There is a certain magic to climbing a hill on a bike. When you reach the peak of a hard climb, despite your legs screaming in pain, your lungs bursting, and the struggle of what you went through to get to the top, all that is remembered is the satisfaction of making it. Let’s face it, climbing can be bloody hard, but there are things you can do to make climbing easier. Here are some tips that we’ve discovered along the way to help make you a better climber.
Words and images by Brendan Edwards So Brendan is damn fast on a hill, click to read on about what he has to say on the topic
“It doesn’t matter if you’re sprinting for an Olympic gold medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you’re missing the essence of the sport” – Scott Martin
Suffering is bandied about a lot in cycling. It is a badge of honour that riders will wear when they are seen to be able to accommodate higher loads of it. Some people seem to be able to take pain like they are eating an apple in a deck chair, whilst others put their hand up and say ‘enough’ at the slightest difficulty.
Hill choice is usually analysed in infinite detail when it comes to planning an Everesting. What is the perfect gradient? What about those of us that choose a really steep hill to roll on? Today James is exploring this option…
Everesting is a great equaliser of climbs. Pick a hill with a low gradient, and you’re in for a long day. Pick a steep hill, and your day will be shorter. It will also be substantially more painful. I’ve Everested a high gradient hill and been a sherpa for multiple others. If you’re thinking of tackling the madness of a high-gradient Everesting, you need to be prepared for the challenges.
My mate Scott told me about Everesting in 2014. We had done a few Ironman races together, and were pretty keen to sink our teeth into any endurance challenge that we could find. Still, I thought the idea just sounded dumb. Seriously, what was the damn point? Ride repeats of a hill, until you have done a shed-tonne of elevation gain, and at the end you get….. a self five for achieving it. Yeah, nah.
Then I started caring less about triathlons, and focused a whole lot more on cycling. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just sort of happened. I was riding as a tour guide during the Tour Down Under, and for whatever reason, I suddenly had a compulsion to complete an Everesting. Weird. It just came out of nowhere, and all of a sudden this was the most important thing that I could think of to do on a bike. Click to read on about where my Hells 500 time all began
I love going big on the bike. Completing a big epic challenge is always appealing, there’s something about the adventure, and overcoming the challenge that I thrive on. Having looked through the Trans Con and Trans Am races, I was drooling at the chance to go and ride one. 4000+ kilometres, unsupported across a continent? YES. Unfortunately the need to feed and house my family somehow cut that plan off at the ankles. Families…. Always getting in the way of stuff…. (Love you darling if you are reading this).
So what else to do? I was scratching around thinking of something, and came up with the idea to ride from Melbourne to Adelaide, non-stop. Click to read on for more of this eric story
George Mihailides recently rode a double Everesting. That’s right, 17696 metres of elevation gain in a single ride. TWICE the height of Mt Everest. Wrap your mind around that. He rode for two straight days to achieve this, right around the same time most of us were undoing the top button of our pants from way too much intake at Christmas. This is the story he wrote about the occasion:
You hear it nearly every day; “I don’t have time.” Hell I say it most days, and I say it about many different things. The best thing I remember reading about this saying though, was that it comes down to priorities. If you are comfortable enough to replace; “I don’t have time” with; “That’s not a priority for me right now”, then you are fine. But if you are unhappy to change those words around, then you really need to have a look at how you are prioritising the use of your time. I like this article, I hope you do too. Click to read more.
Everesting is an ever increasing phenomenon. As of this writing, over 500 people around the world have completed over 800 separate attempts. I’ve made it to the summit 4 times now, and am starting to get a real appreciation of what it means to ride up and down the same hill until you’ve climbed a total of 8848 metres. I’ve been asked a few times as to what the secrets to finishing are, and have boiled down some key concepts. Click for the keys to the Kingdom of Radness
“The SSSS is an elite (and slightly evil) class of #everesting. Comprised of 4 separate attempts, riders must complete an everesting of Significant (an iconic climb), Soil (a dirt climb), Short (less than 200km), and Suburban (a metro climb). At least one of the four rides must be more than 10,000 vertical metres.” – Hells 500
I was broken this day. Click here to read on