Rides guidance.
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Rides guidance.

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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 12
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I don’t want to muddy the waters - but I’m not sure I understand the relevance of total climb in a ride? 🤔. Surely it’s all about the steepness of the hills on the ride?

A Pathfinder we did from Wadebridge onto Bodmin Moor was almost a 100 ft per mile but was seen as an easy ride. Conversely, Paul’s ride, that had only slightly more climb, about 110 ft per mile, but was seen by some as very difficult.

The gearing of the bike may be the important issue here. As the steepness increases you change gear and consequently slow down - but always for the same effort. Until you run out of gears. (How many gears you have is entirely up to you.) Eventually you may run out of gears and some may wish to walk.


The gradient of a hill achieving 100 ft for every mile is I think 1.9 % ( For comparison sake the climb past the recycling centre to Longdowns is 2.6% ). So a series of 3.8% climbs, throughout a 25 mile ride would give 100 ft for every mile over the day - but wouldn’t be a challenging ride.

Personally I don’t think it’s a great idea dwelling too much on the amount of climb in a ride as it further complicates the task of the organiser who already has sufficient work planning an interesting route - we don’t want to compromise these rides because of the terrain. Just use the right equipment - not a single speed but a bike with plenty of gears!! Many in the club already have electric bikes for this very reason but if you don’t have the assistance of an electric motor, or sufficient low gears, you can always get off and walk a bit - there’s no harm in that - we are happy to wait.


I consider myself a strong rider but will still use a 12/30 cassette, the largest 10 speed Campagnolo make. Most are more likely to use Shimano so could buy a 11/34 cassette!  With a compact chainset this will give you a gear ratio of one to one, good enough for most regular cyclists to climb the steepest hills, albeit very slowly if you’re not such a strong rider.

Alas, we live in Cornwall. If you stubbornly refuse to change your gearing you may find you need counselling 🤭. Or move to Lincolnshire 😂😂😂