the psychology of bicycle hillclimbing

Some people don’t like going up hills. For them, the worst is climbing a hill in a headwind. Others take it all as a challenge.

One school of thought is to drop into the lowest practical gear, pedal fast with low power, and finally make it to the top.

Another group of people have learned to use a moderatly high gear, stand up, and pedal slowly with considerable power. Of course, the second group will make it to the top faster, but spend more energy in the process.

Racers mostly do it the second way. They’ve become so accustomed to this technique that they’ll use close-range gearing, not even having granny gears on their bikes. This kind of hill climbing is an acquired taste, but interestingly, in time, as long as you’re having a fairly energetic day, it seems more enjoyable.

Yet another group of riders will use electric bikes.

Close-range freewheel
Photo by Chris 73, via Wikimedia Commons

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