Author Topic: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus  (Read 2065 times)

carozy

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Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« on: August 18, 2017, 09:40:17 AM »
I wanted to post here to give encouragement to other Mustachians.

There is a huge, steep hill on my way to work.  It is seriously one of the steepest hills in my city.  I've been driving while saving up for an ebike, until I figure something out:

I could walk it!

Funny this didn't occur to me at first, but once it did, I realize how my life is so much easier.

So I started walking to work, which took an hour each way.  Not too bad, but not great.  I listened to podcasts or audiobooks or music, so I didn't mind it at all.

Then I bought my bike (sold my other one since it was a bit heavy) and I've started biking it!  Except, not all the way.  I have a 21 speed bike so I just put it on the lightest speed (1) and go at a reasonable pace up until I conk out.  Then I walk the bike the rest of the way.  I got a bike bag from Amazon that sits on my handle bars so I can hold my phone or ipod there to listen to books, podcasts, or music.  Having something interesting to listen to while I'm hiking up with my bike seems to be key to making it all work.  The trip up is around 45 minutes, depending on my energy level and when I choose to start walking.  The trip home?  15 minutes!!  Getting home in 15 minutes without having to find parking, no gas used up that steep hill, and time to listen to my books or podcasts is awesome!

This works for me, but I engineered it into my life.  Life happened and I had a break up, and during that time when I was looking for a new place, I decided to look for places close enough to work to make biking or walking feasible.  There's also the option of a bus ride, but I think that's at least an hour (don't remember since I've never used it), and I'm not even sure of the particulars for it since it's not a direct shoot up the direct route I take (it's a roundabout way around and up the hill another way).  I can always walk if it's really raining, that's what umbrellas are for.  :)  2 hours of walking, one up hill, is a great work out, I think.  No gym fees.

Just wanted to share and encourage others.  I get to work a bit earlier than everyone else in the office and have two wash clothes which I keep at my desk (hidden).  One to get wet with cool water to cool me down and one to pat me dry (I then hang them strategically over a hidden bottom file drawer and they are dry by the next morning).  I also have deodorant, but haven't really needed it if I just give myself about 10 minutes to cool down.  Even on a cool morning, it's quite a hike, and I walk into the office warm and dripping, but it is doable.  On a really hot day I bring a different shirt and change to my work shirt at the office.  Starting a bit earlier than everyone else helps but I wouldn't let that stop me if they were to see me sweat.  :)

So my encouragement is just because it's a steep hill and you want to bike it, don't be embarrassed or think you're a wuss if you have to walk it or part of it.

Also, I plan to buy an ebike converter once I've saved up some more of my emergency fund (which was used for the move).  I want to get the Hilltopper ebike kit converter.  That should make the commute in the morning even faster, and I will have no shame if I decide to still walk the top section (which is the steepest part).

Here's hoping you can make Mustachianism work for you! :)

acroy

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 10:07:58 AM »
BADASS!

hills.. I am rather jealous....

20ft elevation change here is called a 'ridge' and might be named!!
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carozy

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 10:42:57 AM »
BADASS!

hills.. I am rather jealous....

20ft elevation change here is called a 'ridge' and might be named!!

Thanks!  Lol, if you saw how slow I go, it doesn't look very badass, but it is helping my financials which is what counts.  :B

I'm not sure what the elevation change is...it goes from eck, hill, to OMGTHISISSOSTEEPIAMHIKINGWHENWILLTHISEND...which is why I need the podcasts! llol

CoreyTheMan

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 10:52:42 AM »
BADASS!

hills.. I am rather jealous....

20ft elevation change here is called a 'ridge' and might be named!!

Thanks!  Lol, if you saw how slow I go, it doesn't look very badass, but it is helping my financials which is what counts.  :B

I'm not sure what the elevation change is...it goes from eck, hill, to OMGTHISISSOSTEEPIAMHIKINGWHENWILLTHISEND...which is why I need the podcasts! llol

It's also helping your health which I would argue is more important than your financials :+1:

carozy

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2017, 11:00:30 AM »
BADASS!

hills.. I am rather jealous....

20ft elevation change here is called a 'ridge' and might be named!!

Thanks!  Lol, if you saw how slow I go, it doesn't look very badass, but it is helping my financials which is what counts.  :B

I'm not sure what the elevation change is...it goes from eck, hill, to OMGTHISISSOSTEEPIAMHIKINGWHENWILLTHISEND...which is why I need the podcasts! llol

It's also helping your health which I would argue is more important than your financials :+1:

Yes, that too!

terran

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2017, 09:08:42 AM »
If traffic isn't much of a concern on this hill you could try weaving back and forth. It effectively makes the slope less steep (though a longer path), so it could be a good way to slowly build up your stamina until you can make it up the whole hill straight up.

tawyer

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2017, 10:40:40 AM »
I get to work a bit earlier than everyone else in the office and have two wash clothes which I keep at my desk (hidden).  One to get wet with cool water to cool me down and one to pat me dry (I then hang them strategically over a hidden bottom file drawer and they are dry by the next morning).
I also have two washcloths for use in this fashion! I actually rinse them and zap them in the microwave for a couple of minutes so that they are dry sooner. Some people I work with refuse to cycle because there is no shower at work, but personally I think the washcloth approach is better: less water use, faster, and I feel cleaner.

meghan88

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2017, 07:50:18 AM »
What an inspiring post.  Congrats!!!

Kansaslover5

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2017, 12:53:23 PM »
Great work! Congrats on your journey!

RethinkTheRatRace

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2017, 02:37:26 PM »
Nice! And the good news is that since you are still pushing how far you are going, at some point you will be able to ride the hill. Maybe not with ease, but able to ride it. My wife and I bike to work (I've been doing it for around a year, but she just started in the past couple months), and her first day biking I rode with her so she would be more comfortable. There was a monster of a hill, and by itself it wouldn't be too bad, but it's the last one in a sequence of three hills in probably 1/4 of a mile. The first ride we hopped off and walked up the hill. But now, she can keep trucking up the hill with little problems. There's the occasional day of dragging ass, but overall you'll be able to make serious progress. And, my days are so much more enjoyable when I spend that time biking vs driving.
check out my blog ->rethinktheratrace.com

nancy33

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2017, 08:46:10 PM »
Fantastic post. Badass!

carozy

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 10:45:03 PM »
If traffic isn't much of a concern on this hill you could try weaving back and forth. It effectively makes the slope less steep (though a longer path), so it could be a good way to slowly build up your stamina until you can make it up the whole hill straight up.

That is a good idea although I'm riding with cars alongside me, so I'd rather just walk it close to the curb.

carozy

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 10:45:46 PM »
I get to work a bit earlier than everyone else in the office and have two wash clothes which I keep at my desk (hidden).  One to get wet with cool water to cool me down and one to pat me dry (I then hang them strategically over a hidden bottom file drawer and they are dry by the next morning).
I also have two washcloths for use in this fashion! I actually rinse them and zap them in the microwave for a couple of minutes so that they are dry sooner. Some people I work with refuse to cycle because there is no shower at work, but personally I think the washcloth approach is better: less water use, faster, and I feel cleaner.

I like the microwave idea, never thought of that.  Thanks!

carozy

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2017, 10:46:58 PM »
Great work! Congrats on your journey!
Fantastic post. Badass!
What an inspiring post.  Congrats!!!

Thank you all!  :)

carozy

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2017, 10:50:04 PM »
Nice! And the good news is that since you are still pushing how far you are going, at some point you will be able to ride the hill. Maybe not with ease, but able to ride it. My wife and I bike to work (I've been doing it for around a year, but she just started in the past couple months), and her first day biking I rode with her so she would be more comfortable. There was a monster of a hill, and by itself it wouldn't be too bad, but it's the last one in a sequence of three hills in probably 1/4 of a mile. The first ride we hopped off and walked up the hill. But now, she can keep trucking up the hill with little problems. There's the occasional day of dragging ass, but overall you'll be able to make serious progress. And, my days are so much more enjoyable when I spend that time biking vs driving.

I will keep trying and see how I go.  I just go by how I feel and do still have in mind getting the ebike converter kit at some point (mostly to cut down commute time speed, the exercise itself I don't mind).  I agree, biking feels better than driving and traffic to me!  I love getting to enjoy a nice day on a bike, and feeling the wind when I'm flying down the hill on a hot afternoon.  Congrats for conquering those hills!

carozy

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2017, 08:19:32 AM »
Just wanted to give an update:  I bought the Hill Topper ebike conversion kit from Clean Republic.  They have different levels, and I went with the Horizon (more expensive but more power) because of that huge hill.

The cheaper level ebike conversion kits are very easy to convert (there are youtube videos showing it can be done in under 10 minutes), but the Horizon is a bit more tricky because you have to take the handle grip off.  That was the part that sort of left me thinking I'd have to get a bike shop to convert my bike.

The first shop I tried wouldn't touch any work with the word "ebike" in it.  So I went to an ebike shop that they recommended, but the guy there quoted me a price that I balked at ($150 at least).  I figured for that price, I might as well try to do it myself or ask my father for help.  I mean, that's the price of another cheap bike!  I did ask another few shops and the lowest quote I got for working on it was $65 an hour.

So I tried doing the conversion myself (luckily it's front wheel which makes it much easier) but unfortunately the motor screws in the front hub hit my fork.  The fork technically measured 4 inches at the drop, but gets narrower/fatter as it goes up, so I didn't have enough clearance.  :(

I thought I'd have to invest in either a new fork (plus getting someone to do that swap out) or a new bike or something.  Luckily a very kind bike shop worker suggested I replace the screws to see if the shorter screw heads could work.

I tried that last night and so far it's looking good!  I had to use a hairdryer to pry off the handle grip, but I got the conversion done, learned how to fix all these different parts of my bike with different screwdrivers and stuff, and am feeling very accomplished.  lol

I'm going to take it for a test drive this morning - also my commute to work.  I'll try to time it to see how much time the ebike will save me.

So I wanted to recommend the Clean Republic Hill Topper ebike conversion kits to Mustachians.  They have an affordable range of conversion kits, and I don't think most Mustachians would need to pay extra for the high-end one.  There are youtube videos showing how to do the conversion and one showing it on a $250 Schwinn bike.  You do want a steel fork and 4" clearance for the motor hub, although I've seen skinnier motor hubs on youtube which might be the lower level power kits.  The Horizon model I got also includes a key which locks the battery down for theft protection (the other ones strap on).  A steel fork is a requirement for the Horizon model.

Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there - it's possible to do an affordable and easy ebike bike conversion which can save you time, energy, and money.


Wallet

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2017, 09:29:57 AM »
I have to know - did the shorter screw heads work? How's the electric assist? Is your commuting time drastically reduced?

carozy

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2017, 10:49:05 PM »
It did work great.  My commute went down to about 20 minutes - super fast and much easier (although I still bike the whole way -- I don't just let the motor pull me without also pedaling).  I charged the battery the 2nd day and the 3rd day the motor conked out at the steepest part of the hill when I changed gears and then pushed the throttle again.  I might've shorted something somehow.  I'm working with the company about it.  I was told to try charging it again (you have to charge it in a very specific way) and we'd go from there.  I hope it will start working again but I'm trusting Clean Republic will make things right if not.  They have good customer service and a support line and forum.  Also, when I reread the battery charging instructions I noticed you're supposed to top off the battery after each ride which I had forgotten about.  So we'll see.  It worked fine until I got to that steepest part of the hill and stopped the motor to change gears.  It might've been a combination of not having enough wheel movement because the hill was so steep it was hard to get the bike moving.  I just remember it feeling and sounding sort of dead right when I let off the throttle before the gear switch.  Anyway, hopefully it will be an easy fix.  I will post an update once it's sorted.

Wallet

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2017, 07:19:02 AM »
Glad to hear it initially worked and cut your commute down by half! That's amazing.

Fingers crossed you get the tech gremlins sorted and you can get back to enjoying your new found speed. Keep us posted!

carozy

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Re: Conquering the huge, steep hill on way to work w/o car or bus
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2017, 10:47:23 PM »
Thanks Wallet.  They have been working with me and believe it is the controller so offered to fix it or send me a new controller and I could do it myself, so I opted for that.  They've already sent the instructions with pics so I'm just waiting for the controller to arrive and then I'll swap it out and hopefully that will fix the problem.  I'll keep you posted.  I don't mind the walk though since I'm learning Spanish on the hike up and reviewing on the way down (using Glossika program).  I'll keep you posted on the bike!