Some folks love hills, and will actively seek them out to get a great work-out and feel the accomplishment of them. For other folks, hills can take a perfectly nice ride and make it harder than it needed to be. What can you do? Well, bulldozing it flat probably isn’t an option, so here are two more accessible solutions:
Go ‘round - Remember, when engineers build a road over a mountain they don’t plan a straight line, or go over the tallest pass. Look for parallel or circuitous routes that make it easier to avoid or conquer that climb!
Make it easier - No other option but to crush that hill? Take a lesson from the pros - go light! Carry as little as you can, and consider a bike built to be as nimble as possible. It might make climbing actually fun! Also, make sure your tires are pumped up! (flat tires create additional drag!)
Get geared up. Unless you're lucky enough to live somewhere that's pancake flat, being able to use your gears effectively will help you get from A to B without too much huffing and puffing. Before you start mixing it with traffic, get to know your bike's gears and what works best for your legs: try climbing, descending, and cruising on a flat section. Are you a spinner or a slow turner? Everyone has his or her ideal rhythm (or cadence) so take the time to find out what suits you.
Get an e-bike
- Hugely popular in some parts of the world, having that little extra
boost will make you feel like a robot sent back in time to destroy