After logging on to Strava, and seeing a mate, Mark Zanker, had just uploaded a HUGE ride, I asked him what he did the ride for. ‘Just because’ was his answer! What a perfect response. Mark and his brother Brian rode 335 kilometres from Port Augusta to Adelaide together on one massive day, and this is Mark’s story from the day.
Words and images by Mark Zanker
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.
Riding with a fixed gear on the road gives you a feeling like no other. You feel intimately connected with the terrain you are riding on. Without the use of gears or a freewheel, you must adapt yourself to the terrain, so steep means grinding, descending is spinning, and flats are about rolling through everything.
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
The Tour Down Under is the best cycling event in all of Australia. It brings in loads of spectators from interstate and overseas, and provides a great atmosphere, all centered around the city of Adelaide. As a local cycling fan, there is no better time of year to be on a bike. It’s summer, the days are long and warm, the roads are low on traffic, and there are other cyclists out everywhere. Click to take in the Radness of riding in Radelaide