Like Julie Andrews, we all love a good romp in the hills and cherish an honest hill climb. Often unfairly labelled 'a necessary evil', it can be treasured as part of the yin and yang of mountain biking. For those who disagree here are a few tips that may take a little bit of the pain out of altitude gain.
Too often we leap on our trusty stead to exercise our legs and duly switch off everything above the waist. This high-level inactivity is fine for cruising 'the smooth' but gets you in all sorts of bother as the terrain becomes more technical.
Grinding out a serious hill climb is an integral part of the 'joy of mountain biking'. Once you've reached the summit though, you'll want to reap some reward for your toil... spending time sifting around the tops, imbibing the views and sucking a few lung full of clean air before plunging homeward.
Being able to unweight your rear wheel, or even 'bunny hop' your bike into the air is a damn handy trick for flying over gnarly terrain like rocks, water bars and greasy tree roots.
Off road riding, especially the fun stuff, invariably involves navigating over tricky obstacles.
The techniques described here are intended for the very steep but the same basic principles apply when attacking more gentle gradients.
Even if you've got an old clunker - you'll weigh considerably more than it does. A typical rider to bike weight ratio is around 6:1. The obvious implication is that the position of your body on the bike has a major effect on how the whole arrangement performs.
The secret to all high energy sports is to swallow heaps of food and gallons of water. These basic race strategies apply equally to recreational riding and will boost your enjoyment untold.
You need to carry enough tools and bits so you can hobble home on your wounded bike but not be laden down like a US Marine.
The correct interface between rider and bike is a crucial foundation for developing good, or even great, riding skills.