Long hill climbs can seem pretty daunting but there are some simple steps you can take to take the stress out of committing to a monster
Not matter how simple the hill looks just in front of you, there can always be an obstacle not too far ahead. Whether it be a rock step, or a section of water ruts, you need to be ready to react. The standing position is the best way to attack these hills. Relax and let the bike come up to your chest which in-turn keeps you weight in the centre of the bike. Sitting down and twisting the throttle can go very wrong if you hit an erosion mound you aren’t ready for.
For the same reasons you are in the standing position, you need to be looking well ahead. In the Australian bush, you can encounter wild life as well as obstacles, so be aware of your surroundings. It’s essential to keep your vision up nice and high and look well ahead to prepare your line selection and prepare for those pesky roos or obstacles. Staring at your front fender will make life harder, affect your balance and overall make it a more dangerous trip to the top.
COVER YOUR LEVERS
Keep a finger or two over the levers. A little clutch may become necessary as an obstacle approaches and you need to lift the front wheel. If the revs get a little low, a small amount of clutch can help bring the bike back into the meaty part of the power and stop the need to click it back a gear.
GRIP WITH YOUR KNEES
A really long hill will tire you out, but you want to stand for as long as possible. By gripping tightly with your knees it allows your arms to relax more and your knees to hold your weight upright. A strong grip with the knees also helps keep the bike in check, especially if it’s rocky terrain and you may find the bike kicking a little front side to side.
CHOOSE A GEAR
You don’t really want to be shifting up and down gears on a really long hill, it’s going to be preferable to select a gear where you can sit in the meat of the power and increase revs if needed with the clutch. If you are already riding at the top end of the power just off the limiter, it may sound good but you will have nothing left if you need some extra grunt to conquer something in your path.