Friday, 5 November 2010

Conquering the hill

The part of cycling to work I least look forward to isn't  dragging my bike out on a cold winters morning, neither dodging the white vans , buses and trucks on the city's narrow streets, it's the thought of getting through a tough uphill stretch (for me anyway).

Luckily London's streets aren't as crazy as San Francisco pictured above, but if your journey takes you to further than zone 2 you're likely to hit a steepish hill at some point.

After a few weeks of perseverance, I'm not exactly sailing over climbs like this, but I am getting over the top without stopping or jumping off to push the bike uphill.

So here are my tips on getting over those hills:

  • If there is a climb where you need to get off and push, each day set a target of riding a little bit further before you jump off. Today the bus stop, tomorrow that corner shop, and after a while you'll get to the top without needing to stop.
  • Master the art of gearing. Start in a higher gear at the bottom of the hill and gradually shift down as you go up. 
  • Don't push too hard near the bottom otherwise you won't have any juice left when you get closer to the top. 
  • Don't look at the top of the hill, it will only stress you out. Look at a point nearer and make that an intermediate target.
  • Don't give up, the more times you go up that hill the easier it will get.
There are lot's of other useful tips at the links below:

1 comment:

  1. I go slow, use low gears and avoid burning out as a result. I figure that walking is more humiliating and more hassle than going slow.