bosberg race finale. It was akin to a footballer practising a swerving free kick a hundred times on the training ground. It meant that he knew every cobble by rote and that these bergs held no fear. On the morning of the Ronde, Van Hooydonck felt terrible. It was a blessing in disguise. “Normally when you feel good, you do stupid things, you attack. I was waiting. Then after 120 kilometres, the cold and rain started. I felt I was going better and better with every kilometre.”

He slipped into a sodden leading group of seven before the Muur. “I wanted to attack there, but Jan Raas told me ‘wait till the Bosberg.’ Going up the Muur felt easy, I was climbing it at 80 per cent. So while the other riders were hurting, I had everything under control.”

He joined up with Dag Otto Lauritzen (7-Eleven) and the pair held a marginal lead onto the race’s final test, the Bosberg. His training kicked in; he had memorised the telegraph pole from which he could attack and keep his speed till the top. Face splattered with dirt, Van Hooydonck raced away through the murk, thrashing the pedals, his head bobbing around like Paula Radcliffe’s. The long-limbed Belgian was no stylist, but it had the desired effect.

Gawddamn that story is inspirational.
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Old 07-08-20, 10:15 PM
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^Yes. If I'm really going for it, I'll pick up a higher pace in the last third. It's possible to ride harder than you think you can by getting yourself excited about it. Then maybe 5-10 minutes before the top really go for it. It's possible to hold a very hard pace for about that long if you're well-trained. Then come up and sprint over the top and the very beginning of the descent. If you can't do this, you went too hard in the lower section. That was for a long climb. For a short, say 15' climb, just go hard. If you start to pant, ease off to just below panting and hold that pace until almost to the top, then pick it up into panting as you go over. It takes practice to be able to do this, and by practicing, you'll get stronger, so it all works out. Main thing is not to underestimate yourself. Most folks have no idea how hard they can really go.

On a really long climb on a long ride, I don't do any of that. I just pick the hardest pace I can hold and just do that, not burning any matches. That's the fastest. If one has seemingly unlimited riding to do and limited resources, it's all about conservation.

OTOH, if you're with a group, the first object is to stay with them. If you think you're stronger than they are, go ahead and attack, see who answers. Or not. If you think you're weaker, just hang on for dear life. If you get dropped, accelerate near the top, go over at top speed and just hold the effort. They'll almost always back it way off on the descent so if you keep hammering, you have a good chance of getting them back, which is worth the effort in the long run.
Results matter
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Old 07-09-20, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Climb, descend, repeat.
Three times a week or more.
Or just climb it a little more slowly

I am not being entirely facetious. Improving your fitness will help you climb faster and also recover faster from the hard efforts. Metering out your energy will leave you enough in the gas tank so that you can keep chugging away even after getting to the top, and not need to recover
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Old 07-09-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Ive survived a lot of climbs using this technique.

Unfortunately, the longer the climb the less well it works.
After the longer climbs I need to chase hard to get back on. Or they wait for me, which is good too.
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Old 07-09-20, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
After the longer climbs I need to chase hard to get back on. Or they wait for me, which is good too.
Right, and they're all rested as you roll up all worn out, and they say, "Okay! Let's go!" and you don't get any rest.

Of course if you're REAL slow, when you get to the top their legs are all stiff from the wait....
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Old 07-09-20, 08:37 PM
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So in reading this it got me wondering what it a big climb and what is not. A mile long, ten miles? Or something in between? And what of the grade?

A hill that used to beat me up, one that I needed to take about three tests on the way up, has become my favorite. I know everything about this climb now. It is my go to hill when I feel the need. The descent is what drives me up, so fun on the way down.
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Old 07-10-20, 08:23 AM
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spelger A hard climb is subjective for the very things you listed. And also what's hard for me might be a blip for someone else.

Even in professional cycling where climbs are categorized there is a certain amount of subjective judgement involved in some of the stuff that determines their rating.
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Old 07-10-20, 01:58 PM
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And the same climb can have different categorizations on different years or different crossings. Hillclimb cats are arbitrary.
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Old 07-10-20, 07:08 PM
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arbitrary because someone got out of the left side of the bed instead of the right side, or arbitrary because of a course change?

also, not sure what you eman by "different crossings"
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Old 07-11-20, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
arbitrary because someone got out of the left side of the bed instead of the right side, or arbitrary because of a course change?

also, not sure what you eman by "different crossings"
What comes before or after the climb. Maybe one time you ride the flat course up to the climb. Another time, you two big climbs before you get to that particular climb.
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