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Up or Down

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Gutcheck speed and handling or barf-inducing uphill grind? Preference?

Where are you more able to hang with the big boys and girls, or at least pretend?

I remember cycling up on and around Grizzly Peak Rd., above Berkeley, with my youngest brother a decade ago. We'd been "kind of" racing that longish ride and I tended to make hay on the ascents but he'd gain plenty back on the flats.

When we turned right onto Cyclotron Rd. and the winding, steepish way down, he took off like a jet and stepped on the big gears for some more oomph. I was terrified and impressed; there's just no way I would ever attack that line like that, or even attack it all. I suspect he was trying to prove a point. I put the odds at about even that I'd ride down to his crash site.

A couple days later, cranking it up Spooner Summit around Tahoe, I got to administer a little payback, though I paid for the effort.

We're hoping to be able to do Markleeville next summer. Given the course, and our tendency to compete a little, it ought to be interesting. The older we get, though, the more I feel our 7-year age difference play a role, though at some point down the road his advantage will dissipate and it will become increasingly mental. He's already in my head on the speedy downhill twisty bits; I'll just have to keep climbing.

post #2 of 15
Give me the down. I can't fake it on the up.

Actually, the grades less than <5% or so are kind of enjoyable to go up as well.
post #3 of 15
By local standards I'm moderately okay with the up but when visitors come and I take them out for a ride that starts at 7000 feet I do great.
post #4 of 15

Not UP anymore

I'm the guy for those long pulling grinds in that flat limicole headwind.
post #5 of 15
dude, I'm fast up atmo.

my downhill skills need some work ...a slacker head tube would help too.
post #6 of 15

up and down...

as we can keep up with a few folks by maintaining a solid cadence over the long haul. Regardless, riding out here we enjoy the balance of ups and downs. The Copper triangle circuit is a good example of such a road course…a real beautiful ride and a real heartlungleg burner:

While compact double gearing, plastic frame and rock solid brakes make the job easier, for Betsy and I, weather [change] is more of an issue at summit locations than the climb up as you can hit some foul wet and cold stuff especially coming down. And when you ride on either side of the biking season you can get pretty damn numb coming down a 6-11 percent grade at 40 or so when the clouds and wind come in quickly...that really separates the riders as you can find out quickly just who is hanging [a long way] off wheel.

"he's climbing like a man with four legs!"....
"His eggs are leaking...and now he's cracked!!"…
"Paul, he's popped!"…
"he's going through absolute purgatory on a bike"…
"Looks like a spider, but climbs like an angel,"…
"He's utterly and completely cracked"

Phil Liggett
TdF commentary heard on VS.
post #7 of 15
I can ride a ski lift with the best of them.
post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by DonDenver
weather is more of an issue at summit locations
dude, I'm hearing you ...I used to commute sometimes by bike from Leadville to Copper and back for work. I've been hit by hail on the way home at Fremont Pass.

Those little frozen nuggets fall right through the vent holes. Talk about ice cream headache.
post #9 of 15
Originally Posted by eNick View Post
...Those little frozen nuggets fall right through the vent holes. Talk about ice cream headache.
SO True!…those are the times I thought using my Skiing G10 with the closing vents would work better than my Biking Bell ventilated lightweight. But my dork factor would really amp up using my Skiing bucket…and I just gotta look cool on the bike…it intimidates the other Lances in spandex :
post #10 of 15
I prefer to climb and I positively love short, out of saddle climbs. This is what I do best, and it comes from riding/racing a singlespeed mountain bike.

Truth be told, I am rather scared of fast long downhills on the road. There is something un-natural about fast descents on a flimsy road bike (which I could basically break with my bare hands ).
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by TomB View Post
Truth be told, I am rather scared of fast long downhills on the road. There is something un-natural about fast descents on a flimsy road bike (which I could basically break with my bare hands ).
TomB hits on a key separator when considering ‘hanging in’ or stay on the wheel of increasingly skilled and competitive cyclists. Certainly much interest centers on climb portions of rides with respect to a HC or level one category climb or a rider style being one of ‘in the seat’ big mashing or ‘Lance like’ pedal dancing. However, what I find is the real separator is less going up on a group ride rather than going down that quickly demonstrates individual skill level. Regardless of carbon, Ti, steel or aluminum frames, those that can aero down deftly holding their drops with feather brake touch carving lines that are impossible to mirror is what impresses me. IMO, long fast cycling descents are like skiing down a tree lined narrow with various snow conditions encountered while on an increasingly fast carve. Trusting your equipment, skill and technique [and importantly edge grip] with the confidence to let it rip as tree limbs zip by. Obviously, you can clearly see how this separates skier level on a hill…and as Philpug alluded, anyone can look good riding a lift up

Therefore, while always true for skiing, for me and cycling, it’s all about the downhill portion and improving skills to hang with some of the hawks on rails I see flying confidently down.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
post #13 of 15
I would much rather climb (6'2", 165). I can cruise forever on a 6, 7% grade. That is heaven to me on a bike. Once it starts tipping north of 12% or so, I start bogging down significantly. I love climbing though. It's peaceful, relaxing. Wheel-suckers -- go home! It's all you.

Coming down... Depends how well I know the road, pavement conditions, sight lines, etc. If I can really see what I'm getting into, I don't mind letting it fly (I've topped 50mph a couple times), but if I have the least bit of doubt -- I'll take it slow. I'll just catch you downhill speed demons on the next climb anyway. My handling skills are too suspect to let it rip all the time though.
post #14 of 15
GUtwrenching speed over long climbs but relize I only ride Moutain Bikes.

to be honest I want uphill ot be mellow enough so I can at least be in 2/1 and Downhill to be mello enough that I barely have to brake.

and I HATE fireroads and doubletrack, singletrack is almost easier to ride cause the pitch just isnt there.
post #15 of 15
I'm slow both ways, but much more of a climber. I entered a hillclimb once, finished second to last but took it as a sort of victory because the guy I beat was the only other sport vet. Haha.

I would never race a downhill, speed scares me, I know I'm going to fall, much rather do a slow endo where I can kinda spot my landing than throw it away at speed.

Steep, technical climbs that are difficult to clean are rewarding even if I have to dab a few times. And I never endo on steep uphills.
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