Tackling Hills

Bedford is a relatively flat town and does not have many hills to cycle up except for the area around the Manton Estate and old cemetery. Outside Bedford it can be slightly hillier to the north and quite hilly to the south approaching the Greensand Ridge.

If you are new to cycling or haven’t cycled for some time, hills can be daunting and it may be better to simply get off your bicycle and walk up with the knowledge that on the way back (downhill) it will be much easier - although as always make sure your brakes are in good order before you set out on a trip. However if you do climb hills regularly you will eventually build up your strength and endurance and it will get easier.

However there is a technique and for beginners the common mistake is to work too hard at the beginning of a hill in too high a gear, and get tired out before the top. At the bottom of a hill, let the bike slow down, but push a little harder than on level ground. Keep shifting down your gears and try to maintain a steady pedal rate even to your lowest gear. It is better to start off too slow, with least effort and then have a bit left in reserve at the top, than to run out of steam before the top. Take it easy and, as mentioned above, don’t be afraid to get off and walk if you have to and eventually it will get easier.










Back to top