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2013-06-05 12:53 PM


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Subject: Cycling Harlem Hill in Central Park
Question for all you cyclists out there zooming by me in Central Park...How on earth do you get so fast? I'm chugging along as fast as I can and then groups (and individuals) always seem to pass me! Especially Harlem Hill!! How do I become a stronger cyclist? It can't just be because I have a "beginner" road bike. I'm a decent runner and decent swimmer but I can't seem to get my biking down. What gives?


2013-06-05 1:40 PM
in reply to: NYAppleSwim123

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Subject: RE: Cycling Harlem Hill in Central Park
Haha this happens to me all the time - NYC is full of so many amazing athletes who use CP as a training ground. Enough pro and non-pro (but serious) teams use CP, especially early morning and later night, and naturally they're going to fly by. Of course a lighter frame makes a difference but lets be real, if we could catch the pros wouldn't we be one ourselves?

Forgive me if I'm telling you what you already know but hill repeats are a great way to get stronger (http://www.strongercyclist.com/hill-repeats/). The thing is that NYC isn't the most ideal place to train on hills - I visit family in Connecticut regularly to work on my climbing where you can find much longer ascents. Most people also train on 9W across the GWB for their long rides - I'm not really sure what the hills are like there. You can also do hill repeats on the most upper loop of CP when time is limited and we're being realistic... though you do feel kind of hampster-like doing a 1.5 mile loop over and over. If you can find a time when the bridges are a little less crowded they also are a good opportunity for hill repeats (with a view!) though the grade is steeper on heartbreak hill.
2013-06-05 1:55 PM
in reply to: AR_UC86

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Subject: RE: Cycling Harlem Hill in Central Park
i feel the same way everytime i bike in CP as well. Ppl usually zoom by me. Sometimes even guys with fat tire MTB, or single speed fixies go past, and that when things gets really depressing.

But i do triathlons for fun, and i dont really push myself for better times or anything. i only bike once a week, and am ok with it. So i drop the bar, and usually compete with the tourists on citi bikes ; )

As other have said before, just doing hill repeats is a very good way to improve your hill climbs. I have seen plently of cyclists repeating the north harlem hill loop multiple times.
2013-06-09 4:52 PM
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Subject: RE: Cycling Harlem Hill in Central Park
hill repeats - after a warm up loop do loops of JUST harlem hill - the first time just do as many as you can in whatever gear but as you get stronger you do things like big ring, increase a gear or 2 as you go up.....

then hill repeats on River Road (over the GWB) - really nasty but they work

my latest hill work has been up in Pawling NY on the Pawling Mountain road race course (canceled this year for some reason) but a great nasty climb

you get stronger on hills by riding more hills.

eta: happy to meet one morning and do repeats with you

Edited by TriToy 2013-06-09 4:54 PM
2013-06-09 4:59 PM
in reply to: TriToy

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Subject: RE: Cycling Harlem Hill in Central Park
I thought of this thread while I was riding up Harlem Hill this morning.
2013-06-09 6:30 PM
in reply to: jmk-brooklyn

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Subject: RE: Cycling Harlem Hill in Central Park
Originally posted by jmk-brooklyn

I thought of this thread while I was riding up Harlem Hill this morning.

I was out there too - in a pink and white kit on a road bike


2013-06-15 12:07 PM
in reply to: NYAppleSwim123

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Subject: RE: Cycling Harlem Hill in Central Park
There are more than one reason why they are faster than you, but know that there will always be people much faster than you.

Weight, and ultimately the power to weight to ratio is a factor. I'm in the Clydesdale category now weight wise, and though my power(FTP) is higher than a friend of mine. He's a lot lighter, and he'll fly up the hill.

How to get better, get stronger. You can do repeats of Harlem Hill. Go easy, go hard, etc.

There is also the Alpine climb off of 9W. Lot of cyclists will go there and do hill repeats. Its about a one mile climb.

I used to think the same as you. I've gotten much stronger. The hills in Central Park are much shorter than other climbs. I can get out of my seat and hold my own with most people. If it was much longer, I'd die out real quick.

Another word of advice that I was given, just comes from time in the saddle. Just RIDE RIDE RIDE. When I had a training day and it was raining, I still went outside. Once the weather improved, I was significantly better than some of my friends.
2013-08-05 4:38 PM
in reply to: NYAppleSwim123


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Subject: RE: Cycling Harlem Hill in Central Park
here's a different perspective. btw, i do hill repeats every now and then on harlem hill

i actually switch to a compact front 50/34 and change my rear cassette for IMMT this past weekend and went out to see how much easier climbing hills would be. it was a great decision to do so because im going up hills much faster and easier(high cadence) especially harlem hill.

this is just my opinion, but if you notice those fast guys passing you it's because they are able to generate with their strength a fast cadence in the gear that they are in. well, being a BOP it was hard for me to do that, but with the change in cassette and cranks i now can. i wasnt built for a 53/39 front, but im enjoying my 50/34 and look forward to doing hill repeats very soon.

2013-08-17 7:49 AM
in reply to: AR_UC86

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Subject: RE: Cycling Harlem Hill in Central Park
I would really like to focus on hills this weekend, and figure Harlem Hill is my best bet. But I have never noticed a turnaround to just do the hill. Can someone tell me where it is?
2013-08-17 6:54 PM
in reply to: mnbrickx

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Subject: RE: Cycling Harlem Hill in Central Park
Originally posted by mnbrickx

I would really like to focus on hills this weekend, and figure Harlem Hill is my best bet. But I have never noticed a turnaround to just do the hill. Can someone tell me where it is?


going around the loop, after you go down lasker and go up HH and down the back, you make the left on the transverse at 110th street - thus hill repeats. the loop is about a a mile or so
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