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Thread: Hills. I hate them. What Would Dirt Do?

  1. #1
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    Default Hills. I hate them. What Would Dirt Do?

    Week #2- Ain't Dead Yet.
    I received helpful ideas and suggestions about how to deal with the hills I loathe on my commute. I mulled them over. I reread posts on the Bike Forum and pondered. What should I do?

    First, I named them. Naming the hills helped me focus my anger, I blame the hill and not myself. The first bit of evil I named Northface. I have to stare at him from the bottom while I wait for the light at University Drive to turn green. I hate that hill more than I hate okra. The second hill is a tricky bastard, he isn't hard, just a long slog right up until the very end (not unlike first husbands) so I named him Killawomanjaro. The third hill is actually a combination of two hills with a very small separation in between. The second one is more rounded and shaped than the first so I call it, My Best Friend's Boob Job.

    Then I sat and thought. And as I thought I began to formulate the one question that would help me the most. What Would Dirt Do?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    By God, he'd put on his Forever Lazy Suit and stand up to climb.

    And that's exactly what I did.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Note: I found a way to deal with the rain ruining my hair.
    Last edited by acc; 01-27-2012 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Because hills are like white elephants.

  2. #2
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    Love is the answer.... even if it is delusional love. Hills are a wonderful thing and a tough problem to figure out. When do I stand? When do I sit? How fast should I pedal? What gear should I be in? And what about Naomi?

    Standing on the pedals gets you quite a bit more power, but uses up an equally increased amount of energy. When someone really good at it climbs out of the saddle and standing on the pedals, it is a lovely, choreographed dance. When someone is tired or clumsy, it looks like they're wrestling with an amorous orangutan. (Don't ask me how I know what that looks like.) Practice getting out of the saddle on the very slightest of inclines. Work your way up to steeper stuff. As you get comfortable with it, you'll find that you're able to use your whole body to get energy into the pedals and that effort is released in forward motion. Eventually the grace comes. Be patient. Getting out of the saddle on mild inclines feels a little awkward at first. Stick with it. Things get better.

    Where does the love come in? (Yes. I know there are books, magazines and "instructional" movies on such a topic...) When you start to feel the little bit of extra power in the pedals with that climbing technique, you're gonna want more. Naming them gives way to laughing at them. Laughing at them gives way to respecting them. Respecting them gives way to feeling good on them. Feeling good on them leads to seeking them out. Add 7 concussions, alcohol and a serious case of self-medicated schizophrenia, and you'll be working on your OWN version of the Kill Bill Century loop (11,000 feet of climbing in 103 miles inside the Beltway in Virginia.).

    Play games with them. That's a really big one for me. Pretty much anyone I've ever ridden with seriously knows my stupid schtick meant to soften the sting of a hill by telling the group tha there's a Starbucks at the top of the next hill. It stops being funny after the 3rd of 4th hill, gets funny again briefly after the 20th, then makes people want to punch me. Never stops me from saying it. It is sheer brilliance on my part that I actually have a Starbucks at the top of one of the nastier hills near the end of the Kill Bill Century.

    My newer schtick is to tell people that there's really only one climb... even though there are always 20 or more. I know how you love that. That totally serves a purpose. It gets your blood boiling, it focuses your anger on getting to the top so you can kick my butt, and it maybe gets you laughing at the hill. Ultimately I want you to learn that there truly is ONLY One hill on a ride... that hill is the one you're on right now. The next one doesn't matter. Neither does the last one. The one your on is the most important one.

    Hope that helps.

    I'll check back with this.

    Pete

  3. #3
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    Where do I get an amorous orangutan and some alcohol?

    Thank you Dirt.

    ann

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    I did a horribly boring metric century on the utterly flat eastern shore. It was torture. After that, I realized hills provide a nice change of pace. And a chance to coast on the downhill.

    Then I went out and did a really hilly century that left me in all kinds of pain, mentally and physically. After that, the hills on my old regular routes seemed easy.

    The more your ride hills, the easier it gets. Go for some variety. Ride up that nearly vertical one near Nelly Custis Dr in Arlington. Ride up Lorraine Ave in McLean. Just don't forget your inhaler.

  5. #5
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    Also, learn the words to the Foo Fighters' "All My Life." Sing as necessary.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ04WbgI9rg

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    Ride your hills Ann. When you get good at it I have one for you I think Mr Blacknell also knows well.

    It's called Blue Ridge Mountain Road. There's a good reason the FEMA Disaster center is on it I believe

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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    It's called Blue Ridge Mountain Road. There's a good reason the FEMA Disaster center is on it I believe
    Yes - that's a torturous.... I mean great hill ; )

  8. #8
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    Ouch and double ouch.

    And no use surfing Bike Forums for illumination for us mere mortals, they're all Herculean cyclists on that forum.



    Quote Originally Posted by acc View Post
    Week #2- Ain't Dead Yet.


    First, I named them. Naming the hills helped me focus my anger, I blame the hill and not myself... The second hill is a tricky bastard, he isn't hard, just a long slog right up until the very end (not unlike first husbands) so I named him Killawomanjaro.

    .

  9. #9
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    Thanks y'all.

    Like anything else, climbing takes practice... not just the strength side of it, but the technique side too.

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