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ungerch1

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Reply with quote  #1 
I just got back from the Fat Tire race in Hayward and found the hills daunting... I'd like to add more hills to my training next year. Any suggestion on a ~15-20 mile gravel road loop with lots of hills ? I could do two or three loops per trip. I'm from Chanhassen so the west side of the metro would be preferred. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #2 
I have no clue as I am not from your area. My best advice would be to go to some LBS(local bike shops) especially ones that were mt. bike shops mainly. Good luck

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #3 
The Twin Cities is completely surrounded by luxury gravel. I'm originally from the White Bear Lake area, so the East side is my territory. But there's tons of great stuff out West near Chanhassen and I've ridden all of it.. Victora, Waconia, Carver. St. Bonnies and Watertown to the North. Just do an activity search, with "gravel" as a keyword of course, for any area on Strava and all will be revealed.

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A great set of wheels will make an average frame ride better. It doesn't work the other way around.  ~ridemagnetic
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CrankShaft

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The hills of Chequamegon surprise a lot of people.  They think of the area as flat, and compared to Colorado it is.  However, those short, punchy hills just keep coming one after another, and they take a toll on your legs.  I am still a Chequamegon 40 newbie at 5 races, but my times have been steadily improving each year (just over 3:00 this year, and I am an old fart).  The best advice I can give is to focus on endurance first, and hills and speed second.  Once you can handle a sustained, hard effort for 2 to 4 hours, the hills won't seem as bad. 

To build endurance, ride your bike.  Ride it a lot.  This will help to establish a strong base of endurance fitness in your legs.  If you have a road, or gravel bike, ride that more than your MTB.  Don't worry too much about finding hills - get miles into your legs.  I try to do one long (50 to 100 miles) and one medium ride each weekend, with 2 or 4 shorter rides (15 to 30) during the week - depending on available time.  Use this site to find some gravel in the SW area: https://gravelmap.com/#@44.98780413470361,-93.77512616107026,9,hybrid

As you build good endurance, you can add speed intervals, or hill work as desired.  One hill drill I have used over the years is to find a small hill 100 to 200 in elevation, and 1/3 to 1/2 mile in length.  Ride up the hill in your easiest gear (in the small front ring if you have a 2X), and then ride back to the bottom as a recovery.  Shift the next hardest gear and climb it again.  Keep doing this until you have gone through all 10 or 11 gears in the rear cassette.  Do this once a week.  You may not make all 10 gears at first, but over time, this will become an easy drill.

Good luck!  See you next year in Hayward.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks for the reminder of the hill repeats reminder Crankshaft. I know that works.


I kind of forgot about that as I use to do hill repeats when I use to be a competitive runner/racer. I have a hill just like that about 1 1/2 mile from my house and will start doing that.


Thanks
Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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ungerch1

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Reply with quote  #6 
Not really looking for training tips .... looking for roads with hills.
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ungerch1

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Thanks ridemagnetic. Will try that.
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CrankShaft

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ungerch1
Not really looking for training tips .... looking for roads with hills.


There was a link for all of the gravel roads near you. Ride and find hills.
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ungerch1

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks PMC. I'll keep that in mind if I can't find anything out here.
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