Cycling is full of excitement and so is cycle racing. Watching your peers or competitors get ahead, the adrenaline rush and your attempt to catch up with the pace. Sounds like a movie climax, doesn’t it? A cyclist’s favourite, in most cases, is the excitement of speeding down a steep slope. And why not? However, your ride uphill prior to experiencing the thrill is agonizing. Along with these tips for Uphill cycling, we suggest The Professional Cyclists Routine – 5 Must Do Exercises to stay on top of your game. We, at LivingIt, can make your uphill cycling experience an easier one with the following tips for Uphill cycling
Tips for Uphill Cycling to Make it Easy and Comfortable
Smooth Gear Transition
When riding uphill, your first reaction should be to shift to lower gears. An abrupt shift in the gears may loosen the chain or result in its slipping. Switch between gears smoothly to avoid jerks and maintain a constant speed, without overstressing yourself or your bicycle.
If you are wondering which is the most effective position to ride uphill, the answer is a seated position. A flat back with bent elbows lowers your centre of gravity. This delays the accumulation of lactic acids in your core primary muscles, helping you last longer. On the contrary, a bent back with straight elbows or standing upright disconnects your stabilizing muscles resulting in excess energy loss.
Riding too fast drains out all your energy quickly, while, riding slow prevents you from keeping pace with other cyclists. A constant speed is what works wonders for uphill cycling. Maintain a uniform speed with a gradual increase. This preserves your energy and does not over exert the cycle’s gearing system.
If you pedal too fast, the possibility of the chain to slip off rises, whereas, slow pedalling cannot help attain speed during your ride. A pedal rate of 60-80 rpm is appropriate for uphill cycling. Apart from conserving your energy, a uniform pedal rate helps in a gradual increase of speed.
Estimate your terrain and stay focused. Recall all that you have learnt and plan your ascent accordingly. While cycling uphill you are bound to get tired. Look for ways to delay your exhaustion. Remember, your will-power can take you places, no one can. Keep motivating yourself.
A movement against gravity demands for additional energy. Uphill cycling is no different. It requires almost double the energy, as compared to riding in the plains. Along with the energy to pedal, you will need the energy to pull yourself and your cycle upwards. A lighter bicycle reduces some part of the workload for the cyclist.
Know your turning techniques well. Estimate the sharpness of turns, their gradients, and their terrain. As a cyclist, you will mostly want to take the shortest route to your destination. What’s more important – saving half a minute and losing your momentum or maintaining a momentum while trading off some time? Think. The inner of a road is always steeper than the outer. Taking a full circle during turns will maintain your motion’s much-needed uniformity due to a flatter surface.
Respiration is the key. Only when you breathe well, you produce the required energy. Don’t allow yourself to get out of breath. If that means you must go slower than the rest, so be it. The energy that is produced and conserved, helps you increase your speed later. If you lose your breath at the beginning itself, no matter what the energy applied, the results won’t be satisfactory.
Every cyclist has his/her own comfort levels, especially for uphill cycling. Use your discretion to apply the techniques and tips for Uphill Cycling which suit you best in becoming a better cyclist every day. If the long winding roads aren’t your thing but you like the challenge of an incline, followed by the reward of a decline – what about Mountain Cycling?
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