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let me bounce this off of you...
on a simple 10k ride, i tend to get much more winded and tired when my route is entirely flat, than when i ride any sort of hills. i *think* it's got to do with the recovery period that i get after going up the hill, so i can coast down...whereas, on a flat road, i'm constantly pedaling.

anybody else experience this?
 

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old_fuji said:
let me bounce this off of you...
on a simple 10k ride, i tend to get much more winded and tired when my route is entirely flat, than when i ride any sort of hills. i *think* it's got to do with the recovery period that i get after going up the hill, so i can coast down...whereas, on a flat road, i'm constantly pedaling.

anybody else experience this?
Only if you're doing it wrong ;-)

The key phrase is "so I can coast down." Just because you "can" coast doesn't mean you "must" (or that you "should").

You can work as hard as you want on any ride, but you can work hardest on a hilly ride. How fast are you going downhill when you let it coast? A rider who's trying to get a workout will go hard up the hill, and then keep pedaling downhill, clicking up through the gears, until he's in the highest gear and spinning too fast to produce power and be stable. It takes a pretty long and steep downhill to get spun out that way (and you'll be going fast, but that's fun, right?).

As Greg Lemond famously said about the effects of training, "It doesn't get any easier; you just go faster."

BTW, this is another reason some of us like to ride those fixed-gear bikes sometimes.
 

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+ 1. Living in Florida we don't have too many hills on the coast. It is flat so there is a lot of constant peddling. My wife loves to go to the central part of the state because of the hills and she like you like to "take a break" on the downhills. She usually will come back from a ride very refreshed that way.
 

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Hills are FLATS that go UP.

Many people do as you have and coast down hills allowing themselves to catch their breath. This sounds like a good idea but you also do not go as fast as if you were pedaling. The most important part is that you will not
dispose of the lactate acid build up in your legs, that will be accomplished by the constant spinning on the down side.

My guess in anycase ids that you are NOT in the correct gear in the flats.
You are either working too large a gear and getting sore from that.
OR
Too easy a gear and spinning too much.

Just my 2 cents

rob
 

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TeamCholent said:
Hills are FLATS that go UP.

Many people do as you have and coast down hills allowing themselves to catch their breath. This sounds like a good idea but you also do not go as fast as if you were pedaling. The most important part is that you will not
dispose of the lactate acid build up in your legs, that will be accomplished by the constant spinning on the down side.

My guess in anycase ids that you are NOT in the correct gear in the flats.
You are either working too large a gear and getting sore from that.
OR
Too easy a gear and spinning too much.

Just my 2 cents

rob
Big +1 to this... If you are coasting on the downhill then your assessment is not really fair.
 

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To me - a middle aged, fairly weak rider - hilly rides are much more fun and interesting than flat rides. Flat rides are dead boring. Hills are enjoyable going up once you figure out what your own ability and pace are so you don't kill yourself (unless that is some training goal; I'm talking about recreational and fitness riding). Then you have the fun and recovery of going downhill.

Flat rides are just a grind with no variation and no recovery and you're fighting wind resistance all the time. You just keep plugging away and I find it more tiring physically and mentally (probably mostly mentally).

With hills, you're not fighting the air nearly as much going uphill (because you're going slower) and who cares when you're going downhill? You just tuck in and go as fast as you can or feel comfortable going. They only time I enjoy flat rides is if I'm with 2 or 3 buddies and we do pacelines. Otherwise I much prefer hills.
 

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old_fuji said:
let me bounce this off of you...
on a simple 10k ride, i tend to get much more winded and tired when my route is entirely flat, than when i ride any sort of hills. i *think* it's got to do with the recovery period that i get after going up the hill, so i can coast down...whereas, on a flat road, i'm constantly pedaling.

anybody else experience this?
You are getting more winded because you are working harder. You can work harder on the hills if you choose to, or you can work harder on the flats. Your choice.
 

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Hills are harder.
 

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+1 for hills are harder. I live at the northern most point of the Central Valley in California - actually in the foothills. Some of my longer rides take me south into the valley and find those faster, but not as challenging as the routes that go north/west/east into the mountains and CLIMB. Same thing with the centuries I've done - I'm much more tired/worn after a big climbing route, as opposed to a flat course. YMMV.
 

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10K, that's only a 6 mile ride - you've just warmed up by the time you're done. I wouldn't draw any conclusions. FWIW, the first few miles of any ride that I do are the least comfortable.
 

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rogerstg said:
10K, that's only a 6 mile ride - you've just warmed up by the time you're done. I wouldn't draw any conclusions. FWIW, the first few miles of any ride that I do are the least comfortable.
i kinda figured that was part of it, actually...that's about all the farther i commute at all, cuz i have no reason to go any further
 

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I think flats are easier, but that's because I'm a big guy, and my power to wind-resistance is much better than my power to weight (which comes into play on hills).

I can go way faster for longer on the flat (even with some wind) than I could ever hope to go on even a moderate hill. Which would you rather do, carry 100 lbs up a ladder, or across the lawn? Even with a stiff headwind, the lawn will be easier.

But as you get lighter, these ratios change a bit. Your wind resistance won't go down much as weight goes down, so comparatively speaking, hills will start to get easier, but after a point, flats or headwinds don't get any easier.

Overall, though, I prefer ride with a nice mix of flats and hills. Because while I'm not built for climbing, I climb better than you'd expect, and it's fun to throw people for a loop. But I also love to take advantage of my power and pull the group along on the flats.
 

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I know if I lived on FL my average speed would be more like 22mph instead of ~17 here in PA. Hills are definitely harder.
 

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I dunno...

jsedlak said:
Big +1 to this... If you are coasting on the downhill then your assessment is not really fair.
...my going down hills rule of thumb is "If I'm going 20 mph or more and I don't need to pedal, then don't pedal, recover." As a non-lightweight, hills are like intervals to me...work my butt off to get over the top, then glide down the other side. If you've got a rolling descent, then yeah, you hammer across the flats or if you have some slight rollers to get over. Other than that, just get into a tuck and glide.

The intervals thing is kind of interesting, because it is, IMHO, one of the big differences between biking and running. In running, you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, otherwise you stop. On a bike, gravity is your friend going downhill...no pedaling required! On the other hand, even on the flats, a steady state pedaling style isn't always the answer. If you're in a paceline, you're always doing intervals. Even if you're by yourself, I've found that if you vary your effort, you usually get there faster...
 

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20 mph?

SkiRacer55 said:
...my going down hills rule of thumb is "If I'm going 20 mph or more and I don't need to pedal, then don't pedal, recover." As a non-lightweight, hills are like intervals to me...work my butt off to get over the top, then glide down the other side. If you've got a rolling descent, then yeah, you hammer across the flats or if you have some slight rollers to get over. Other than that, just get into a tuck and glide.

The intervals thing is kind of interesting, because it is, IMHO, one of the big differences between biking and running. In running, you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, otherwise you stop. On a bike, gravity is your friend going downhill...no pedaling required! On the other hand, even on the flats, a steady state pedaling style isn't always the answer. If you're in a paceline, you're always doing intervals. Even if you're by yourself, I've found that if you vary your effort, you usually get there faster...
I'm with you on the "hills are natural intervals" thing, but 20? What's the point of all those cogs smaller than 19 if you're not going to pedal down some hills? I don't "get into a tuck and glide" until I'm near spinning out my tallest gear, which doesn't happen until somewhere closer to 35 mph.
 

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Good point...

JCavilia said:
I'm with you on the "hills are natural intervals" thing, but 20? What's the point of all those cogs smaller than 19 if you're not going to pedal down some hills? I don't "get into a tuck and glide" until I'm near spinning out my tallest gear, which doesn't happen until somewhere closer to 35 mph.
...there's nothing magic about it. Notice that I said "20 or more". In most cases, it is more, and I'm with you...I'll wind up until I can't spin any more. I especially like the idea of getting up a full head of steam if the descent is shortly to be followed by yet another uphil. On the other hand, I have a couple of rides I do where there's a long, gentle descent where I'm running around 20 or 22 most of the way, without pedaling, for two or three miles. So in that terrain, I don't pedal....
 

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I am with you on that since I too am a big guy.

I also don't like descending fast- there isn't a need to risk something happening because I don't have time to react.
 

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Amen, brother...

jsedlak said:
I am with you on that since I too am a big guy.

I also don't like descending fast- there isn't a need to risk something happening because I don't have time to react.
...the "descending fast" thing is kind of interesting. My winter time sport is Masters Alpine ski racing, where I've been clocked in downhill at 74 mph. I've also crashed going that fast, as in last weekend, I went through the finish area fence in a race. Scary stuff, but I'd still rather slide on snow than take a trip to McDonald's, which is what happens when you come unglued from a bike. Fastest I've ever been on a bike was 54 mph on Sims Ave. past the Arapahoe County Airport in Colorado...all by myself, no crosswinds, no cars...and that experience, which scared the living you know what out of me, is not something I'll probably repeat any time soon...
 

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Mr. Versatile said:
Hills are harder.
only UP


I would also like to mention to the OP....that 10K isn't even warmed up yet, personally it takes me 20 to get in the groove...
 
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