Lacking tactics

When I reach the foot of a hill I lose my mind. Rather than sensibly pacing myself, my heart fills with an impatient determination to conquer the molehill as quickly as possible. Shouting “CHARGE … HUZZAH!” I attack at top speed.

"There it is. ATTACK!!!"

Unfortunately this ‘tactic’ rarely works and I’m soon chuffing like a steam train and fighting both my brain telling me I’ve overcooked it and the sensation of lactic acid searing a hole though the seat of my bib shorts.

I’d like to say I’m more of a sprinter than a climber but that would be like saying I’m more of a potato than a cabbage. I’m neither, just a hasty and heedless cyclist without the common sense to slow down. Huzzah!

7 thoughts on “Lacking tactics

  1. bgddyjim says:

    You and me both. One tactic for hills that I picked up is to make sure the wind is at my back when going up the hill. It’s amazing how much faster I can climb with a good 50 km/h wind at my back! Just yesterday I made it up a 1 km roller at 21 mph!

    Seriously though, leading up to the hill I’ll downshift twice and keep my cadence at about 100-110…when my cadence drops to 80-90 I’ll upshift two gears and stand until I get back up to 100, then sit and downshift twice and keep the pace between 100-110 – it’s amazing to me how well that works – and I don’t burn out. I’ll let you know how that works on a mountain in June – we’re heading down to the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee for vacation – woof.

    • jerzak80 says:

      Sounds like a plan – if I’m late home for dinner you’ll find me sat at the bottom of a climb waiting for the wind to change. Just don’t hold that grimacing expression!

      100 rpm standing up? You must look like a blooming piston! Good luck in them mountains.

      • bgddyjim says:

        I should have been more specific on the 100 standing… I read a while back that rather than just plop back in the saddle, when your cadence starts speeding back up, start sliding the bike forward so you butt slides back to the saddle… I’m at 100 for maybe a second before I’m back in the saddle and dropping down a couple of gears – it all happens quite quickly so that it’s easier to keep the cadence going… And I’m only standing for maybe thirty seconds or so at a time, just to get my cadence wound back up.

  2. meglovell says:

    I note how your phrasing implies that you haven’t already lost your mind before arriving at the bottom of a hill… as one might expect was indicated from the quantity of lycra you will have put on in order to leave the house, and the total value of the bike plus ‘gear’ you will, at that point, have about your person.

  3. Michael Fioretti says:

    I do the same thing. I’m usually a bit more patient with my road bike, but with my commuter, which is a fixed gear, I always feel the need to just pound it out as hard as I can.

    However, during a race two weeks ago I was leading the peloton and as we approached a very steep, but short climb, I had the irresistible urge to blast up the hill. I probably got away for only a second as everyone else followed suit haha! Turned out to just be a waste of energy. I actually looked at my power numbers afterwards and noticed that I put out an all time high number just for the little burst…and all for nothing 🙂

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