Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    I lowered my cholesterol!
    Reputation: rickreyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    85

    Flatlander Worried He Can't Climb!!!!

    I am travelling up to Waynesville for a week's stay. I traditionally travel over to Tsali to ride the loops there, but this time, in honor of the TDF, I was thinking of riding on the Blue Ridge up to Waterrock Knob. It's 5.5 miles from the highway and about a 1900 foot altitude change. I am worried I'll die doing it. I train on the paved trails in Tampa, both road and MTB. My longest road rides are 60 miles. What will it be like? I'm 52 in good shape, but used to very thick oxygenated air.

  2. #2
    You're Not the Boss of Me
    Reputation: JayTee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    7,751
    That's not that high. I mean some folks head to Colorado from the flatlands and climb Mt. Evans. 1900 ft. in 5.5 is not that bad. Just take it slow and easy... keep that MPH down to 6-7 mph (heck, less if you want) and keep turning over the pedals in a low gear. Just don't push the pace or you will blow up and need to stop.

    If you've got much fitness at all (sounds like you do) it is totally doable! Have fun with it.

    PS -- do you have a triple? Not that it is a "must have" for a climb like that, but the low gears can help you climb walls...

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    165
    Here in Tampa we get to push into the wind. Last weekend the suncoast trail felt like the wide was in my face both up and back. Anyway climbing kinda similar just gear down and spin like you do into the wind. You'll do fine. For motivation both Eddy and Lance come from flatlands. See... flatlanders rule the cycling kingdom.

  4. #4
    I lowered my cholesterol!
    Reputation: rickreyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    85

    True...

    Quote Originally Posted by rounder
    Here in Tampa we get to push into the wind. Last weekend the suncoast trail felt like the wide was in my face both up and back. Anyway climbing kinda similar just gear down and spin like you do into the wind. You'll do fine. For motivation both Eddy and Lance come from flatlands. See... flatlanders rule the cycling kingdom.
    I am well acquainted with the wind. Last year I rode with a hurricane out there in the gulf and had a fun ride--one way! Five miles can't be that bad if I just keep my head. If I go to Tsali I am going to be gassed anyway.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Ricko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    738

    You'l be fine...

    I live near Chicago and we sit at about 600' above sea level. Last summer we rode MTB in upper elevations in Colorado (10K'-13K') and had no problems, just slip it into the granny gear and spin. Blue Ridge Pkwy down where you're going maxes out at 4500', when we ride down there I barely notice the air being thinner.

    Like you, my training method to simulate climbing is riding into the wind (as sick as it sounds). I'm just 4 years younger then you.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,630
    what's your rear cassette?

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: R.Rice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    467
    Quote Originally Posted by M.J.
    what's your rear cassette?
    +1.

    Just make sure you have the gearing and you'll be fine.I am a Floridian too and I have had no troubles going to the mountains.I go to western NC a few times a year to ride and have no trouble climbing even the really steep stuff up there on a 39X27.

    If your fitness is good and you have the right gearing you'll be able to grunt it out and have fine while doing so.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tarwheel2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,847
    Believe me, the air is thick and oxygenated in the NC mountains! Humidity is generally very high. The biggest thing you do to help yourself is having enough gears. If you've got a triple on your roadbike, no problem. If you have a double, get a cassette with at least a 27 for largest rear cog. Other than that, just pace yourself. Don't try to push a faster pace than you can sustain. I find that I actually do better on long climbs because I can pace myself easier. In the rolling hills of the Piedmont, I often go into the red zone trying to keep up with better climbers. In the mountains, I don't even bother trying to keep up with good climbers. I just go my own pace and sometimes end up catch and passing some of the climber dudes who try to go to fast and blow up.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by rickreyn
    I am travelling up to Waynesville for a week's stay. I traditionally travel over to Tsali to ride the loops there, but this time, in honor of the TDF, I was thinking of riding on the Blue Ridge up to Waterrock Knob. It's 5.5 miles from the highway and about a 1900 foot altitude change. I am worried I'll die doing it. I train on the paved trails in Tampa, both road and MTB. My longest road rides are 60 miles. What will it be like? I'm 52 in good shape, but used to very thick oxygenated air.
    you'll be fine. as others have said, you're not that high up and if you go at your own pace you shouldn't have any trouble at all....especially if you're running a cassette with either a 25 or a 27 (actually, a 27 will probably be overkill) on it. (excuse my ignorace but i didn't know what a +1 cassette was equivalent to in terms of teeth).

    oh and the BRP is a gorgeous ride. enjoy the scenery.

    spring near Tsali...


    western NC summer view


    rt

  10. #10
    I lowered my cholesterol!
    Reputation: rickreyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    85

    I will give it a go!

    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel2
    Believe me, the air is thick and oxygenated in the NC mountains! Humidity is generally very high. The biggest thing you do to help yourself is having enough gears. If you've got a triple on your roadbike, no problem. If you have a double, get a cassette with at least a 27 for largest rear cog. Other than that, just pace yourself. Don't try to push a faster pace than you can sustain. I find that I actually do better on long climbs because I can pace myself easier. In the rolling hills of the Piedmont, I often go into the red zone trying to keep up with better climbers. In the mountains, I don't even bother trying to keep up with good climbers. I just go my own pace and sometimes end up catch and passing some of the climber dudes who try to go to fast and blow up.
    All have convinced me to try it. Got to to become a "complete" road biker! Perhaps I will be a Floyd Landis or Michael Rasmussen, being a mountain biker to begin with. All this means is two bikes on the rack instead of one!

  11. #11
    Back from the dead
    Reputation: mohair_chair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    20,906
    Off the top of my head, that's about a 5-6% average grade, which will sting a little for a flatlander, but it sounds like you have plenty of fitness, so you'll do fine. The only concern is that, as a flatlander, you might be running an 11-21 cassette, and you'll probably want to replace that with a 12-25 or 12-27.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Sprocket - Matt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    969

    Just enjoy it... Don't kill yourself.

    I'm a 35 yr old guy with an ex-smoking habit ... who lives in Indianapolis...
    FLATLAND, and CORN is about the best I can hope for most days...
    I rode up out of the Nantahala Gorge, west of Bryson City about a month ago... It's a 2.7 mile climb at an avg of 9%... I didn't use my triple... and that was at the end of a 50 mile
    day... Make sure you don't overheat, (shouldn't be a problem for somebody from FLORIDA).

    Aside from that, just ride at your pace, enjoy it... take it all in and dream of the day when you can ride those mts. daily... That's how I rode while I was in that area... and I'm
    gonna be back down there in less than a month... to do the Road to Nowhere...
    And if I'm lucky, I'll get in a ride from Brevard up to the Blue Ridge Parkway...
    Same mountain... southern side instead of Waynesville which is the north side...
    You can ride a BIG WHEEL as long as it puts a smile on your face.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Kristin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1,076

    Its okay to go that slow?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtolleson
    That's not that high. I mean some folks head to Colorado from the flatlands and climb Mt. Evans. 1900 ft. in 5.5 is not that bad. Just take it slow and easy... keep that MPH down to 6-7 mph (heck, less if you want) and keep turning over the pedals in a low gear. Just don't push the pace or you will blow up and need to stop.

    If you've got much fitness at all (sounds like you do) it is totally doable! Have fun with it.

    PS -- do you have a triple? Not that it is a "must have" for a climb like that, but the low gears can help you climb walls...
    Dang. Everytime I ride somewhere hilly I feel like I need to keep above 12MPH or someone will whiz by and laugh. I always blow up a some point, then pretend to have some sort of mechanical failure.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    47

    A favorite climb among locals

    The climb up the parkway from Balsam Gap to Waterrock is a favorite among the Waynesville locals. To add a nice warm-up & some additional miles, start from the bike shop Waynesville Bicycle Co., near the intersection of main street & US 276, and ride out old Balsma Road to US 74, then up US 74 to the Parkway. The advice to use a lower geared cassette is good, a knee saving neccessity for some!

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    127
    Once a year, I spend a week at the Outer Banks, and I always bring a bike. To me, it takes more focus and effort to keep going at a target HR in the flats, particularly into a headwind, but I'm used to lots of hills. If you're fit enough to ride 60 miles on the flats, you'll do fine in the mountains.

    In addition to the others offering good advice about gearing and taking it easy, don't focus too much on average speed on your cyclocomputer, or if you do, expect it to drop 4-6 mph from what you can do on the flats. You don't make it all up on the downhill!

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: ravenmore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    557
    I live in Austin and have seen several flatlanders, including a few from Florida, show up on group rides. To be honest, their problem isn't so much climbing (though they don't do that as fast as the natives usually) but actually decending. They're scared to death of the downhills. I remember being timid myself when I first started riding. Now I try to squeeze every free ounce of speed out that gravity will give me.

  17. #17
    Longing for a Highland
    Reputation: Flatlander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    39

    Who Me?

    You're right...I can't climb.

    -Flatlander

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,964
    Consider a compact crank set.

    I'm in Illinois and have found that training in the wind seems to have prepared me for some serious hills. No idea about longer, steeper grades yet. That's still to come.

    Iceman
    Last edited by walleyeangler; 07-02-2006 at 06:10 PM.
    IceMan
    The Bike Whisperer
    "It's hard to be me, I just make it look easy."

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview's Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    5,522
    Quote Originally Posted by walleyeangler
    I'm in Illinois and have found that training in the wind seems to have prepared me for some serious hills. No idea about longer, steeper grades yet. That's still to come.

    Iceman
    It'll prepare ya. I live in central Illinois, and I can climb pretty well. I'm 150 pounds, which might be helpful, but I can climb mountains pretty easily. The wind is good in that you can hammer into it for 20, 30 minutes, as opposed to mountains/hills, which are more hammer/coast/hammer; more consistent. On not insanely steep gradients that are reallly long, an Illinois flatlander can be better because they're just used to going long, at least in my experience
    -estone2

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    89
    hehe I know I was on my hardtail and managed to overtake a roadie as my bike was twice as heavy, but at the end on the flat he zoomed past me, I span out in top gear before I could catch up

  21. #21
    Sub
    Sub is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    495
    That isn't a very big hill, I wouldn't worry about it.

  22. #22
    I lowered my cholesterol!
    Reputation: rickreyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    85

    Mountain Out of a Mole Hill...

    My fears did not materialize. I did the 9.4 miles and 1930 feet of elevation in 1 hour 4 minutes. It was fun and I guess I could have expended a few more watts but I played it safe not knowing what it would be like. I rode Tsali on my MTB on Wednesday as a warm up and practiced my climbing. Friday I did the ride from a pull off just before Hwy 74 to Waterrock Knob. I am glad I didn't descend because my brakes weren't up to it!

    I was humbled by the way by a guy I met on top on a 600 mile trek pulling a trailer with camping gear.

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    165
    Knew you'd have no problem. If you need some hill work try out the suncoast trail north of hwy50. It's rolling hills for the last13.5 miles of the trail. Theres a parking area access off 50 on the south-east side. Its a fun area to ride with no traffic or interuptions and the rollers make for a great workout along with being able to crank the bike up to 50 or so on the downhills.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

INTERBIKE

Contest

Hot Deals See All Hot Deals >>

Interbike Featured Booths

Check out the hottest road bike products from these brands!



















See All Interbike Coverage - Click Here »


Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook