Please tell me....hills get easier??

nezbutz

Well-Known Member
I have recently taken up cycling after 20 odd years. I go out riding twice a week and since I live in cheshire in a valley any which way I go there are hills! :becool: I dont mind this as the views from the top are awesome. The only problem is, I see other cyclists tootling up the hills, where I have to stop every half a mile or so, less if it is a big hill!

One excuse I have is I take my SLR camera with me every time so I have a quite heavy rucksack!!

Any tips?
 

Mark_Robson

Senior Member
Persevere and it gets easier. As you get fitter you will go longer and get quicker. Also I find that once I have done a new hill once it gets easier because I'm not afraid of it anymore.
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
For someone in your position hills do get easier, as your body adapts you'll be able to climb for longer & faster so eventually you'll be able to climb a hill in one go. Unfortunately soon after that stage they stop getting easier, you'll find they just get shorter but even then you can find milestones (eg. recently I've got to the point where I don't need to drop off the top chainring for any of the 'hills' we have around here, not that they're anywhere near as challenging as the ones you have to deal with)
 

Ujamaflip

New Member
It definitely gets easier. I've recently started training for hills, after cycling the flat for a few months I tried my first hill, about a 9% gradient, around a 250m climb. I found it very hard work, and had to stop every 10min to get my breath. The next day I tried it again and got a bit further, but still had to stop regularly.

Then the next week I cycled a route around the black forest with a friend, about a 35km route with about 750km of climbing. To be honest I didn't think I'd make it. It was the hardest cycling I'd ever done, my heart rate was constantly close to it's maximum and I had to stop regularly, but being with a friend meant that we could motivate each other and we pushed ourselves not to let the other down. Despite the odds we made it. My friend told me that my body would adapt quick, and that the next time I tried it I wouldn't need to stop.

He was right, the next week I tried a similar route, similar gradients and also about 750km of elevation gain. I could do the entire route on my hybrid bike without stopping (this included the hill I first tried where I needed to stop every 10min) and my heart rate was much lower. I just tried the same route again today on my road bike, it was challenging because despite being lighter it doesn't have as many gears (compact), but it was a super ride!

Soon you'll be bored with these hills and looking for steeper ones to challenge yourself with! It's amazing how quickly the body adapts and how much more fun it becomes ;)

Keep at it and good luck!
 

potsy

Rambler
Location
My Armchair
Never feel any easier to me,but i guess they must do as the one I had to walk up for the first few weeks I now just twiddle my way up without really thinking about it too much(honest:biggrin:) weight loss will help too.
 

killiekosmos

Veteran
snorri said:
My tip would be..........get yourself panniers.:laugh:
Or a lighter camera!

More seriously, practice will help. I'm not great at uphills but I'm much better than when I started, when I often stopped for a rest or walked. Now I just drop down to granny gear and twiddle along (sometimes very very slowly).

Getrting into correct gear helps and experiment with whether you prefer to sit and 'spin' (ahem!) in a low gear or stand up and puish it in a higher gear.
 

Bandini

Guest
They do get easier in my opinion. I almost chuckle at the ease with which I ride hills that I dreaded when I first did them, not that long ago. Perhaps there is an optimum point after which there is no improvement!
 
OP
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nezbutz

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies chaps. I will have to keep at it! For those who asked I ride a Carrera Kraken.
 
As someone who's struggled with hills until recently, once you get you technique down (I sit, pull back on the hoods and spin in granny gear) then you're onto a goon thing. I've not found it gets easier but, as others have said, I get quicker. And on the one hill I climb most often I'm no longer in the lowest gear possible.
 

Klaus

Senior Member
Location
High Wycombe
Only recently taken up cycling after decades using the car and with no stamina at all.... Now that I am reasanobly confortable on the flat routes I am now tackling a lot of the sid roads which have junctions to the main road at various inclines and some of them are tough for me .... But getting the right gear combination and perseverance are slowly getting me there. I am living in a very hilly town and there are quite a few hills to try ( eventually).
 
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