Author Topic: would you ride this hill.  (Read 5804 times)

Hedge_87

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would you ride this hill.
« on: June 21, 2014, 08:04:50 AM »
So I'm a pretty new cyclist and I've been trying to increase my miles and find a few hills to crawl up. There is an overpass over the railroad tracks just outside of town. This is by far the biggest hill around (I live in south central ks). The speed limit changes from 65-40 MPH half way up the hill so people are slowing down. I've never road anything other than in town roads and county black tops so this was a new experience. Other than a couple assholes who didn't feel like giving me any space most people slowed down and gave me plenty of room. My big concern is while getting passed if someone comes over the top of the hill from the other direction it could get interesting. Once I get to the actual overpass there is about 8-10 ft of shoulder so it's not like I have no where to go. Is this just first time jitters or should I not ride it? I am definitely getting a mirror of some kind so at least I can see them coming before they are right beside me.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2014, 01:12:51 PM »
Fuck yea I would, what's life worth living without getting your adrenaline jacked up every once in a while? THAT'S WHY ZEBRA'S DON'T GET ULCERS!

Hedge_87

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2014, 05:59:37 PM »
Fuck yea I would, what's life worth living without getting your adrenaline jacked up every once in a while? THAT'S WHY ZEBRA'S DON'T GET ULCERS!

So what your saying is nut up or shut up bitch! I think I'll be fine with a mirror. Any roads I'm going to ride around here will be two lane black top with no shoulder.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2014, 06:15:06 PM »
If there is no shoulder, take at least 1/3 of the lane. This way people know they have to go WAY around you, not squeeze past.

Yes, they will honk. So what?

frompa

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2014, 06:16:36 PM »
You know, I rode with a mirror on my helmet for YEARS, and then one day it broke.  After I got over the habit of always looking up at the now absent mirror to see what was coming up behind me as I rode my daily commute on very busy roads (hills included), I found cycling much more RELAXING without the mirror.  And safer, too, because I was paying more attention to my own cycling and what was right in front of me rather than being distracted by my own fearful glances of what might be coming.  From then on I always assumed that some driving asshole was coming up too fast on my butt, and I learned to find my solid, visible position on the road and ride it firm and steady.  Really, vehicle drivers don't want your blood on their cars (cyclist blood can be so.... inconvenient), so try riding that hill with confidence. Good luck!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2014, 06:33:03 PM »
Yeah, the only way I would get a mirror would be if I had to make a LOT of left turns or lane changes, so much that shoulder checking was annoying/too hard/unsafe.

Hedge_87

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2014, 08:47:40 AM »
Well went and hit it again this morning and it went a lot better. I just didn't look back to see who was coming this time and I was a lot more relaxed that way. it's amazing to me how you really can't hear vehicles coming up behind you. I didn't even hear Billy in his bad ass diesel with super load exhausted until he mashed on it to pass me and blow diesel smoke in my face. Now I just need to figure out the right gear for the hill so I don't lose all my speed and burn my legs up before I make it 1/4 way up it

desrever

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2014, 11:10:00 AM »
Some people like to quote something like "less than 5% of bike accidents are hits from behind" but really you need to trust your instincts -- some roads are truly unsafe. You should worry most about some situation where drivers might not see you until too late (eg if they're changing lanes or overtaking a vehicle that is going slow behind you), especially if you're in a road position where drivers are not conditioned to expect a cyclist. With vehicles traveling at 60mph an accident could easily be fatal.

Having said that, you ought to be aware that the sort of accidents that new cyclists are most worried about (including and especially the hit from behind) are often at odds with the sort of accidents that are most likely to occur. When I started biking I wanted a mirror because I was worried about cars sneaking up, but this worry went away with experience. Now I just always position myself where I would if there were a car approaching. One reason not to use a mirror, is that when you look behind you, you're communicating your awareness (and signaling possible movement) to the drivers who might be following you.

scottydog

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2014, 06:28:31 PM »
I found cycling much more RELAXING without the mirror.  And safer, too, because I was paying more attention to my own cycling and what was right in front of me rather than being distracted by my own fearful glances of what might be coming.

Very interesting...  I've been riding with a mirror on my helmet for years as well, and I get predictably stressed whenever I see cars behind me.  It's not that I think they might hit me; I'm actually more concerned about any dumbass moves they might make if they get impatient.  Perhaps I'll try riding without the mirror for a while.  Thanks for sharing this perspective!

fallstoclimb

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2014, 07:54:19 AM »
I hated riding with a mirror.  I found that I spent too much time watching the cars from behind, worrying they would hit me (when, really, by the time it'd be clear they really were coming towards me it would probably be too late to do much about it), and not enough time watching the road in front of me for cars, wildlife and other obstacles that are more likely to cause an accident. 

That said, I wouldn't bike up a steep hill on a 45-60 mph road with no shoulder (is there no shoulder?  I'm unclear) unless traffic was pretty light, but that's just because it would stress me out.  You do need to worry about a car from behind trying to pass you when they can't see if there is a car coming from the opposite direction.  A cyclist here died last year in that sort of accident.  Take the whole lane aggressively when it isn't safe for them to pass. 

Timmmy

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2014, 08:08:51 AM »
Long ago I took the mirrors off my motorcycle.  Best thing I ever did.  I've never even though about putting any kind of mirror on my bicycle. 

There's plenty to pay attention to ahead of you. 

Glenstache

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2014, 09:30:23 AM »
I have no input on if this road is a good choice or not, but If there is no shoulder, take Thegoblinchief's recommendation and take a healthy amount of the lane. The idea is that if it isn't safe for them to pass you there, it also isn't safe to pass with you on the fog line... and they will be much more likely to give it a try if they see more room.

bogart

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2014, 10:50:32 AM »
THAT'S WHY ZEBRA'S DON'T GET ULCERS!

Haha.  OK, OK, I *get* that it's a metaphor, but this made me grumpy, because horses (domesticated) *do* get ulcers -- it's a huge and tremendously common problem.  I'd never actually heard of the book by the title until I began my extensive googling, but I've now turned a case of a zebra with ulcers (albeit a zoo-kept zebra; of course, guess what -- no one's checking the wild ones' guts!), see p. 5 of this pdf:  http://www.science.smith.edu/msi/pdf/i0076-3519-453-01-0001.pdf .

There does seem to be pretty widespread consensus among vets and other practitioners that domesticated equines are way, way, way more prone to ulcers than are their wild counterparts, a difference thought likely largely due to differences in the animals' diets.  So forget the bike, try hay (or, better, range grass):  http://www.amazon.com/Standlee-Premium-Western-Forage-Timothy/dp/B00A7QG8IU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403542079&sr=8-1&keywords=hay ;) !

Hedge_87

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Re: would you ride this hill.
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2014, 04:06:53 PM »
Quote
I wouldn't bike up a steep hill on a 45-60 mph road with no shoulder (is there no shoulder?  I'm unclear) unless traffic was pretty light
,

I'm not sure of the actual grade in the road but it is a steady incline for about a half mile and then another half mile of decline.  Coming from the north you have people entering the "city" limits and by the time they get to the top of the hill you have 40 MPH (this gets inforced big time by the local pd) on the other side you have an intersection with a stop sign. As far as the shoulder is concerned there is a little bit of gravel maybe a foot or so and then grass until you are on the actual overpass and then it is a wide cement shoulder almost a whole other lane while on the bridge part. I'll try and get some pictures tonight on my ride.  I'm sure you city dwellers will think I'm just being a pansy lol.