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Building stamina for hills

In most cases, the best way to get better at cycling up hills is to improve your cycling fitness using a combination of harder efforts and endurance rides. The speed at which you can ride up hills is mostly determined by your fitness, for short hills or off-road having a bit more strength also helps.

Training to get better at riding hills requires that you work at different intensities, partly because hills come in many shapes and sizes but also because our bodies respond to a variety of stimuli.

For lots of tips visit Cycling Weekly

Going off road

Off-road cycling gives a much more interval style workout than road cycling. This gives you a great top end hit and sudden steep climbs or slogs through mud are an alternative to gym sessions for building cycling specific strength and power. You’ll be using your upper body to soak up lumps and bumps, lift your front wheel over trail obstacles and to gain extra power on steep climbs. Having to constantly shift your weight and centre of gravity to maintain traction and balance will challenge your trunk muscles in a way you will never experience on the road.

Lots of tips available at BritishCycling

Road safety

Ride decisively and keep clear of the kerb. Look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do, make eye contact where possible. Avoid riding up the inside of vehicles, as you might not be seen. If a vehicle is indicating to the left hang back at the junction to reduce the risk of a collision.

Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor. Wear high-visibility and reflective clothing and accessories at all times.

Wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet that is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations.

Think.gov has loads of advice for cyclists safety, have a little look before you next go our for a ride

What to take on your next mountain bike ride

Our friends from Marmalade MTB have some suggestions for what to take with you on your next big day out in the saddle.

The essentials you need on your bike

Whether you're going out for a few hours or hitting the traisl all day, here are the absolutely essnetials items you need to take with you on your next mountain bike trip.

Tools you may need

If you know how to use them, having the right set of tools will help you mend a puncture, slipped chain or any of the other mechanical issues you might face.

Non-essential kit

While not 100% necessary, there are some items that will really help you on your next mountain bike ride, such as electrolyte tablets, a battery pack... and an empty cat food pouch? Yes, really!

Sign up to Hit the Downs MTB

Hit the Downs MTB is our hugely popular mountain bike event - run with our sister hospice Chestnut Tree House. We're sure to sell out of places, so make sure you get your spot soon!

Sign up to Hit the Downs MTB