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· Non non normal
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10,185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a 53 mile ride today in horrid temps and humidity. While climbing a 15 percent grade I almost had to get off and walk the bike. I have never walked a hill but I almost puked going up this thing. Is there shame in walking your bike? What has made you walk yours?
 

· Charismatic Megafauna
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547 Posts
Rarely on road, frequently on MTB.

When it happens on a road ride it's usually because I had to stop and didn't think I could clip back in from where I was. So I walk the bike a bit to somehwere more level. I usually try to ride as much as I can on steep grades even if it means stopping to let my HR recover.

On the MTB, I think it's because after a lot of road riding, my body's not properly trained yet to keep spinning up steep hills without losing momentum. Happy to report that it's becoming less and less frequent.

As far as the "shame" factor, it's not so much that but the thought that "you won't get stronger if you walk it" that comes into play.
 

· Palm trees & sunshine!
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Never! Yes, there *is* shame in walking the hill.

Well, that's my personal take in any case. If I'm struggling I'll stop and catch my breath. Mind you, this usually happens to me on a 2% grade so I can only imagine what 15% would do to me.... hell, I think I'm going to puke just reading your post about it.

:)
 

· Registered
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I haven't had to walk but I did have to get off once because I pushed it too hard and bonked out. There is a local mountain that has some pretty serious switchbacks. I charged up it hard and about 3/4 of the way up I had to stop and let my heart rate recover. A couple of minutes in the shade and I was good to go again.
I do have to say that a 15% incline isn't anything to shake a stick at. Depending on how long it was and where you hit it in your ride, I could understand it being a killer.
 

· Charismatic Megafauna
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And allow me to add:

c0braje7 said:
I do have to say that a 15% incline isn't anything to shake a stick at. Depending on how long it was and where you hit it in your ride, I could understand it being a killer.
Personally, the real shame comes when you're afraid to *attempt* a tough hill because "wahhhh...it's tooo hard....I might have to get off and embarrass myself in front of all the ARPs."

So I think you get cool points for having your reach ever-so-slightly exceed your grasp.
 

· Palm trees & sunshine!
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24,208 Posts
PseuZQ said:
Personally, the real shame comes when you're afraid to *attempt* a tough hill because "wahhhh...it's tooo hard....I might have to get off and embarrass myself in front of all the ARPs."

So I think you get cool points for having your reach ever-so-slightly exceed your grasp.

Absolutely! I consider puking at the top a badge of honor. Just don't walk it. If you walk, the hill wins.
 

· Banned forever.....or not
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24,573 Posts
1982...........The year I started riding. At the time, my low gear was a 42X28, and I walked that hill 3 times that year. (Yes, I too, was a "bike nerd" at one time). Nowadays, I spit on that hill, and take it in the big ring.
 

· Spicy Dumpling
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9,723 Posts
Mountains of Misery this year. I'm guessing around 15% and 85+ degrees and directly in the sun. I've ridden much steeper but climbing in the sun just kills me. I'm guessing the road temp was well above 100. If it isn't super hot then I have no problems with climbs like that. The other place I walked was Reeds Gap on last years Blue Ridge Extreme, probably just as steep but it goes straight up without switchbacks on the south side of the blue ridge. It was about 95 that day. Call me a wimp I guess. I'd rather walk than suffer heat exhaustion..
 

· eminence grease
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bigrider said:
I did a 53 mile ride today in horrid temps and humidity. While climbing a 15 percent grade I almost had to get off and walk the bike. I have never walked a hill but I almost puked going up this thing. Is there shame in walking your bike? What has made you walk yours?
2003 - Santa Fe Century - Heartbreak Hill - .6 miles at 15-18% - the steepest paved hill in New Mexico.

It comes at 37 miles into a 103 mile century and I easily convinced myself it was better to suffer the shame than blow up 1/3 of the way into the day.

I have an absolute mental block about that particular hill. No amount of gearing or amphetamines or tow ropes attached to a pick-up truck will ever get me up that hill.

It's just the way it is.
 

· Non non normal
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10,185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
. I do have to say that a 15% incline isn't anything to shake a stick at. Depending on how long it was and where you hit it in your ride said:
This ride is pretty tough. Over 5000 ft. of climbing in a 53 mile ride. It is deceptive because it is not like you climb a mountain or anything. You end up climbing 10 major hills that have an elevation gain of about 300 to 400 feet. The worst hill is exactly halfway.
 

· You're Not the Boss of Me
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7,749 Posts
I won't do it. Now, that being said, I've stopped on every single switchback of certain 15%-ish hills, straddling the bike, draped over the bars, gasping for air. But I stand there until my heart rate has backed off enough to go another hundred yards.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Just can't let myself walk.
 

· Devoid of all flim-flam
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7,366 Posts
I hate to say it, but I had to stop and walk on the first hill I attempted on my super new carbon fiber road bike. It was a few months ago. My wife and I were at the Tour of California to watch the race go over Balcom Canyon. I had just gotten the bike, the evening before. We parked at the bottom of the hill, got on our bikes, and then headed up to the top. At the crest it got mega-tough. Too tough for these old legs...and these legs regularly tackle 18% grades. I watched some other folks stay on their bikes all the way up, but none of them looked comfortable. The wife, btw, ended up hoofing the last portion, too.
 

· Misfit Toy
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23,437 Posts
I think it's harder to walk a hill. Like JT, I'll stop and have a mild coronary; then get back on the bike and pedal a few feet more. May take longer, but I will ride up the damn thing! Besides, I've been lucky, no ARP's to give me a bad time, just bunches of cute bicycle boys saying "You can do it!" :D
 

· I used to wave
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417 Posts
Hogpen Gap. Tour De Georgia mtn stage route. 7 mile 2100 climb. Long section of 15% grade, being pretty much sustained for 2.5-3 miles(its called The Wall locally). It was at the end of a hot(July 05) 50 mile loop(Back 3 Gaps) at 2pm with zero shade, 96*, and high humidity, and I was bonking to a degree. I thought my head was gonna explode from the heat. It was my first "real" roadie ride. Guess I shoulda started with an easier ride..

Now?..I've done the same loop twice in the last 3 weeks, since I use it now to train on. Still suffer of course, but its no longer the beast it was then.

Have not tried Brasstown Bald(finish of the big mtn stage)which I've read is a true 20% for a mile or so, and 15-18%+ the other couple miles..
 
G

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Yeah, last fall, bonked pretty badly on a two mile hill (I'm a type II diabetic). Rode around a cul-de-sac eating some type of powerbar then walked up about 100m till the carbs started kicking in. I held my head high - I don't care what other people think.
 

· 30 mpdb
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1,001 Posts
I came oh-so-close yesterday. Went through 3 bottles in 1.5 hours. The heat and humidity were killing me. Rode 11 miles to the rents with some mild hills. On the return trip, took a safer route that *surprise* had a murderous hill. Don't know the grade, but it seemed about 100 yards long and I don't think I broke 2mph. At the crest, someone could've pushed me over and stolen my bike. I probably would've thanked them for giving me a break.
 

· Registered
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320 Posts
I used to have moments where I thought to myself that I would like to just stop riding uphill, but I always kept going no matter how much it hurt. Eventually I stopped thinking about getting off the bike and figured this was a sign that I was actually getting into shape. Whoopee!
 

· Registered
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bigrider said:
I did a 53 mile ride today in horrid temps and humidity. While climbing a 15 percent grade I almost had to get off and walk the bike. I have never walked a hill but I almost puked going up this thing. Is there shame in walking your bike? What has made you walk yours?
Lincoln gap in Vermont usually gets me thinking about it, haven't yet though. I think the last mile is well over 20%. A fellow rider with a power tap was putting out about 400 watts at less than 4 mph
 

· MING
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419 Posts
I managed up pla d'adet last year in France as the final climb of the day. I did the climb the day before the tour did it as the final climb on stage 15, Hincapie took it. The main climb up to St Lary is 10 k, just under 1100 meters up, so an average grade of 11%, one kilometer has an average of 16%. It nearly killed me, 34x23 was blown though in the first kilometer, only the Basque and their untold number of orange clad cycling freaks saved me; I had orange Euskaltel-Euskadi socks on.

I didn't walk, and that makes all other hills doable, because hey, its easier than pla d'adet.
 
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