Nandi hills (60km from Bangalore) is turning out to be THE place to head out and stretch your legs if you are a road biker. The following post is an aggregation of thoughts by folks who have taken a shot at Nandi, from the awesome BangaloreBikers group
contributors so far – Abhin, Anand, Bobby, Jagan, Rushi, Samim, Sriram and me :)
- Make sure you fuel your body right. The climb is tough and there is no point in making your body fight you. You are already fighting with your mind and your legs while powering up the hills. Make sure you eat before you start out. Don’t over eat though. :)
- Make sure you are well hydrated. Having a lot of alcohol the previous day might have a detrimental effect on the ride as alcohol dehydrates you. I’m not sure if having a lot of water will compensate for this.
– Going back and forth between standing and sitting while climbing is also a good way to climb. Remember, you are working harder and using different muscle groups. Thats good because you give some a chance to recover. This is a good way to relax on the bike if you feel the urge to stop to relax. But don’t try this unless you have practiced several times.
– Learn to relax on the bike. Since Nandi hardly has any flat areas what you can do is ride across the road (take care of speeding vehicles). This worked better for me than taking a zig zag approach. A few cross overs like this should relax the muscles.
- Take the outside line. Just take the outside line, keep pedaling. Don’t change your rhythm.
- When you approach a hair pin bend, shift to a higher gear and accelerate into the corner (taking the outer line of course). Some folks felt this did not make sense, but it worked for me :)
- Maintain a cadence that you can maintain for the duration of the climb. Accelerating on a climb will increase your heart rate quickly and you would have to be very fit to recover and keep climbing.
- At any point if you want to stand and pedal, shift two gears up and then pedal. Good rule of thumb.
- use a road bike if you can :) Riding Nandi on a Trek 6000 is kinda crazy. A lighter bike helps, as do thinner tires.
- if a huge truck come by spewing smoke, turn, ride down the slope for a bit and let the truck and smoke pass. You deserve fresh air !
- the more you do a particular climb, easier it gets each time. Climb as many times as possible until its tamed ;-)
- Get clip less pedals + shoes. Makes a huge difference. Most road bikers swear by these.
- Choosing the right gear configurations is key as you climb.
Material for the next time around
- A bunch of people turn chicken shit when it comes to descents. So, how do you descend ?
- What the hell is a good gear ratio ?
On the Nandi Climb Specifically
- Watch out for the big pothole around 1 km into the ascent. This one could kill you (or at least your wheel) going downhill.
- There is a nice flat stretch along the ridge at 3.5km from top. Time to rest your legs as you pedal.
- Starting point makes a big difference. If you start from the NH7 exit, you have a fairly easy 15 km ride to warm yourself up before the climb. But, if you start off from Hebbal, it is a 40+ km ride before you start your climb.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
I love riding my bike. Whether it’s a simple commute, a high-intensity road race, a jaw-grinding brevet, fixie rides thru packed Indian city or a kick-ass technical single track – I love it all. Apart from riding bicycles, I love being all geeky and know everything there is to know about bicycles, technology, bike fit, and service.
I started BUMSONTHESADDLE to share this passion for cycling.
DISCIPLINE: Partial towards MOUNTAIN BIKING but love it all
CURRENT BIKE(S): Specialized Rockhopper, Specialized Tarmac, Pure Cycles Original
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