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  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
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    164

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    So wait, aren't you supposed to pull up on the hoods a little bit as you're doing a standing climb? I wouldn't say I have a death grip on the hoods or anything, I feel relaxed, but I think pulling up a little is just part of my natural standing climb. I guess maybe I should practice a standing climb without pulling up?

    I don't think I can shift up on this hill as I stand. I know that typically people do that but this hill is so steep (this little bit may be more than 15%, who knows) that I'm out of gears even as I'm standing -- if I weren't, then I'd be making it up it!!

    I am sure my head is getting in my own way, especially now that I've tried it and failed to make it up a good half-dozen times.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,815
    Yes - your head is getting in the way . Definitely try to NOT pull up on the hoods or bars as you stand. You also want to be sure that you have your weight forward - this will help to prevent the front wheel from lifting (in MTB, we call this "boobs to the tube" ). You CAN do this! You WILL conquer that darned hill!

    Last week, I was climbing gravel/dirt road with a 13+% grade. I stayed seated the entire time, hands on the TOPS of my bars (the flat spot between the hoods and your stem) with a very relaxed grip. I was pedaling literally at about 2 mph. I didn't fall over, and I made it to the top! Focus on turning your pedals in a circle and staying loosed on the bike. You'll be amazed at what you can do.

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    575
    What SheFly said. "Boobs to the tube" not only helps keep your front wheel down, it generates extra power in your legs to help you get up the hill. I am primarily a mountain biker and the steeper the hill gets, the lower I get my chest. I can vouch for the fact that it's possible to stay upright at even less than 2 mph.
    LORI
    Pivot Mach 4 / WTB
    Updated Vintage Terry Symmetry / Bontrager InForm RL WSD

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    +1 on weight forward. You can do it!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    164
    Boobs to the tube, I love it!

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    93
    Sunday is the ride with my never-made-it hill. I remember it as about 4 miles, although it may be less than that. It starts deceptively in that it looks almost flat and just gets steeper as it goes. The last couple of hundred feet are the killer -- it hits 15 percent at the top.

    After reading everything here, I am seriously thinking of switching bikes to the one with the lowest gear and leaving the road bike at home. I will be slower on the rest of the ride, but I might just make the hill.
    Last edited by Boudicca; 07-16-2013 at 12:07 PM.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    I do not shift to a harder gear when I stand up. I only stand up for short, steep hills. (Or on flats or slight downhills if I want to stretch out, in which case I'm coasting.)

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    perpetual traveler
    Posts
    1,267
    Quote Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
    Sunday is the ride with my never-made-it hill. I remember it as about 4 miles, although it may be less than that. It starts deceptively in that it looks almost flat and just gets steeper as it goes. The last couple of hundred feet are the killer -- it hits 15 percent at the top.

    After reading everything here, I am seriously thinking of switching bikes to the one with the lowest gear and leaving the road bike at home. I will be slower on the rest of the ride, but I might just make the hill.
    Maybe this doesn't make sense for you, but can you stop half way up and rest a bit? I did a long hill yesterday in the heat, also about 4 miles. I stopped half way and called my spouse to give him a report. It helped me gather energy for the rest of the climb.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  9. #39
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Soquel, CA
    Posts
    192
    Quote Originally Posted by fallstoclimb View Post
    Update on this:

    We tried to put a 28 on my bike, only to find out my derailleur couldn't handle it. Settled for a 26 instead. I headed out yesterday to try the hill again, although I wasn't super confident because it was about the hottest day of the year. Started up it fine in my easiest gear, until I hit the part where I always have trouble. I was doing a sharp little zig zag with every pedal stroke, and then I briefly stood. Now I'm not sure if this hpapened when I was sitting or standing -- DH says I must've been standing -- but the front wheel started leaving the ground, which is when I freaked out and unclipped.

    Gahhh this GD hill. The section I can't handle is only like, 20 feet long, and its not like this hill is even part of my daily route but its so close to my house and it is killing me! Anyway, does the fact that my tire was hopping off the ground change anything technique-wise that might help me?
    Well, I don't think it is you. 15% grade is very steep. You might be able to train up to it, but if all it does is give you frustration, why don't you fix your bike? I live in an area with many mountains and sometimes they reach that grade. I finally put an 11-36 rear cassette and a mountain bike derailleur (you need one of those for the big cassette) on my Specialized Ruby (50-34 compact on the front). The bike shops don't recommend this, but it works fine. I almost never use the 36 except on a steep grade like you describe. Then I am glad I have it. I am 61. It felt great to be able to get up the hills that I used to have to walk (or stop and rest). I just sit and go up. I am so much happier with my bike now.
    2007 Ruby Comp/Specialized Dolce
    2004 Bike Friday Crusoe/Specialized Dolce

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Stillwater, NJ
    Posts
    21
    I have 2 of those "I'm gonna beat this hill if I have to die trying" hills that I have been avoiding because I have had to walk them every time. Just like Jessie, I get to a certain point and just can't go on any longer. Think I'll incorporate the advice I've been reading into my ride tomorrow and include those hills.

    Just to add something to the topic, no one has mentioned breathing. I know it sounds obvious and maybe you are already doing this, but I find that incorporating "belly breathing" really has helped me with my hill climbing. It keeps me focused and gives me more power.

    Rosanna
    It never gets easier, you just go faster. ~ Greg LeMond

    Trek Neko S
    Lemond Reno

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    93
    They changed the route on my weekend ride. Killer hill is gone from the route I took. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.

    There were plenty of other hills, of course, most of which went fine, although they are almost as steep as killer hill. But there's one particularly nasty section that sneaks up on you after a sweet downhill, and I just didn't gear down far enough. Faced with the probability that I would fall over if I continued to try to power up it in a high gear of the middle chainring, I got off and pushed.

    I now remember doing that on the exact same section of hill on a previous ride. Got to know my routes better.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    208
    Glad you mentioned the importance of breathing. Just remember that your lungs can only intake the same volume that you just exhaled. So the trick is to focus on exhaling completely and forcefully - your lungs will automatically take care of the subsequent inhalation.
    JEAN

    2011 Specialized Ruby Elite - carbon fiber go-fast bike
    DiamondBack Expert - steel road bike
    Klein Pinnacle - classic no-suspension aluminum MTB

  13. #43
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    164
    You guys, I DID IT!!! I'm not even sure what I changed -- except the weather was on the cool side, for once -- I just kept my head down, I think I slid my butt back (quickly aborted my effort to stand, as I waited until it was too steep to get up), and just kept cranking -- and then looked up and I had somehow passed the impossible spot! I'm not sure if I'll be able to replicate the success every time, but at least now I know I CAN do it. Thanks for all the support!!

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    329
    Quote Originally Posted by fallstoclimb View Post
    You guys, I DID IT!!! I'm not even sure what I changed -- except the weather was on the cool side, for once -- I just kept my head down, I think I slid my butt back (quickly aborted my effort to stand, as I waited until it was too steep to get up), and just kept cranking -- and then looked up and I had somehow passed the impossible spot! I'm not sure if I'll be able to replicate the success every time, but at least now I know I CAN do it. Thanks for all the support!!
    Congratulations! Super feeling! and you will be able to keep doing it now that you have (:

  15. #45
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,815
    Quote Originally Posted by fallstoclimb View Post
    You guys, I DID IT!!! I'm not even sure what I changed -- except the weather was on the cool side, for once -- I just kept my head down, I think I slid my butt back (quickly aborted my effort to stand, as I waited until it was too steep to get up), and just kept cranking -- and then looked up and I had somehow passed the impossible spot! I'm not sure if I'll be able to replicate the success every time, but at least now I know I CAN do it. Thanks for all the support!!
    Woohoo! I knew you could.One teensy observation - slide your butt FORWARD instead of back. This helps keep the pressure on your front tire.

    Congrats, and now you will be able to conquer again!

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

 

 

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