Author Topic: The road is flat. It's what?  (Read 1534 times)

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Offline Westinghouse

The road is flat. It's what?
« on: June 13, 2022, 04:07:43 pm »
When inquiring about the road up ahead from locals, they tell me it is flat. So I go my way. The road is definitely not flat. It might be rolling and it might be quite hilly. It led to an interesting observation of human psychology. People who have gone over these Hills using only motorized transportation, even though they have seen these Hills hundreds of times perceive it or at least they report it as flat. Why is this? It is that they had never had to use their own power and energy to overcome gravity getting over those Hills. Sure they know the hills are there but they tell me the road is flat. On occasion I found myself doing the same thing telling cyclist for example that the road along the Indian River between Jensen Beach and Fort Pierce is flat. Is it flat? No it is not flat. There are many numerous Rises and Falls none of which are extreme and none of which would be of any concern to a real cyclist oh, but the road is not flat./b]

Offline staehpj1

Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2022, 05:11:40 pm »
I've observed the same with most car drivers, but find that big rig truckers and farmers will both typically give an accurate description.

Offline wildtoad

Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2022, 06:03:09 pm »
Those who drive mid-range EVs are also generally pretty in tune w/ the subtleties of the road grades in a given area. Speaking from personal experience....

Offline John Nelson

Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2022, 08:46:20 pm »
Distances are underestimated too. A “quarter mile” is two miles, and “not far” might be ten miles.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2022, 08:53:20 am »
Those who drive mid-range EVs are also generally pretty in tune w/ the subtleties of the road grades in a given area. Speaking from personal experience....

Yes, the current mileage indicator on my wife's hybrid is one of the most sensitive inclinometers I've ever seen.  ;)

Offline Westinghouse

Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2022, 03:20:09 pm »
I remember one time cycling from Southeast Coastal Florida to San Diego California. I was using the interstate. There it is allowed. I was far out west. I stopped in a restaurant or something to drink and a bite to eat. I got in a conversation. Somebody warned me about the dreaded Telegraph Hill farther west. I was told other cyclists going west seemed to be concerned how about the dreaded Telegraph Hill. Well, by the time I got to Telegraph Hill I hardly noticed it was there. My legs where is sufficiently strong by that time that the dreaded Telegraph Hill seemed more like making a mountain out of a molehill. But whatever the case oh, the road definitely was not flat. Look at that stretch of road between El Paso Texas and Las Cruces New Mexico. Highway 20 I think it is. If ever there were a road that could be described as flat, Highway 20 fits the category. It is an agricultural plane. But even that road has some kind of change of elevation between the two cities. It is just that the elevation change is so small and averaged out how long such a distance, it is not noticeable. It is not perceptible bicycling difficulty or by looking at it. I asked two people in a pickup truck in one city oh, can you give me an idea of the lay of the land up ahead on this highway. One man told me it's no problem. It's like a plane. Of course I followed that road. It was a roller coaster ride. If it wasn't going uphill it was going downhill. If it was not going downhill it was going uphill. I find that very interesting. Not to mention the fact I have done exactly the same thing myself. Oh sure, no problem oh, it's flat all the way.

Offline David W Pratt

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Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2022, 05:53:57 pm »
I often ask directions from locals, and then double, or triple, check them with other locals.
Bike touring has been a powerful spur to learn my local geography so I don't appear as gormless as some I have met.

Offline Galloper

Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2022, 01:45:05 pm »
Road goes up, road goes down.   Average: flat.    Sorry, I'll get me coat  :)

Offline ray b

Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2022, 04:45:11 pm »
I often ask directions from locals, and then double, or triple, check them with other locals.
Bike touring has been a powerful spur to learn my local geography so I don't appear as gormless as some I have met.
It's the Adventure Cycling Association.

As anyone who can use gormless in a sentence will understand, the definition of adventure implies an element of the unknown.

I always feel it's best to simply push on and ride. As social as it is, all the banter in the world is not going to change the lay of the land or how much weight I'm hauling.... Sometimes best not to know.

I like @Galloper 's view of our chosen task.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline staehpj1

Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2022, 05:17:20 pm »
I often ask directions from locals, and then double, or triple, check them with other locals.
Bike touring has been a powerful spur to learn my local geography so I don't appear as gormless as some I have met.
It's the Adventure Cycling Association.

As anyone who can use gormless in a sentence will understand, the definition of adventure implies an element of the unknown.

I always feel it's best to simply push on and ride. As social as it is, all the banter in the world is not going to change the lay of the land or how much weight I'm hauling.... Sometimes best not to know.

I like @Galloper 's view of our chosen task.
Ah, but sometimes it is a matter of knowing whether you can or can't make it to a given place to stop.  There may be actual consequences.  When the distances and difficulties are off as much as they sometimes are you just might be setting off for somewhere that you can't make it to in the available daylight or energy reserves.  It might not even be close.

Offline DanE

Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2022, 06:56:14 pm »
My theory is that if the name of the place up ahead has a name from the Bible (Mt. Olive, Mt Sinai, etc.) there is no need for worry, it is just named for the Bible. However, something like Chapel Hill is probably an accurate description of the place up ahead.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: The road is flat. It's what?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2022, 02:50:28 am »
Proceeding east to west on the Southern Tier of states I used interstate highways west of San Antonio. Bicycling through large cities is easier than it might seem. I used paper state road maps. Asking directions and locations and distances was not part of the mix. When it comes to interstates you just get on and go. The map locate cities and distances add towns of all sizes. I suppose it is nice to have an elevation profile printed on a map. I am not sure of the value of that. You have to go over the hills and elevations when you come to them. Compared to the interstate highways, the ACA route has a great deal more climbing and higher elevations. There was never an occasion or Reason to ask about distances and Terrain along the interstates. You are more likely to be flattered buy small steel wires along the interstates.