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Climbing Tips for Cyclists

BRIDGE AND HILL CLIMBING TIPS

1. When riding up a bridge, lean slightly forward on your bike. One of the problems riders face, when climbing uphill, is a loss of traction from the front wheel. By leaning slightly forward, you put more weight on the front wheel, which gives you better traction.

2. When climbing up an extremely steep hill or bridge, come up off the seat and lean in towards the handlebars. Climbing out of the saddle should only be done for short distances and by riders with strong leg muscles.

I prefer to switch down to an easier gear and stay on the saddle when climbing. But my husband usually likes to climb out of the saddle, especially towards the steepest part of the climb. Climbing out of the saddle uses more energy but will get you up and over the hill/bridge faster. Use whichever method works best for you.

3. For safety purposes, make sure to keep both hands firmly gripped on the handlebars while climbing. The middle of the climb is not the time to grab for your water bottle or a gel pack.

4. Conserve your energy while riding your bike uphill and over bridges. Trying to climb too fast will cause you to tire out too quickly. Climbing too aggressively causes lactic acid to build up in your muscles, which will make your legs feel like they are on fire. Slow, but steady pedaling, in an easy gear, is the most efficient way to climb a hill.

5. Remember, you can always walk. I’ve walked over steep bridges on more than one occasion. Use this option as a last resort, but at least you will be able to finish your ride.

Take care,
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva