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jacksmom97
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I have been increasing my distance and building my confidence on my bike...riding the trails around town and so I decided to bring my bike to the lake this weekend...well, as soon as I got on the bike and reached that first big hill, I KNEW why I never see many bike riders at the lake...lol...I need to learn about gears and how to work them. I have been reading here and learning but I am no where near being able to ride hills. I took my bike back to the lakehouse and decided to get a good long walk in...hope everonw had a good weekend!
 

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'57 Schwinn Wasp
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Yep, if possible front-end load those big hills. I have a half-mile near 20% uphill grade whenever I leave my house. I used to tell my friends it's 20 minutes to work 5 minutes to come home. "Who needs brakes!" :eek:
 

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I don't mind hills, it's the mountains that will put the hurt on. Luckily..I don't do mountain roads and waaaay beyond from being too proud to walk the bike on some hills.:D
 

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Well, I have been increasing my distance and building my confidence on my bike...riding the trails around town and so I decided to bring my bike to the lake this weekend...well, as soon as I got on the bike and reached that first big hill, I KNEW why I never see many bike riders at the lake...lol...I need to learn about gears and how to work them. I have been reading here and learning but I am no where near being able to ride hills. I took my bike back to the lakehouse and decided to get a good long walk in...hope everonw had a good weekend!
Well the thread title shows you definitely got the right attitude. You'll be tearing those hills up in no time.
 

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Well and you are not too proud to laugh at yourself. Two suggestions. 1. It never hurts a thing to walk a bike up a hill if you have to. Yeah it takes a little longer, but the ride down hill is just as fun. Just don't let the hill stop you.

2. Always enjoy the journey.

If you are in Austin, just be prepared for the usual "Hey Lance Armstrong" while you are walking up the hill. How you wave back is up to you. lol
 

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Haha! Been there, done that! Actually, last weekend we went on a ride with some friends that included a hill I haven't done in nearly a year (just because I haven't gone that way). There was all this talk about the hill leading up to it...how big it is, how we need to keep our speed up on the down hill leading up to it (flying dog - we were going south on Cherry Creek Trail into the reservoir - that hill from the golf course to the dam). I remembered there was a hill there, but it had been so long that I didn't really recall how "bad" it was. Well, I climbed Dinosaur Ridge followed by Red Rocks (to the amphitheater) the weekend before. This hill didn't have nothing for me!!! :)
Last year it had me - not last week.
 

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As said before there is no hills where I live the closest thing I have to a hill is a tall overpass over some railroad tracks here in town, so last Saturday I included that in my morning ride. All I can say is I am glad there wasn't another one on the other side of it. You guys and gals that ride in the hills are way ahead of me.
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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Well every one knows that Jersey has no hills. But if you want to get out of this Swamp you have to go up hill, the way I go there are 3 hills, some of you would call them speed bumps, thay seam a lot biger on the way back to me, thay are getting easyer. Maybe in a year or two I will think of them as speed bumps too.:eek:
 

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jacksmom97
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I am glad that ya'll are having fun with this thread...On the trails that are relatively flat here, I am riding in 2nd on the left and 5 or 6 on the Right...but if there are hills, I guess you anticipate one coming...so when do you change the gear to say 1 on the left and 3 on the right...right when you approach the hill or when you can't easily peddle/spin as you are going up?

I am definitely not above getting off the bike and pushing it up the hill:)

I asked the guys at a LBS for a trail suggestion for learning hills, so I might try that tomorrow.
 

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Just don't wait too late to shift. Everyone seems to have their own way to know. In my case its if your legs really feel like they are getting a good workout, its too late if there is a lower gear available. A higher pedal speed is going to put less stress on joints ect and in my case knees than really pushing hard. Shifting a lot is necessary in many situations and thats ok. Don't be hesitant to use them. That's what they are there for.

Gearing on some bikes will have you feeling like you might actually be stopped, and on some bikes its faster depending on the gear ratios of the bike. Though you might be slower on some than others, that also usually makes it easier.

Don't forget to shift the chain rings as needed too. Those are the bigger gears at the front. There is a term called cross chaining. It wears the chain and components and really doesn't help anything, but I did it as a rookie. As you start to climb, you want to get to a chain ring up front toward the center and then to the inside so as you go to the lower gears the chain stays more or less straight.

We aren't laughing at you. We are laughing with you because every single one of us has been there, done that, got at least a drawer full of tee shirts to prove it. I have made more mistakes than you could imagine, and that doesn't count the ones where I fixed the bike. Stories like this bring back fond memories for us.
 

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jacksmom97
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh, I know you guys aren't laughing AT me...I actually went for a ride today and tackled a few small hills (nothing like at the lake) and I did shift earlier...the incline was gradual...and yes, that made it easier. I also learned how to lean forward which helped me use my whole body to pump my legs which helped. It was in the high 80s and I rode for about an hour and a half.

I am going to have to read some more about cross chaining because I didn't understand any of it...but that is ok as long as I still enjoy riding! Thanks for the info and tips!
 

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Sometimes on my single speed I will hammer towards a hill, get half way up it and physically cannot pedal anymore. I have to demount and shamefully walk it the rest of the way.
 

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When you think cross chaining, think the largest diameter ring on the front where you pedal, and largest diameter gear in the back. The largest diameter gear on the front is the one on the outside furtherest from the center of the frame.

On the back the largest diameter gear is closest to the center of the frame. Once you look at it standing behind your bike, you can see how that puts the chain at an angle that really isn't necessary. On many bikes the chain will make noise or rattle. Yes I have been cruising along, come on a hill, start shifting to account for the hill an think I am out of gears. Then I realize I was dumb and never shifted chain rings. (the one in front) Yes I did this before I could use the excuse of a senior moment.
 

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jacksmom97
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I remember reading that you don't want to be in 1st gear on the Left side and 1st gear on the Right side...so that is why? I have been careful not to do that. Today, I didn't get out of 2nd gear on the Left side except for a few times. I am getting it slowly.
 

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Rat Biker
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Hills are fun best part of getting to the top is going down like a bat out of hell on the other side. Great fun
 
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