Tackling a mountain climb. Some tips to help you take on the Cypress Challenge!

The 7th Annual Glotman Simpson Cypress Challenge is less than a month away! This epic climb supports pancreatic cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency, and you can choose between either a 5km ride to the First Peak Look Out, or the full 14km route to the top!

The full route is a steady climb of approximately 2400 feet, so you'll want to make sure you are prepared! Here are a few tips on hill climbing:
 
Relax
Don’t waste energy with a death grip on the bars. As you climb in a seated position, remember to keep your hands on the top of the bars, close to the stem, allowing for maximum diaphragm movement, maximizing your ability to breathe deeply. And when it comes time to stand, it's best to position the hands on the hoods for maximum stability.

Keep forward momentum!
Once you enter a hill, it's critical to keep the momentum going! If you become over-geared or 'bogged down' in a particular gear mid-hill, accelerating back to your climbing speed is both difficult and taxing - bringing you further in to the dreaded red zone. Instead, stay on top of your gear, aiming for a cadence on either side of 80rpm. If you find your cadence slowing, shift into an easier gear immediately, and try to recapture the lost momentum with a quick out of the saddle burst.

Accelerations
As you progress and gain fitness, introduce accelerations to your hill repeats. On longer hills that are reasonably steep, accelerate hard from a moderate pace, holding the accelerated pace for a defined period - 30s, 45s or up to 120s. From the accelerate speed, sit back down and resume your normal climbing pace for three or four minutes, then jump again! The key to this workout is hard, maximal efforts, followed by moderate load, repeated. Ouch.

The best motivation to start your hill training is finding a meaningful challenge to work towards. Register today to tackle Cypress on August 16th and let your climb fuel research.