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Climb every mountain....

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Cathryn, 29 Sep 2007.

  1. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Oh my word. I was just playing around on bikely.com and plotted in one day of next year's proposed tour through Europe. On one day, we climb the Arlberg Pass which is 1.4 km up!!! We then plotted our biggest ever day's climbing in Spain, and it was 800m and we were like dead dogs at the end!!

    Rationally I know that a) we're in better shape now and will be training hard come the Spring, :biggrin: we both own better bikes with triple chainsets instead of entry level hybrids, c) it won't be half as hot as the sweltering day in Spain but looking at the elevation profile I'm wetting myself with a year to go!!!

    How on Earth will we get up the Arlberg? Has anyone got any mountain climbing expertise to share with two rookie tourers??
     
  2. redfox

    redfox New Member

    Location:
    Bourne End, UK
    For these reasons alone you will probably be fine!

    It may even prove to be easier than you imagine, simply because you will be dreading it! I usually find the smaller climbs that I ignored while planning the route to be the worst when touring.
     
  3. andrew_s

    andrew_s Veteran

    Location:
    Gloucester
    according to this site, it's only either 1000m or 1200m of climbing, depending which side, and you've 30-odd km to do it in. There, easier already :biggrin:

    Alpine passes are about finding a level of effort that you can keep up for a long period (3 hours or more) without having to rest. Generally, at the right level of effort, you should be able to hold a conversation, but in short phrases only.

    It's difficult to find anywhere to either practise, or calibrate your perception of effort, in the UK. A turbo trainer would work, but is far too tedious. You could look at going for a long flat ride into a headwind (weather permitting), or even trying something different like walking up a decent size mountain. A steady non-stop plod up Snowdon from one of the lower starts would be about right. OK, it's not cycling, but it is important to get used to sustained non-stop work, and it's difficult to do that cycling in England unless you go pretty fast.
     
  4. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Oooh, I like your site...I'm going from Bludenz so it's 1200m but yep, that's 200 metres done without even leaving England. A doddle, this mountain!!

    We do quite a lot of walking and we'll be doing quite a lot of running over winter (I run when it's too dark and cold to cycle) so maybe we'll surprise ourselves. But thanks for the advice. I have to admit, even though it's just under a year away, I'm already quite looking forward to tackling it!!!
     
  5. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Andrew, that site is FANTASTIC!!! Feeling a whole lot happier...the gradient on the Arlberg is roughly the same as Hartside in Cumbria which I did happily enough a month ago - although it's four times as long!! But now I'm scared of the Brunig pass which we're doing the week before Arlberg :biggrin:

    Great site though, thanks!! Off to do some more climbs.
     
  6. john59

    john59 Guru

    Location:
    Wirral
  7. bof

    bof Senior member. Oi! Less of the senior please

    Location:
    The world
    An awful lot of the stuff on the web about climbing in mountains is by and for people doing sportives and the like where there is a time limit. If you're just touring, stop lots to look at view or at any caffs - with low gears and lots of time most of the passes ar'n't too bad.
     
  8. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    That's more me. I can't find any websites that tell me if any of our climbs have cafes at the top ;) I shall stop 'for photos' or to wait for my husband (haha) as many times as needed.
     
  9. John Ponting

    John Ponting Über Member

    Location:
    Herts