- Roadyisters – climbing per mile, when does it become hilly?
There’s such a lot of toss spouted in this thread. Fred Whitton is around 100 f/m so to take 100 as the threshold for “quite hilly” is posturing macho bullshit.
It’s normal for a ride round my way, unless you really avoid the hills. If you try you can do quite a lot more, so why is it BS? Depends where you live of course, but if you don’t live in a hilly area, maybe you can’t do a hilly ride (in that area)?Posted 4 months agoransosSubscriber
The hilliest ride I’ve done in this country was in the Forest of Bowland: 3,800m in 100 miles.Posted 4 months agotwowheelsMember
posturing macho bullshit
like most internet cycling forum threads discussing any performance metric ever? 😀
This thread seems relatively sensible. I do personally take <100ft/m as hilly, as I mentioned. However, I’m sticking to the assertion that a 1300m / 100km ride in the midlands or south east is likely to have significant “flat” sections and possibly even avoid categorised hills (say according to Strava, for the sake of argument). I honestly wouldn’t claim it to be a hilly ride, although I’d talk about individual hills en route. Thus, as a blunt rule of thumb 13m/100m seems low. If you disagree with that, fine. If not, it seems you’d take 13 < X < 20 m/km, e.g X=16 or 17m/km (which is what I suggested). But then calling X=20m/km BS seems slightly unfair.Posted 4 months ago
There’s a significant part of the FW (from Kirkstone to the foot of Honister) that is best described as “rolling”. Things get a bit tougher after that!
Just going back through my Strava activities for the last month or so and most are in the 18-25m/km range. I rode down to the village the other day to do a bit of shopping: 190m in 8km for the return trip. Looking at club mates and people I follow who live around here like MartinHutch do the same sort of figures both on and off-road. It’s just hilly round here.
I do agree that “rolling” routes add up the height gain without feeling particularly “hilly” and we’ll talk about “the hill” when referring to the main climb of the day for example.Posted 4 months agoblader1611Member
I think around Skipton,Grassington and Buckden etc i class as hilly for sure. I never seem to be on a flat road round there and the 80 mile sportive i do round there always exhausts me. I almost prefer 80 miles on the turbo but it doesnt have the beautiful scenery.Posted 4 months agodaernMember
I think around Skipton,Grassington and Buckden etc i class as hilly for sure. I never seem to be on a flat road round there and the 80 mile sportive i do round there always exhausts me. I almost prefer 80 miles on the turbo but it doesnt have the beautiful scenery.
Not sure I’d agree regarding this definition of hilly, but I guess everyone has their own threshold!
I ride a fair bit (too much, really!) up and down Wharfedale and I would say that, without any suggestion of willy-waving, the run all of the way from Otley up to Buckden would only fall under the “rolling hills” categories, with the possible exception of the odd modest hump here and there (e.g. riding up out of Burnsall). I ride this with my son and his friends a fair bit and we are well used to this as “lumpy terrain”. For reference, I don’t have a pro rider in me trying to escape (although I’d be the first to admit that there is plenty of room in there for him and a couple of his friends!) – I’m just a normal club road/mtb rider who likes riding up and down hills for fun.
Now if you keep going *past* Buckden, or turn out of the valley (e.g. towards Coverdale from Kettlewell) I’ll admit that you’ll be able to call the ride “properly hilly” 🙂Posted 4 months agoRusty SpannerSubscriber
There’s a small bit of flat road in Burnley, I believe the council keep it in a safe in the basement at the town hall.
Absolutely no willy waving, I’m the slowest rider out there, but it really does redefine the idea of a ‘quick spin’.
Even Todmorden is flatter.
It does piss me off sometimes when I just want a gentle ride – it’s not really possible. Even a quick post work bimble around Towneley Park (at the end of the road) means a steep half mile climb home.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy it, but my knees are shot and balancing pain and reward means sub 20″ gearing even unloaded.
I love descending like a loon, but still struggle to better 15mph on road average and haven’t hit double figures on the MTB since moving here.
As Martha Tilston never said, ‘Sometimes, I go back in my dreams to Moston…..’.Posted 4 months agoblader1611Member
Daern – i generally only mtb around skipton area but every year i like to do the Le petit depart sportive which goes up Kidstone, Buckden pass, Hawes (high hill lane) and everything around there and it seems fairly lumpy to me. Its 80 miles and is about 6000ft of climbing but i find its all the rollers and ramps that makes it more difficult. High hill lane has a 24.5% section in it and thats about 62 miles in and it gets me everytime. Great course,great scenery and all for a a good cause but in my eyes it is most definately hilly.Posted 4 months agodaernMember
@blader1611 – i generally only mtb around skipton area but every year i like to do the Le petit depart sportive which goes up Kidstone, Buckden pass, Hawes (high hill lane) and everything around there and it seems fairly lumpy to me.
Ah, well if you’re heading *past* Buckden and over to Hawes then you’re escaping Wharfedale and it definitely falls into the classification of “hilly” at this point 🙂 I’ll stick it in the diary as a possible for next year as it sounds a great event: http://skipton.cc/le-petit-depart-sportive-event/ – sadly, the long route is restricted to over 16s, which is a shame as my son would love this. Might be one to sneak out and do on our own!
To try to illustrate what I was talking about – this was the last ride we did up there. The first and last 10 miles were in upper Wharfedale (starting at Grassington) and would probably fall into the “a bit lumpy” category. The first climb is Kidstones, which gives you a point of reference for the other three. Even though this ride is actually only 91ft/mile, it’s definitely not a flat ride! 🙂
Posted 4 months agoanagallis_arvensisMember
I often note in my area around Chiltons and Newbury Downs sort of area I can go out and do 50km and ride up hills as much as possible and still end up doing less climbing than people who go out on rolling rides with no real sustained hills. Have managed to top 1000m in 75km round here with takes some doing! Took in 12 climbs!!Posted 4 months agomattsccmMember
Surely this is about as subjective as the weather? One mans freezing is another’s balmy.
Around my neck of the woods, FoD (Hi Pete!) 100′ per mile is pretty normal so a route like that wouldn’t be thought of as hilly. It wouldn’t even warrant a comment. That term, hilly, would be used to describe something more.
If you live in the flatlands then normal rides would be regarded as complete sods.
Too many qualifiers involved for a definitive answer I reckon.Posted 4 months agocrazy-legsSubscriber
I’ve always gone by the 100ft / mile benchmark (or more accurately, 1000ft / 10 miles which sort of allows better estimation for rides which might have significant stretches of flat / rolling terrain).
I can, if I put my mind to it, find some routes local to me (edge of the Peak District) that easily pack in double that. There’s a 5-mile stretch of road that I’ve ridden a few times which has 1650ft in that 5 miles alone! A couple of years ago I did the Rapha Rising Challenge (4800m / 15750ft) in one day which took 129 miles so that’s 1220ft / 10 miles.
But equally if I head out into the Cheshire Plains, I can do 100 miles with less than 3000ft of climbing. (30ft / mile)
From my experience and general UK riding: 1000ft / 10 milesPosted 4 months agoantigeeMember
not sure if a proper roadie but not so sure on the metric …..if I drive to the base of a popular local climb that is 17km and 1050m then it’s a hilly ride ….but if i ride the flattish railtrail the 40km each way to get there it’s not a hilly ride? Total ascent is all that matters…rolling is different both physically and mentally but same total personally makes me happy if the ascent is over 1600m as that makes it a Ventoux day …. as a metric to assess a route of a given distance it may make sense but only if you either the distance or height gain to put in perspectivePosted 4 months agoPrinceJohnMember
I’ve just been looking at my Strava – apparently most of my rides are between 90-110ft of climbing per 10 miles, but I wouldn’t describe them as hilly. I guess it’s just what you get used to.Posted 4 months ago
Living down in Cornwall I guess we’re either going up or downhill all the time.thegeneralistMember
It’s completely bizarre the people on this thread saying ” there’s loads of rides round here that are 100/100+ fpm therefore 100 fpm isn’t hilly”
“There are loads of rides round you that contain 100/100+ fpm, therefore it can be concluded you live in a hilly area.Posted 4 months ago
No, what is being said is that because we live in a hilly area our perception of what is “hilly” is different from someone who lives somewhere flat (or flatter). 20m/km is pretty tough going whether it’s “rolling” or big hills.
The perception of whether a ride is “hilly” might also depend on how close the hills are. Hill, lots of flat, hill will feel a lot different from hill, 1km flat, hill, 1 km flat, etc.
I went out for a ride today, 70km with 1100m of ascent. There were only two “hills” on the ride. One was 200m in 5km and the other (right at the end because I live up a hill) 160m in 2.4km. The other 740m was hidden in rolling terrain where momentum through a dip would see you halfway up the “climb” on the other side.Posted 4 months agocrazy-legsSubscriber
So Liège–Bastogne–Liège, one of the toughest of all the one day races at ~260km, ~4000m climbing doesn’t qualify as a ‘hilly’ ride? Honestly, the bllx spouted in this thread…
Firstly, you’re picking a statistical outlier, secondly, LBL is tough because it’s 260km and most of the climbing comes in the latter half so you’re kind of tired by the time you arrive at the climbs. If you look at the total climbing it’s 15m / km or about 82ft / mile so it’s not far off the 20m / km or 100ft / mile marker point that people have listed above.
Most people will only ever ride the LBL route as part of the Sportive which, by it’s nature, is kind of “racing” so it’s completely different to just going out and riding at your own pace with some café stops.
But yeah, well done on picking something so far off the curve of “normal” riding and then claiming that ALL the stuff above is bollocks because ONE event doesn’t *quite* fit a broad generalisation.Posted 4 months agon0b0dy0ftheg0atMember
For me, somewhere around 60+ feet of climbing per mile.
If I ride between Owlesbury and Dundridge, the climb:distance ratio will be lower than if I tackle the categorised hills between Beacon Hill, Hawkley and Turkey Island. But it will still be a relatively hilly ride compared to my commute around Southampton.Posted 4 months ago
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