Cycling is a great cardiopulmonary exercise, more so if you’re riding uphill. Conquering mountains and hills can greatly improve your heart’s performance. Some people, however, say that riding uphill is too strenuous for them. If you want to learn how to ride your bike without feeling too exhausted, follow these tips.
It is simple physics: the less weight you’re carrying uphill, the easier it is to ride that incline. But that doesn’t mean you should only work on losing body weight. Riding on a lighter bike can also help you conquer those hills and mountains.
So, what you should do is work on losing a little bit of body weight and look for a bike with a light frame. This way, you’ll be minimising gravity’s pull on you and your bike.
If you’re riding uphill, the temptation to get to the top right away is strong because you think that spending too long on that incline will be exhausting. The truth is, if you switch to a higher gear, your muscles will twitch faster, which will make you feel tired more quickly.
Switch to a lower gear to make it easier for you to pedal. Of course, this means that you’ll spend a longer time working on that incline, but, it also means that you won’t get tired so soon.
Now, this suggestion is rarely offered by cycling experts, but if you’re a beginner, this would help you conquer those inclines. If you ride zigzag, the incline isn’t too steep, which means that you won’t be exerting too much effort riding uphill. This will help conserve your energy and enable you to reach the top without becoming exhausted.
However, you should only do this if you’re cycling on a road that doesn’t encounter heavy traffic. By riding in a zigzag, you’ll be crossing over to the other side of the road where vehicles could come straight at you.
Flatten the corners
When you’re about to approach a hairpin bend on a steep incline, stay away from the steepest part of that incline. The steepest part of that incline may be the shortest route, but it will be more tiring to cycle uphill. Take the outer edge of the corner where the incline isn’t so steep to make it easier for you.
Minimise the burn in your legs
Riding uphill will definitely feel like hell on your legs because the more you work your leg muscles, the more lactic acid builds up in them. And that’s the ‘burn’ you’re feeling when you’re riding uphill.
The best way to minimise this burning sensation and to keep riding uphill is to slide back on your saddle a little bit. With just a small adjustment to your position, you can already reduce the stress on your legs. Also, point your toes as you pedal to reduce the stress on your calf muscles even more.
Cycling uphill may be difficult at first. As long as you learn the tricks to conquering a hill or a mountain, you’ll find yourself riding uphill more frequently. One day, you’ll notice that your daily cycling exercise won’t be complete if you haven’t conquered a steep incline.