So what is a hill ride and why would you want to ride hills? We have established a guide to help you better understand the challenge and joys of climbing while riding….
– Hill rides get us out of our normal day to day rides and offer some truly beautiful vistas and routes to change up the scenery
– Riding hills makes you a stronger, more versatile rider
– Hills offer a different set of challenges which, although they might intimidate at first, can offer an exciting change
Hills are rated on a % grade – the amount the road rises or falls over a 100 foot distance. A 5% grade is a 5 foot rise or fall over 100 feet of travel distance (264 ft over a mile). When we post the Team Evesham hill rides we describe the highest grade %’s we typically experience on a ride. Also, % grade information can be found within Ride w/GPS when you view the routes.
We are updating our guide better help riders understand the challenge of a hill ride over the entire course of the ride. We don’t rate hill rides with a letter for a speed or pace. So how “fast” are hill rides? In the flat areas these rides are similar to a B ride – about 16 – 18 mph (assuming no winds, generally flat, etc). HOWEVER, in hilly areas and on steeper individual hills, riders will climb at their own pace and at slower paces and we typically regroup at the top of each climb. As a result, a hill ride may only average 13-14 mph and riders may travel up hilly sections at speeds like 5-7 mph and downhill speeds may approach 25, 30, or even 40 mph. As a result, it is important for riders to understand their own skill level and remain in control on these up and down sections. For this reason, we rate hills as “B or better skill level” rides due to the level of effort required to climb steeper hills – not based on speed.
The below ratings will be listed with each route when it is posted and are based on the ratio of feet climbed per mile. The more feet, the more challenging the ride.
“Flat” – 0-24ft/mile. A typical local Team Evesham ride. Example – 40mile ride. 600feet of climbing would yield a 15ft/mile ride.
“Rollers” – 25-49 ft/mile. A Team Evesham ride out of Bordentown or Columbus NJ would fit this classification where grades are typically within 5% and climbs tend to be shorter distance.
“Hills” – 50-74ft/mile. A Team Evesham ride out of Washington Crossing/Pennington/Hopewell would fit this classification. These rides have some hills with grades over 10% for short periods, most however, are in the 4-8% range but some may be longer at those slopes.
“Mountain” – 75-99 ft/mile. Very few Team Evesham rides in the NJ reach this level, but there are a few that have been recorded. Before riders tackle hills rated at these levels they should have done a number of hill rides and developed their skill level as well as their understanding of the effort these rides can require of a rider.
“HC” – beyond category 100+ft/mile.- These are typically reached in the higher Appalachians, or on Western U.S. rides.
How are hill rides done with a group?
As noted, riders climb at their pace and we regroup many times on a hill ride including at the top of any significant individual climbs. When climbing hills you find your pace and cadence and enjoy the ride. NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND, BUT WE DO EXPECT RIDERS TO HAVE THE CONDITIONING AND SKILL TO RIDE AT THE LEVEL THE RIDE IS RATED FOR AND ABOVE THE “FLAT” 0-24FT/MILE RATING. As we schedule hill rides we will include a series of rides that will enable riders to ease into the hills for the season. Take advantage of these rides. They will condition you, build your confidence, and get you ready for the more dynamic rides when they come.
More info: Here are six tips to climb better from a book that serves as an excellent resource for bike conditioning and better understanding of climbing…….https://www.
Schedule: For the 2020 season, we are continuing to offer hill rides on the first and third Saturday of each month. Additional rides may be added at various times, so watch the website for more info.