Climbing Hills on the Bike

Most avid cyclists love to ride the hills. Hill riding is a true test of fitness and a challenge to your mental toughness. The ability to climb hills efficiently will improve your overall strength. As you start to climb a hill, you want to start at a slow and deliberate pace. If the hill is short, chances are you can muscle right over the top. But if the hill is a long, steep and steady climb, you want to “spin” but generally at a lower cadence than when you are on the flats. Make sure as you approach the hill and start your climb that you begin to shift down.
Always shift slowly and methodically, especially if you need to shift while you are on a hill, so you can avoid getting your chain jammed between your cog set and spokes.
At times, you may need to climb a portion of a hill out of your saddle. Standing up to climb can give you a momentary break from spinning up and over a hill. Make sure before you stand up that you shift up a gear to allow yourself more leverage to climb. Make sure you have a slight forward lean, that your body is over the pedals, (not the seat) and that your hands are on top of the brake hoods. As you maneuver your way up an exceptionally steep hill, you are actually rocking your body from side to side. As your right leg presses down on the pedal, your body pushes the bike out slightly to the left in a side tilt.
Learning to descend a hill quickly and efficiently is an art form. The best way to descend a hill is in the drops of your handle bars, with your fingertips gently resting on the brake hoods. As you learn how to cycle downhill, take great care to stay within your comfort zone and ability level. If you need to hit the brakes to slow yourself down, make sure to gently fan both brakes, never apply only one set of brakes.
As you head into a corner or turn, make sure that your outside leg(outside to the turn) is fully extended and that you are pushing your weight down onto the outside of the pedal. The inside leg should be knee up to avoid catching the pedal on the pavement. As you press your weight onto the outside of the pedal note that you are also gently pushing down on the outside of the handlebars to control the bike and to help it lean into the turn. Shift your body weight to the outside leg.