NACF

Cycling + => Freewheeling => Topic started by: sam on July 29, 2015

Title: What goes up
Post by: sam on July 29, 2015
Signs you may be addicted to hills:
- You occasionally stop in the middle of one, ostensibly for a gulp of water, but really because you enjoy a cold start on an incline.
- You choose gearing apropriate to your pain threshold. Due to tolerances which have been pushed and pushed again over time, you don't actually know what your pain threshold is.
- You say it's OK to walk if necessary. But when you do meet a hill that forces you off the bike, you consider it the walk of shame (only applies to self, I hasten to add).
- You go up one again & again (https://www.notanothercyclingforum.net/index.php?topic=145.0) because you didn't quite get it right the last time.
Title: I ❤ hills
Post by: Sisyphus on March 11, 2021
This post has been like contemplating a hill: do I want to do it? Of course I do. Not sure why it’s taking so long. It doesn’t have to be epic. A simple paean to hills. God knows they’ve gotten enough mentions over the years. ↑

Here’s what’s going to happen. This will be a work in progress. Most posts go up well north of 90% complete and are edited until something in my brain says DONE – I MEAN IT THIS TIME. Well, I've made a start, and that's something.

Note to self: don't start thinking you can let this slide now. It's happened before. (https://www.notanothercyclingforum.net/index.php?topic=495.msg10660#msg10660)

(https://prettygoodbritain.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/silbury.jpg)

Let's do it as a series of notes to be wrestled into shape. (Or not.)

Awhile ago I approached the Guardian suggesting a bike blog piece about hills. They weren’t particularly keen until I floated the idea of climbing what is apparently the steepest one in the UK, in Wales. The only problem was, I’d have to go to Wales. I like Wales (https://www.notanothercyclingforum.net/acf/index.php?topic=39995.0) well enough, but the pay wouldn't cover the cost of the trip unless I rode there and back and slept rough. So there’s a free idea for the taking.

That thumbnail pic is of a 4400 year old pile of chalk called Silbury Hill, in Wiltshire. It's the first thing that appeared in an image search for h i double l. Sorry, you can't ride up it.

(https://prettygoodbritain.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/bikehills.gif)

Sisyphus had an enchanted boulder to contend with. My rolling stock is fortunately less Flinstoneish, though perhaps no less preposterous: three road bikes, all singlespeed and in the 70” range. They take me everywhere I feel the need to go. Wanting a change, I ditched all superfluous gears about a decade back. Whether or not my knees will thank me for this down the line is an open question.

(https://prettygoodbritain.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/honker.jpg)

Percentages could not mean less to me if they were in metric. Whatever (https://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,,-196710,00.html) the gradient, I’m a honker. (https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/are-you-a-honker.260017/page-2#post-5964789) (A more apt sound would be the one a rollercoaster makes as it’s ratcheting itself to the top.) My singular choices mean this approach is mandatory, my thighs not being tree trunks.

I like getting out of the saddle. As a kid I once spent months riding a bike lacking this particular accessory, either because I was too cheap to buy a new one despite being reasonably well compensated as a paperboy, or too lazy to fit whatever replacement came my way.

My current saddle is great, but I don’t care to sit too long. I do enough of that at home in front of Netflix.

(https://prettygoodbritain.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/saul.jpg)

2022, (https://screenrant.com/better-call-saul-season-6-filming-start-images/) Vince & Peter? Bloody hell!

Has Saul Goodman ever represented a cyclist getting cut off or doored? One thing’s for sure, he's a real go-getter. I imagine he takes a case because it's there. Put him on a bike in front of a hill with a paying client on top and he’d be up it like a shot. Speaking of which:


Here's a lawyer (https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/fitness-and-training/andrew-feather-hill-climb-champion/) who has a VO2 max in the stratosphere. I’m guessing VO2 stands for VOir dire, a French term meaning “to see to speak” or “to speak the truth” (Google Translate offers “see say”, which sounds like a game for toddlers learning their vocabulary). The ‘2’ must mean he’s twice the price of lesser lawyer beings. Makes sense, right?

(https://prettygoodbritain.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/seesaw.jpg)

Yes, what goes up must come down. You’d think I’d be overjoyed to reap the rewards due me. Not really. If it's steep enough and dark enough, I even turn into a hillwalker – see 'Titsey' (https://www.notanothercyclingforum.net/index.php?topic=1100.0) for an example. Somewhere along the line I turned into what used to be safely called a sissy/wuss. We all have our Achilles heel.

Likewise, we’re all Muhammad. These things are going to be there whether we climb them or not, and I haven’t yet gotten to the why. I can say it's a metaphor for life, or the creative act, or that I like challenges that seem pointless but aren't. Maybe all three.

(https://prettygoodbritain.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/sisyphus150.jpg)

Further reading for addicts:
The three basic types (https://www.notanothercyclingforum.net/acf/index.php?topic=50798.0)
Twinned hills (https://www.notanothercyclingforum.net/index.php?topic=142.msg265#msg265)
The unintended gauntlet (https://www.notanothercyclingforum.net/index.php?topic=438.msg10695#msg10695)
Here there be dragging ones (https://www.notanothercyclingforum.net/index.php?topic=592.msg10290#msg10290)
The Fred Whitton Challenge, (https://anothercyclist.blog/2018/06/19/the-fred-whitton-challenge/) by Another Cyclist