Why can't I slow down?
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  1. #1

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    Why can't I slow down?

    I've been riding for 7 years and have always had this one nagging problem - I ride too fast (pedal masher).

    We have an interstate paved bike path here which is EXTREMELY flat and I have no trouble going for a couple hours plus.

    When I ride around town with the hills, however, I seem to crap out at an hour and a half. I have become accustomed to an ungodly amount of resistance on the pedals, and now it feels normal.

    I constantly try to make myself slow down, but if I'm not mashing I feel like I'm going at a snail's pace and the ride doesn't feel as fun.

    Any tips?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Build a fixed gear.

  3. #3
    No team-cest unless 8+!
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    Quote Originally Posted by namrufmot
    I've been riding for 7 years and have always had this one nagging problem - I ride too fast (pedal masher).

    We have an interstate paved bike path here which is EXTREMELY flat and I have no trouble going for a couple hours plus.

    When I ride around town with the hills, however, I seem to crap out at an hour and a half. I have become accustomed to an ungodly amount of resistance on the pedals, and now it feels normal.

    I constantly try to make myself slow down, but if I'm not mashing I feel like I'm going at a snail's pace and the ride doesn't feel as fun.

    Any tips?

    Get a computer with a cadence function.

    Then never settle for anything less than 95rpm.

  4. #4
    Back from the dead
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    Why change?

  5. #5

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    I agree if you're just riding around town then what does it matter? The aim is to have fun so if you enjoy mashing then mash away!

    Although personally I like spinning and especially like seeing the people's faces as I leisurely spin past them on hills while they are busy mashing away and huffing & puffing like they are trying to blow the little pig's house down!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by namrufmot
    I've been riding for 7 years and have always had this one nagging problem - I ride too fast (pedal masher).

    We have an interstate paved bike path here which is EXTREMELY flat and I have no trouble going for a couple hours plus.

    When I ride around town with the hills, however, I seem to crap out at an hour and a half. I have become accustomed to an ungodly amount of resistance on the pedals, and now it feels normal.

    I constantly try to make myself slow down, but if I'm not mashing I feel like I'm going at a snail's pace and the ride doesn't feel as fun.

    Any tips?
    Go fast like you're doing and shift up one gear. When your comfortable with that try shifting up another etc... Mashing lowers your hr but blows out your legs.

  7. #7

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    Well I'd like to change so that my endurance increases...

    That's a good idea..I will find my normal "comfort zone" and shift up a gear...I'll see how that goes.

  8. #8
    You're Not the Boss of Me
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    If you aren't experiencing knee or lower back troubles, then the mashing is probably just a "no harm no foul" matter of style.

    As for working on your climbing, you really will benefit by learning to gear down and settle in, but that doesn't mean you need to change your approach to the flats.

  9. #9

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    Why can't I speed up?

    Quote Originally Posted by namrufmot
    I've been riding for 7 years and have always had this one nagging problem - I ride too fast (pedal masher).

    We have an interstate paved bike path here which is EXTREMELY flat and I have no trouble going for a couple hours plus.

    When I ride around town with the hills, however, I seem to crap out at an hour and a half. I have become accustomed to an ungodly amount of resistance on the pedals, and now it feels normal.

    I constantly try to make myself slow down, but if I'm not mashing I feel like I'm going at a snail's pace and the ride doesn't feel as fun.

    Any tips?
    I've been riding for 30 years, and have always had this one nagging problem--I ride too slow (95 rpm spinner).
    We have a path along the river that's extremely flat, and I have trouble going for an hour. When I ride on hills, however, I seem to crap out in 10 minutes. I've become accustomed to almost no resistance on the pedals, and it feels normal.
    I constantly try to make myself go faster, but if I'm sweating and panting II feel like I'm working too hard and the ride isn't as much fun.
    Any tips?

    If I had the OPPOSITE problem, though, I think I'd just live with it....

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cory
    I've been riding for 30 years, and have always had this one nagging problem--I ride too slow (95 rpm spinner).
    We have a path along the river that's extremely flat, and I have trouble going for an hour. When I ride on hills, however, I seem to crap out in 10 minutes. I've become accustomed to almost no resistance on the pedals, and it feels normal.
    I constantly try to make myself go faster, but if I'm sweating and panting II feel like I'm working too hard and the ride isn't as much fun.
    Any tips?

    If I had the OPPOSITE problem, though, I think I'd just live with it....
    The only way I know to get good at hills to to climb a lot of them. When you take on steeper longer climbs the shorter easier climbs seem like a piece of cake.

  11. #11
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    In one of my spinning classes there's an instructor who spins at
    what I'd call an absurd rate of speed and he's got some endurance
    builders for climbing hills.

    One of his recommendations was to climb seated for a time, then get
    out of the saddle at a moderate pace with moderate resistance for
    60 seconds but more than you had when you were sitting, then ramp
    up the pace for 90 seconds out of the saddle then back to the saddle
    and unload resistance and repeat. He calls it pyramid but I'm sure
    there's a more scientific name for that type of intervals.

    It seems to help.

    What I find is once I'm on the road I settle into one gear for too
    long sometimes. I can spin pretty well in the smaller chainrings
    for long periods of time but it takes a season of ramping up to
    stay in the big one for a long time.

    I think part of it is changing your way of doing things and maybe
    changing out the habits you have ingrained in your riding style.
    Hard to do!

    I modified my climbing method this year - but it's effective for hills
    that might be 2-4 blocks long, not mountains or super long climbs:

    Instead of sitting seated at lowest possible resistance and grinding
    away for 17 minutes to get to the top of the hill, I start a speed run
    about a city block away from the hill ascent and make sure I get to
    about 28-30 mph right as I get to the point where the incline of the hill
    goes up.

    I get out of the saddle right at that point and try to maintain my pace
    as much as I can in the little ring and stay in the middle gears of the
    cassette in the rear. At the top I'll generally be around 18 mph or so
    and then can sit.

    A local hill that used to take me a while to get up I can get up in
    under a minute now. Another hill that I used to hate to death is
    manageable now.

    But it could be that charging at the hill yelling at the top of my lungs
    like I'm going to destroy it puts a fair bit of adrenalin in my system and
    that could be why it's a bit easier.
    Last edited by aliensporebomb; 05-26-2006 at 09:10 AM.

  12. #12
    Home Brew User!
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    Single Speed!

    Get a SS and gear it so that you have to spin at 95+ to maintain 18 to 20 MPH.

    It will teach you to spin
    Joined the other team in the name of the economy

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairscrambled
    The only way I know to get good at hills to to climb a lot of them. When you take on steeper longer climbs the shorter easier climbs seem like a piece of cake.
    Headwinds. Illinois hill training according to recreation riders - ride over the highway overpasses. In reality, that doesnt work. Even if you had a steep and tall overpass, you wouldnt have the mental dexterity to go up... and down... and up... its BORING.
    What I do, and alot of guys on my team do, is ride headwinds. Illinois during the spring, a 20 mile headwind isnt something to complain about, it's... low. At least where I am, 25 is pretty normal. Right now I think the wind's calming down. Now it's 12-15mph. Hammer into that godforsaken headwind for 30 miles, turn around, spin home at 30mph. You find that you become a very good steady climber because of all that horrible resistance. I climbed Mount Mitchell and Mount Pisgah, one day after each, and felt a teensy bit of soreness after Mitchell (day 2). For perspective, a) I'm 15. b) I'm riding a 23.5 pound crap bike with wheels that weigh probably 2x more than most of these peoples on this board and c) I'd NEVER ridden mountains before spring break (when I did it).
    Headwinds can train a very steady climber. On shorter hills someone from a hillier area can beat me, however in a long (2 mile, etc) 8% climb, I'm able to just grind away quite happily, and can pass people like they aren't moving.
    -estone2

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by namrufmot
    I've been riding for 7 years and have always had this one nagging problem - I ride too fast (pedal masher).

    We have an interstate paved bike path here which is EXTREMELY flat and I have no trouble going for a couple hours plus.

    When I ride around town with the hills, however, I seem to crap out at an hour and a half. I have become accustomed to an ungodly amount of resistance on the pedals, and now it feels normal.

    I constantly try to make myself slow down, but if I'm not mashing I feel like I'm going at a snail's pace and the ride doesn't feel as fun.

    Any tips?
    I know what you mean. I'm OC competitive & push to work all the time even when it is clearly right to spin. Control is everything. I delight in working the gears if only another focus in finding the most efficient ratio. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Work the power curve. I do it in racing cars where it is also essential. Think efficiency in the mix w/ power.
    Last edited by venus; 05-26-2006 at 12:37 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by namrufmot
    I've been riding for 7 years and have always had this one nagging problem - I ride too fast (pedal masher).

    ..............................

    I constantly try to make myself slow down, but if I'm not mashing I feel like I'm going at a snail's pace and the ride doesn't feel as fun.

    Any tips?
    Please get your terminology right. A masher is somebody who rides at tooo slow a pedal cadence. Normal "seroius" cyclists run at a minimum of 90 rpm, and a "masher" is anybody who runs at say 75 rpm or less.

    What youare is what we disparigingly call a "boy racer", meaning a guy who wants to look like a big-shot, but who craps out in a very short period of time. Runners call a guy like this a front-runner.
    We are the 801
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  16. #16

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    or buy one

    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    Build a fixed gear.

    I think it is cheaper to buy a fixed gear on ebay than build one - and of course gives you more time to ride

    rollers are another good idea

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