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Every bicycle rider will eventually have to ride up a hill, because he must or because he wants to. Climbing up hill is the slightly different than riding on flat ground and here are some advices to help those initiates, who still stare up that slope and wonder if they can do it.

There are three things that will get you up that hill - and anywhere else, if you are cycling. Your heart, your legs and your mind. Let us assume that your heart is healthy and consider the other two factors.

Do you have the power to climb?

Most people think that legs do all the work as they do the pedaling, and they are wrong. Arms are used as well, and, besides steering, they also 'lock' your body and make your body - bike frame behave like a rigid platform against which your leg can push on the pedal with more force and more stability (can you imagine riding hard without both hands on the wheel - yes, that's it). The good way to use hands in to pull on the handlebars. The bad - to tug. Also, avoid upper body movement as much as you can, it just wastes energy and does not help.Keep crank revolution above 80 RPM. 80-110 is physiological optimum for human body.

In this range, joints and knees suffer least amount wear and tear (knees can be seriously and permanently hurt if you "grind", that is, pedal at low RPM). Shift through your gears so that you always stay above 80 RPM while cycling, uphill or on flat ground. Early shift to lower gear is better than late shift, which puts much more effort on both shifting mechanism and your legs.

Less weight to pull up that hill means that the bike will go easier and faster. There are three ways to do this - by lightening up your bike through various part upgrades, which is very expensive, or by loosing some weight, which is very demanding, or by doing both, which is mostly for pro racers. Remember that you still have to pedal. No matter how light, expensive and exotic your bike is, it will not go uphill by itself.

Do you have the will to be on top

That short steep is too short, you can just push your bike to the top. That ascent is too long, there is no way I can endure such a long climb. That is too steep, I am not strong enough to climb that. Do you know these excuses? Well, here is some good news for you - you can. It just takes some mental discipline. Climb with a steady rhythm and don't worry. Adequate rhythm will prevent you from burning out, and do not worry if you climb too slow - as long as you move up, you will reach the top.

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