Last year I struggled to climb hills. So this winter I have been searching for hills to improve my ability. Yesterday I found a series of hills straight from the depths of hell. Mostly ranging from 13 – 18% they took some effort to climb but were nothing compared to the worst of the lot. It was pure evil. A 19% start turned into 22% midway through a bend and lasted for what seemed like an eternity – with my speed dropping to a lowly 4 mph it really did take an eternity to climb.
I’ve been reading a few articles about hill climbing technique but am generally finding that just going out and taking on hills seems to be the best advice. Yesterday I rode one section which included a long drag that I have previously found very challenging, but actually found quite easy this time – to the extent that I began to wonder if I’d taken a wrong turning and missed the hill. However I don’t think any amount of training will ever make a 22% hill seem easy.
I’ve entered a couple of Sportives for 2012. One is the 100 mile Dartmoor Classic on 24 June and the other is the Tour of Wessex, a 329 mile 3 day event at the start of June. I will be doing both events with friends who are experienced cyclists so I have a lot of training ahead of me to be ready. I think a training programme might be a good idea to prevent my usual tactic of training as often and as hard as possible and probably resulting in frustrating injuries.