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Howth Hill is holy Hard!

  • 30-07-2008 1:06pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 716 ✭✭✭flatface


    Jeesh, I though I was of OK beginner ablity, a mix of commutes and occasional 50k runs. Last night I took the lovely evening as an excuse for my first cycle to howth and back from Crumlin and went up the hill from the village side. As I am light as a bean I though I would float up the hill, zip down the back and roll home for tea. My good lordy I died a death! I dont think I have ever had to stop on a hill before - I just could not get to spinning speed in 1st gear.

    Now of course I bad-workmanly blamed my tools first - my attirely unsuitable cotton clothes weighed me down, my leg hairs dragged in the wind etc. Insult to my injuries were a pair of calvey cyclists sauntering by me on the steepest part of the hill seemingly spinning at a gear lower than the one I was crunching. Instantly I cursed not getting a compact gear set on my specialist allez and took it as an excuse to stop for a moment to glower at the bike and get my breath back.

    After that my legs were like jelly and I crawled home even the slightest bridge giving my muscles a lactose flashback.

    I was hoping to do the ring of kerry race next year but after last night I reckon I may be cut out for couchier things. Are all hills this hard? Are hills possible without a fanatical amount of training? Maybe I should try it again tomorrow, sure I haven't had a good nemesis since me school days; damn you the hill.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭72hundred


    Did you go up the north face or the south face?

    In terms of hardness North>>>>>South face!!!!

    72oo

    EDIT: North face = Village side. I'd recommend sticking with the south face 10-15 times then going the north face.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,240 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    If you've never done hills before, it will be pretty hard the first time. However, don't let it put you off. A few more runs at it and you'll feel more comfortable, especially if as you say you're a light guy.

    First time I went up that side of the head a few years ago I was fit to puke. Now I can do it standing out of the saddle all the way.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,942 ✭✭✭Danbo!


    Im in the same situation as you OP, or rather was, in the last few weeks. Basically ive been communting 22k roundtrip for about 3 years, and do 50-100k every weekend, mostly flat. Now im certainly not 'light as a bean' but living near the mountains i decided to give the aul hills a bash.

    This is when i discovered my lung capacity was similar to the capacity of a can of coke. The way I was breathing sounded like someone had just jumped on my chest for an hour. I was panicking a bit, being halfway up a mountain, nobody around and i was about to collapse into a ditch and never be seen again. So i just turned around and rolled home feeling sorry for myself.

    I was pretty unhappy with myself too, i assumed i could cycle up the alps, but hills are nothing like the flat. So most evenings in the last few weeks ive been going up and down, sometimes long and slow ascents, sometimes short hill repeats. But its getting a lot easier with practice, the breathing is improving and, never thought id say it, but its great fun.

    Also, if you live in crumlin, would the dub/wicklow mountains not be closer to you than howth? If you're ever up stocking lane/ballycullen road/edmunstown road, ill be on the lappierre with blue tyres, rolling backwards down the hill panting uncontrollably :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,066 ✭✭✭Bambaata


    yeah first time i found the hill hard enough. Its a breeze now. Just keep at it. ROK is a long way away so i wouldn't rule it out at all. You'd only need a few months training to build up to it and there's ample time


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,884 ✭✭✭beans


    ^^ what they said. Pain is just weakness leaving your system - keep it up and your body will start to get the picture :)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,942 ✭✭✭Danbo!


    what was that lance armstrong quote? Pain is temporary, quitting is permanent or something similar/worded better!


  • Registered Users Posts: 716 ✭✭✭flatface


    Thanks for the encouragement.

    noblestee - appreciate the tales of woe: does make me feel better! Will look into some closer hill routes and look out for you.

    Bambaata - I am trying to get a handle on how tough something like ROK is gonna be given my Howth experience. If I do say howth once a week and get OK at it are ROK hills a whimperingly whole different league? I just dont want to have to get religious on the whole training thing in order to enjoy this cycling thang.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,831 ✭✭✭ROK ON


    Firstly, Ring of Kerry is a long way away. You will be able to do it. I did it for 1st time this year and managed to get by on 3 months training at w/e plus a daily commute.
    I know how you felt on Howth. I did Sally Gap for 1st time at w/e and nearly died (several times). Found that I was desparately short of breath/fitness. A couple of nice people got me up. I am hoping to do it again at w/e.
    The hills in Kerry are nothing like those in Wicklow or Howth Hill for that matter. They are long gradual climbs, rather than steep ascents.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,240 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    The hills on the ROK are a piece of cake. There's a big drag at Coomakista and the only proper climb then is Moll's Gap. Both are longer than Howth, neither is as steep.

    To give you some idea of how much you can improve, within two months of my initial climb of Howth I was doing 100km+ rides in the Wicklow mountains that were much harder than the ROK.

    You've oodles of time to train for it. Even if you only started a few months before it, you'd still be able to get ready.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,700 ✭✭✭tricky D


    72hundred wrote: »
    Did you go up the north face or the south face?

    In terms of hardness North>>>>>South face!!!!

    72oo

    EDIT: North face = Village side. I'd recommend sticking with the south face 10-15 times then going the north face.

    Fyi there's 2 routes from the village side:

    Left at the church is easier than right at the church up Main St/Balglass Rd/Balkill Rd and right onto Windgate Rd


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  • Registered Users Posts: 716 ✭✭✭flatface


    Thanks all -that's a big relief: I was thinking that howth was gonna be a piece of cake to all of ya and nothing in comparison to ROK. Will keep at it so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭CyaL8r


    Hey flat face. Was is a similar position to you. Agreed to do the ROK while drinking with a few mates leaving me only about 6 weeks to train for it. Before these 6 weeks I hadn't cycled in 10 years. So like yourself decided i'd chance the steep side of Howth. Got some of the way up and got lightheaded and had to stop. This happens for about 3 weeks but then on the 4 I made it around handy enough. On the fifth week I went out with the boards.ie group and went around Sallys Gap. Again this nearly killed me but the support from the guy here really helped and I made it. This was the sum amount of training was did for the ROK and made it around handy enough. Granted I took it handy enough. As the lads have said the hills in ROK are really just long drags. My advice to you is to definitly stick with it and the feeling of pride when you do manage to get up the hill is great. Also cycling in a group will definitly make climbs seem much more managable


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,066 ✭✭✭Bambaata


    when you hit a hill for the first time i always find that time is 10 times harder than the next time you'll climb it. its as though you "learn" how to approach it. distance being the big thing. nothing worse than seeing a corner on a hill and thinking that's it and then pushing to it only to discover another few hundred metres of a climb! thats how i feel on them anyway. i went up the east side of sally gap for only the 2nd time last weekend and found it so much easier than when i hit it a few months. that time i died 3 times.

    just keep pushing yourself up them. you'll be surprised what your body is capable of. an article i read a few months back talked about the effect of exhaustion. it spoke about how it is actually your brain just telling you that you are capable of no more when in actual fact your muscles hold tonnes more energy. i believe they tested it with a group of experienced cyclists. they got them to cycle something like 70km at a good pace to the point that they actually felt exhausted but on analysing their muscles something like 50% of the muscles weren't even in use. it was as though the brain was making part of it rest while the other part did the work. i think it was something to that effect anyway


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,907 ✭✭✭cantalach


    ROK ON wrote: »
    The hills in Kerry are nothing like those in Wicklow or Howth Hill for that matter. They are long gradual climbs, rather than steep ascents.

    When you say "hills in Kerry" here, you presumably mean the ones in the RoK? Granted, there's nothing terribly challenging in them. But it would be far from true to say generally that hills in Kerry were easier than hills in Wicklow!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,878 ✭✭✭✭ Milana Hot Crossbones


    Well OP, I live right beside Howth.

    I regularly cycle full tilt through Sutton X then find some excuse why I'll put off the attack for another week, this is despite cycling now a regular 30km-50km daily.

    There's just something about it terrifies me for my first attempt :(


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,942 ✭✭✭Danbo!


    Mairt wrote: »
    Well OP, I live right beside Howth.

    I regularly cycle full tilt through Sutton X then find some excuse why I'll put off the attack for another week, this is despite cycling now a regular 30km-50km daily.

    There's just something about it terrifies me for my first attempt :(

    ive often headed up to the bottom of stocking lane, ready to tackle it, only to turn and head out on a long flat run. I might do 60k and ill tell myself thats great, but ill regret not heading up for the climb...


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭DirkVoodoo


    I like howth from either direction. Its a nice climb, decent road surfaces and you get that view at the top (plus the last little incline to the car park makes a nice finish).

    Keep going at it, its good practice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 738 ✭✭✭AndyP


    Word of advice for the OP. Start heading into the Dublin/Wicklow mountains. More variety, short and steep, long drags, basically all you need and much easier to get to from Crumlin. Head out towards Templeogue and you will be on quiet(ish) roads in 20 minutes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 738 ✭✭✭AndyP


    noblestee wrote: »
    ive often headed up to the bottom of stocking lane, ready to tackle it, only to turn and head out on a long flat run. I might do 60k and ill tell myself thats great, but ill regret not heading up for the climb...

    Do it. If you feel the need then stop as often as you want but go to the top, you will feel great about yourself and will want to do it again and again. It will get easier every time after that.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,703 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl


    Mairt wrote: »
    Well OP, I live right beside Howth.

    I regularly cycle full tilt through Sutton X then find some excuse why I'll put off the attack for another week, this is despite cycling now a regular 30km-50km daily.

    There's just something about it terrifies me for my first attempt :(

    I kept doing that for months until I finally started going over the hill last week. I go up from the village and it damn near killed me the first time. I got slightly further the second time before I had to get off and rest for a minute. My breathing was fine but christ my legs were sore. Planning on getting over in one go any day now :D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭72hundred


    Bambaata wrote: »
    an article i read a few months back talked about the effect of exhaustion.....

    I know it was a while ago, but any chance you post up a link? This is a topic I'm very interested in. Actual physical -v- perceived mental exhaustion.

    72oo


  • Registered Users Posts: 716 ✭✭✭flatface


    AndyP wrote: »
    Word of advice for the OP. Start heading into the Dublin/Wicklow mountains. More variety, short and steep, long drags, basically all you need and much easier to get to from Crumlin. Head out towards Templeogue and you will be on quiet(ish) roads in 20 minutes.

    Thanks Andy, never ventured that way yet - looking at google maps should I head for blessington road, bohernabreena or stocking lane for my first go of it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,989 ✭✭✭✭blorg


    Try Stocking Lane as far as Mount Venus Road- if you are feeling good you can push on up to the view point or alternatively abort down Mount Venus Road and back Edmunstown Road (mind you Mt Venus Road is a bit up and down but nothing crazy.) There is another abort point a little further up where right will take you to Tallaght.

    Don't worry if you have to stop and get off the bike BTW, I would not expect you get up in one go on your first attempt.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 155 ✭✭crowbar188


    Would anyone be able to say how hard Howth hill is in comparison to Killiney hill??


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19,986 ✭✭✭✭mikemac


    tricky D wrote: »
    Left at the church is easier than right at the church up Main St/Balglass Rd/Balkill Rd and right onto Windgate Rd

    Right at the church isn't possible :eek:

    And if a cyclist can do that section, I'd bow down before them. It's tough going walking up there never mind cycling it!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,615 ✭✭✭NewDubliner


    micmclo wrote: »
    Right at the church isn't possible :eek:
    I used to do it for fun when I had more hair. It's short & sharp but doable if you've a body built for climbing and have a road bike with say a 42x22 or lower.

    One day at the just before the right hand bend a motorist overtook me and then came to a stop on the narrow road just in front of me while turning right. I had to stop and couldn't get started again. Had to walk. Felt like a newbie.

    But, the best training is on draggy hills into the wind. They test your concentration and patience.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,240 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    micmclo wrote: »
    Right at the church isn't possible :eek:

    Tis steep but not that long.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,700 ✭✭✭tricky D


    It's well possible but you'd want to be a touch mad, very fit and/or well used to Howth. As a native I used to do it a long time ago when I was younger and fitter. Taking the right onto Windgate Rd is a tad masochistic but again doable. Dubliner is right, you stop once on the bottom bit, you're probably walking until you can get a flatter run-up from Balkill Pk.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,831 ✭✭✭ROK ON


    Podge_irl wrote: »
    I got slightly further the second time before I had to get off and rest for a minute. My breathing was fine but christ my legs were sore. Planning on getting over in one go any day now :D

    My legs were fine, but my breathing was all over the place. Wanna swap.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 11,270 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hermy


    micmclo wrote: »
    Right at the church isn't possible :eek:

    It's possible all right but it hurts now matter how often you climb it.
    Would anyone know just how steep the stretch of Balglass Hill at the s-bend is?

    Genealogy Forum Mod



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