time to quit the hills?

what should i do

  • keep going (remember rule 5)

    Votes: 12 42.9%
  • keep to the flat rides

    Votes: 2 7.1%
  • build up climbing legs more slowly

    Votes: 14 50.0%

  • Total voters
    28
  • Poll closed .

alecstilleyedye

nothing in moderation
Moderator
having been commuting 68km a day pre-covid, i decided to join my local club again to try and get the miles in.

i’ve done 3 hilly club runs, and have been knackered for even the next day after each. i was also constantly getting dropped (although the group always waited atop the climbs). i hadn’t done any sort of climbing in the last 5 years.

i’ve done 1 flat one, where i was able to stay with the group until all bar the last 5km, which i put down to the distance being greater than the commute distance (c80km).

i’m starting to wonder that, as someone who has never been a natural grimpeur, should i, at 50, give up the hills and just keep to the flat rides.

my non-cyclist wife has suggested doing shorter hilly rides instead to build up.

what should i do?
 
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Big John

Veteran
I shouldn't worry about getting dropped by the group or even worry about hills. I switched from running to cycling many years ago (arthritis in right knee) and joined a club. There was only one group back then and it was quick - quicker than I could handle anyway. I'd get home, lie on the kitchen floor and pray for a quick death. Don't believe me? Ask the wife! I had two choices - stick with it and hope I get better or buy a set of woods and play bowls. I'm still riding some 15 years later at the age of 64. If at first you don't succeed, etc,etc. It gets easier, you get so you can keep up (even do a turn on the front!) and you don't look at hills with a stomach wrenching dread. All good. Don't panic 👍
 

Edwardoka

Prolix Maximus
having been commuting 68km a day pre-covid, i decided to join my local club again to try and get the miles in.

i’ve done 3 hilly club runs, and have been knackered for even the next day after each. i was also constantly getting dropped (although the group always waited atop the climbs). i hadn’t done any sort of climbing in the last 5 years.

i’ve done 1 flat one, where i was able to stay with the group until all bar the last 5km, which i put down to the distance being greater than the commute distance (c80km).

i’m starting to wonder that, as someone who has never been a natural grimpeur, should i, at 50, give up the hills and just keep to the flat rides.

my non-cyclist wife has suggested doing shorter hilly rides instead to build up.

what should i do?
Seek out every hill you can. Ride up it. If you fail, that's fine. Walk up it. Next time you'll do better.

It is extremely normal to get dropped on club runs, the only way to get better is to stick at it and keep chasing them.
Before long you won't be the one getting dropped.
 

Johnsop99

Senior Member
Location
Bude, Cornwall
Came back to cycling 8 years ago after a break of 25 years at the age of 52. First steep hill I tried I had to stop about a third of the way up and walk the rest feeling like I was about to die. A few weeks later tried it again and made it to about two thirds of the way up before the same thing happened again. Moving on another few weeks and third time lucky, I made it all the way up without stopping, so my advice would be to keep going, you will get fitter and hills will seem easier. (Okay they won't seem easier but you will get up them faster). Now aged 60 I feel fitter and healthier than at any time since I left school.
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
If you want to get faster on hills - as @Edwardoka says - ride every hill that you can find, the steeper the better. Keep riding up them as often and as hard as you can.

The more you ride them the stronger your legs will become and the faster you will go up them. A good option is to find a hill you can do every day on your commute - even if it means a short detour. I used to do this on my commute - it's amazing how a couple of weeks of hitting as many hills as you can every day makes a significant difference to how you feel riding them and how fast you go.

Plan a route that hits as many hills as you possibly can - I live in a particularly flat area and have to go out of my way looking for hills locally, but if I want to do a longer ride that inevitably means heading into North Wales where there are lots of nasty steep and long hills. If I didn't try to find hills on my daily ride (now that I'm working from home I don't commute) then these rides would be a nightmare.
 

boydj

Guru
Location
Paisley
If you are still commuting, then you need a rest day before the club run, and to find a hill or two to add to your commute.

If not, then you need to be practising/training on hills a couple of times a week. On club runs, be prepared to let them go on the hills. Try to get near the front of the group as you get to the start of the climb, then you can drift back through the group and maybe not be too far back at the top.

There's always got to be someone who's last to the top, so don't feel bad about it.
 

Nomadski

I Like Bikes
Location
LBS, Usually
As others have said, doing the hills makes doing the hills easier. I have a yearly cycle (!) where I get lazy and ignore Rule 5 during the winter, then struggle up the slightest incline in the Spring, get cracking on some decent hills in the Summer and by Autumn am pretty able to get up any hill I want and kind of enjoy it too. Then winter comes and the circle of life continues.
 

Kryton521

Senior Member
Definitely don't give up the hills. Simply switch out your standard chain rings for compact/sub-compact.
Or better still, do as I did, go absoluteBLACK oval sub-compact, [3 years on from knee replacement.] and just switched up to compact and going strong!
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Always ride at your own pace on the climbs. Don't be tempted to 'sprint' the last few yards to catch up with the others. The fitter ones will get to the top first and have the longest rest. The slower riders will get to the top last and have the shortest rest. So ease off as you reach the summit and start recovering.
 
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