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Going Uphill is Always Easier in Theory

May 28, 2011

Ride: 49km—to Kilbride, via Sydenham Hill & Snake Road

Weather: Overcast, headwinds no matter which way I was riding

I don’t think I have anything to add to that. I have the strength to muscle up short, steep hills. Longer, steadier climbs, however, continue to cause trouble. Like Sydenham Hill, which averages 10% for roughly a kilometer. Depending upon where you live, this isn’t a terribly big hill, but this is probably the longest consistent climb over 8% around here. I can manage it fine, but I seem to have only the one gear on a more steady climb like this. Climbing more than 500m requires more than a quick punch of energy, and I find myself stuck in the saddle trying to find a comfortable pace, which is invariably slower than I would like it to be. Something to work on.

Snake Rd.—a similar length, but a winding 7%—was much better and I managed a fairly high gear on this one, which is good. So, clearly I can do the steady climb, but it’s the combination of length and grade. When both get longer, climbing is no longer as much fun in practice.

The rest of the ride was fine. Lots of headwind, no matter which direction I was headed, and grey skies. Lots of riders out, but all headed in the opposite direction—maybe they know something I don’t. And cooler; I actually went with my winter bib tights this morning. Overkill, perhaps, but not overly. Along with all the rain we’ve had, a little summer would be nice…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mikael permalink
    June 1, 2011 5:35 am

    Mmm, experienced a good dose of this on the weekend.

    After my first “proper” climb with a couple of mates s few weeks ago (5.75km @ 4.7%) we used that as the start of our ride again this last weekend…in the intervening time I’d been running it through my head & was sure I’d find it much easier this time knowing the layout and so on. Come Saturday morning & that supposed easiness went flying out the window as I struggled to haul my flat-lander arse up the hill, granted I took 45 seconds off my first time up, but in no way was it a nice sensation until it started going down on the other side.

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