When I started cycling, I hated climbing. Climbing was that thing for me, where I got out of the flow. My speed dropped, my rythm was gone and my mind was a mess.
“Hate that climb … get over it … speeeeeeed … can’t breathe …”
I felt weak.
One whole year had to pass, where I rode almost 10.000 km, when my mind changed. For me, cycling is somewhat like a challenge. I love to constantly get over the limitations of my body. At first this meant, that I had to cycle longer distances. From 30Km in one ride I got all the way up to 210Km. Man I was proud of myself. But then there is this emptiness. What to achieve next?
That’s the point, where summits become the new enemys. Riding 20Km uphill on a 9% gradient is challenging. And when I’m up there, my treasure is the descent. It’s like there’s this cheering crowd screaming “you’re a machine!”. I know, that I’m deserving this free speed downhill at this moment. I know it, because my legs are still burning from that enormous effort.
So I had to learn to climb. And here’s the trick use: I get in a cadence round about 80 and breath parallel to my pedalstrokes. Every three or four downstrokes – depending on the effort – I breath and automatically get into a rythm. I can’t think about how steep it is or how much my speed drops. I’m counting. And that frees up my mind.
What’s your climbing trick?