Tuesday 15 September 2009

Two approaches to hills

There are two ways to take a hill on a bike - drop down into low/low gear and spin up the slope at 1,000 rpm and a forward speed slightly less than that of a salted slug; and dropping maybe one gear and simply digging in and ramming the legs down at full power.

Option 1 is favoured by many; the proliferation of hybrid, commuter and mountain bikes on the roads with lots of low gears leads to swarms of sluggish proles infesting our pathways. So long as they stay far enough to the left to let me by, I have no complaint. However, I can't stand to see them idling up hills in the bike lane with a bus or three jammed up behind them. The worst spot for that is Oxford St, where mountain bikers loaf up the incline at slightly above walking pace. It must be tempting for bus drivers to park their bus, disembark, overtake the cyclist on foot and taser them off their bike.

I take a slightly different approach. Hills are a challenge, an obstacle to be overcome in the shortest possible time. Some slugs appear to take the hippy approach - "be the hill, become one with the hill, take it easy man" etc etc. My approach is best described by the motivator below:

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