Cycling in the mountains or hills

haarspeldbochtMany of us ride in the mountains or hills. It is different from cycling on the flat. Not only going up, but mostly going down.

To climb
Know which gears you need. It’s remarkable that in hills with the short but steep slopes you need smaller gears than in real mountains with much longer but less steep slopes.
Sometimes the steep hills are short enough to do them with power. But there is a point you have to surrender and change to smaller gears and do the climing on rhythm.
To sit or to stand in a climb? There are entire articles published about this issue. Do what works for you, but make sure that you can do both easily.

Fietsen-in-ardennen

Descend
Because descending a mountain goes so fast, you will have less opportunity to learn the technique. While descending is one of the fun things to do, if you did a little practice. Incomprehensible how some are panting and groaning for an hour with climbing, and then carelessly throw the gained altitude away.

afdalen

Difference professionals and cyclists

profs en amateurWhen we see the pros in action on TV, it looks beautiful, but realize that the circumstances in which they ride are very different from us cyclists. In the pro races like the Tour de France, the riders ride on controlled roads. There are no large pot holes in the road. There is no oncoming traffic. That means they can go blindly through blind corners, and therefore have a much broader road at their disposal. In addition, the pro riders get much information about the curves by the behavior of their predecessors and the brake lights of motorcycles and cars.
We cyclists on average have much poorer roads to ride on, with bumps, patched asphalt, and pot holes. That means a lot more bouncing and you have to not only look forward for the ideal line, but also look at the road directly in front of you. Moreover, you have to consider oncoming traffic.
Overall, descents are far more difficult for us cyclists than for the professionals. Think of the finale of Milano- San Remo or the Coll du Chat, for example in the Tour de France of2017.

See also: How to ‘read’ the road
See also: Crashes