I cycle. I live in Ithaca. Which means that to leave town, I have no choice but to bike uphill. And most of those hills are long and/or steep. Aka, challenging. While I’ve gotten used to the one between our house and Dan’s office (ie: I feel less like I’m going to die than I used to), I’m always a little fearful to attack the others. But when I do, at least I have a mental list of things that are helpful and things that are not as I huff and puff my way up.
At the top of a very large hill in Italy.
When biking up a challenging hill…
DO think about the fact that the view from the top will most likely be worth all the effort.
DON’T stare at your bike computer. Knowing exactly how slowly you are going isn’t going to help.
DO tell yourself to “push down and pull up” with your legs if you have clipless pedals. Pulling up will make a big difference.
DON’T immediately stop when you (finally) get to the top. All the blood will rush to your head and you’ll spend the next five minutes trying not to be sick. It isn’t fun. Just trust me on this one.
DO sing songs to yourself or focus on a podcast as a means of distraction.
Safety alert! If you do listen to music or a podcast while you ride, keep the volume LOW and ONLY use the right earbud so that you can hear approaching traffic (which will come from the left)
DON’T try to rehydrate immediately. Give your heart rate a minute to return to normal before you try to ingest anything.
DO think about how good it will feel to come back downhill and give your legs a break later.
What are your dos and don’ts?