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Discussion: easy uphills

in: PG; PG > 2016-09-12

Sep 12, 2016 9:24 PM # 
I think that is where the electric motor comes in. A guy on one of the heavier electric bikes went by me on the sustained uphill yesterday. People razzed him a bit, but he went by fast enough that any trash talk didn't last.
Sep 13, 2016 12:26 AM # 
It's psychological. You see a hill and your mind tells you to work harder. Certainly you weren't in your lowest gear on River Rd.
Sep 13, 2016 12:42 AM # 
Instead of trying to keep your pace under 4 minutes per mile and letting your heart rate do whatever it needs to in order to keep it there, shift down to a lower and keep your heart rate down around 130 and let your speed drop off enough to leave it there! Or perhaps admit that for some people, life without some challenges just plain isn't really quite satisfying, and that is why you pick routes with a few hills on them.

I do find it interesting that your favored cadence, as is very typical of riders who transition later in life from running to cycling, is down around 60 rpm, rather than the 90 or 100 that is more typical of people that have taken up cycling in a serious way more in their youth. It is particularly strange since 90 rpm is probably much closer to what runners probably maintain when running, at least when racing in their younger years. My guess would be that the (subconscious) mind may focus more on the force that is being expended than on the turnover rate when running, and that pedaling with lesser force on the pedals just doesn't feel right when transitioning to the bicycle with a different mechanical advantage. I know that in my own case, while I am feeling fresh at the beginning of a ride I can keep the cadence somewhere up near to where accepted opinion thinks it should be, but later in a ride when I am becoming tired, I no longer seem to be able to keep the timing up correctly at a faster cadence and have to back off a bit.
Sep 13, 2016 2:19 AM # 
Regarding cadence -- the data is coming from my GPS watch and not from some gizmo that senses how often the cranks turn. As such, I'd say the numbers are someplace between very bogus and totally bogus. I'll try to remember to get a realistic cadence number next time I'm out (just by counting). My guess would be 80ish??

I've actually been working on two different things going up relatively short hills -- (1) sometimes standing and trying to relax as much as possible (otherwise I croak pretty quickly), seeing if I can just go for longer stretches at whatever pace feels comfortable, and (2) starting with a pretty quick cadence and just dropping as many gears as necessary to keep the cadence up. Not sure either does me any good, or is more or less efficient, but I like to experiment. Makes the ride more fun.

A (hidden) electric motor is probably in my future. :-)
Sep 13, 2016 2:22 AM # 
Watching a few faster bikers pass me on Saturday, it seemed to me that their cadence was pretty much the same as mine, they were just pushing a higher gear.
Sep 13, 2016 2:49 AM # 
Putting an effort in up hills may make them easier in the long run - and makes up for times when you're freewheeling - sort of like running intervals. I try to stay in the large chain ring on all but steep slopes, usually have to stand and really push at some point. Another way is on the steeper hills (in the small CR) to try and stay seated - resist the urge to stand.
Sep 13, 2016 9:35 PM # 
Or perhaps admit that for some people, life without some challenges just plain isn't really quite satisfying, and that is why you pick routes with a few hills on them.

Would readily admit the above. Actually, not just admit it but embrace it. :-)

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