Hills …

I’ve been thinking a lot about hills recently. More specifically, riding my bike up them. Driving through the Tasmanian countryside I often found myself thinking how much I’d love to be cycling the roads, rather than driving them, and this seemed to happen most when we were in mountain country. I have been reading a lot about the Bicycle Victoria’s Three Peaks Challenge, a 235km ride in March that includes climbing Tawonga Gap, Mount Hotham and Falls Creek. I have also seen the 7 Peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge, which is a challenge to ride as many of the 7 designated Victorian climbs over a three month period – ride 4 of them and you are entered into a competition to win a trip to the 2011 Tour de France. A work colleague is doing the Alpine Classic, a 130km ride around Bright that includes 3 big climbs and is trying to talk me into joining him.

The top item on my bucket list is to ride some of the famous Tour de France climbs. I have this picture of Mont Ventoux as my background picture on my iPad at the moment.

My experiences to date though, on the somewhat shorter climbs in the Great Ocean Otway Classic and Degani Kinglake rides I’ve done this year have me thinking I’m not ready for the larger climbs, and need to be thinking about training myself a bit more to get ready.

Another website I’ve been looking at a lot is The Climbing Cyclist, a really good site that contains detailed descriptions of many of Victoria’s most popular cycling climbs.

For me, out this side of town I think that Mt. Macedon might be my first challenge. Biggest problem though is that most of the climbs require a decent drive to get there, and this makes it a lot more difficult to fit them in to my schedule.

Locally I do have some hilly streets, but no real long hills, so tonight I picked out two climbs not too far from home, one that is short and steeper, one a bit longer but not quite so steep, then I rode 5 repeats of each. Didn’t suffer too much, but I think the rest between each short climb makes it much easier than an extended climb with no respite. Still, locally it’s the best I can do. Tonights ride was only 20.4 km, but a much slower but harder ride then usual – here’s the elevation profile.

Another idea I have is to modify my Virtual Tour de France challenge goal next year to make it such that whenever the TdF riders would be riding a major (Cat 1 or HC) climb, to force myself to do hilly rides like tonights. That would at least force me to ride some hills.

Any thoughts? Anyone want to come ride some hills with me?

Edit: Almost forgot, good start to the Second Test, eh what!

5 Responses to “Hills …”

  1. Tish Says:

    Okay. Hills. You’re impressing the heck outa me! I love bicycling, but only on FLAT places. I think your hill interval workout sounds like a good start to your training for the biggies, though. Go for it!

  2. Eat Em Says:

    For your part of town then driving to some hills might be the best option.

    Michelle & I sometimes ride to The Basin and then up and around the Dandenongs (Sassafras / Ferny Creek / Monbulk / Olinda/ Mt Dandenong / Montrose) There are a few long grinds (5-7kms) not always reallly steep but up always up.
    Or you can go to Ferntree Gully and park at 1000steps – then ride Mt Dandy Toourist Rd across to Montrose and then back to Ferntree Gully.
    Another option is to go to Warburton and tehn ride up to Mt Donna Buang – I believe about 15km up … the ride back would be fun 🙂

    Eat Em

  3. Matt de Neef Says:

    Hi Andrew. Thanks a lot for linking to my site. 🙂 I’m glad you were able to get something out of it.

    Best of luck with the climbing!


  4. Ewen Says:

    Some good ideas there Andrew. I recall somewhat fondly riding the hills around Bright with a mate on the way to Melbourne — about 36 years ago on our 10-speeds!

  5. chrisfit2009 Says:

    Ooh, do the Alpine Classic and I’ll see you there.

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