Nothing compares to the feeling of riding powerfully up a mountain. Whether it’s on the way to destroying a personal best on Strava or dropping a rival, the triumph of the body over terrain is what sets many cyclists’ hearts fluttering. While great climbers are born with the gift to perform, in the all-new Mazda3 the ability to perform is engineered. Still, we can all find ways to improve our climbing performance and here are three top tips to get the most out of the mountains.
Start at the front of a group and slide back
The wily old pro sprinters’ tip is to work towards the front of the group before the bottom of the climb so that when the hill rises upwards they could travel marginally slower and slide back through the wheels of other riders. All things being well, at the top of the climb, the rider will still have contact with the field, or at least be able to catch back on without too much extra effort.
Find a rhythm and stick to it
Take what nature has given you on the chin and ride at your own pace. A common trap when climbing is to go anaerobic while trying to stay in contact with riders who are lighter/fitter/better climbers than you. Lactic acid is likely to build up to intolerable levels long before you get to the top of the climb and when it does you’ll blow. Once you’ve ‘blown up’ the gap will open up much faster than if you’d tackled the climb at your own pace. So instead, find a rhythm where you’re breathing deeply and steadily, pick the right gear and keep it there.
Drop a gear and keep spinning
Riding a smooth, high cadence takes pressure off the muscles and places it on the heart and lungs – a good thing because it minimises lactic acid build-up in the legs. On steep climbs, over gearing kills rhythm and will, before long, send you into the red and back through the group. So select the correct gear – even the pros will fit a 32-tooth ring if the terrain demands it. If you’re just starting out on lighter, lower gears, practice riding on them. It might feel funny twiddling a little gear and your lungs might be burning but you will be going faster.
Like the best climbers, the all-new Mazda3 owes its exceptional performance to what lies inside. Like a climber’s ultra-efficient cardiovascular system, the all-new Mazda3’s advanced SKYACTIV Technology engines are able to generate masses of power and transfer it to exactly where it’s needed: the road. And just like climbers too, the all-new Mazda3 is lightweight: featuring a stiffer yet lighter chassis and body which helps to boost fuel economy, increase levels of safety and delivers thrilling driving dynamics.
The only difference between the celebrated climbers and the qualities of the all-new Mazda3? The car offers an extraordinary driving experience even when the terrain is pan flat.
For more information on the all-new Mazda3, please click here.