An interlude: The (amateur) grimpeur’s manifesto

Climb. Lots.

The climb is your friend. It will teach you something.

The point of the journey is not to arrive. It is the experience.

That said, arriving at the top quicker will shorten the duration of the pain.

There are no shortcuts to climbing faster. Absolutely none.

Though shalt not covet another rider’s sub-1,300g climbing wheels.

Use the big ring at least once on every climb.

Lighten yourself before trying to lighten your bike.

We all dream of a 39×23 being our lowest gear and still being able to climb anything.

Race to train. Train to climb.

The only races worth really racing are hill climbs. You should bury yourself.

Race not to best other riders but to best yourself.

If you compete in crits or road races for training, you must attack on every climb. No exceptions. Getting shelled out the back may happen frequently, but at least you animated the race.

Do a ride with over 2,000 metres of climbing at least once a season.

Glory is fleeting. Pain can last for days, or even weeks and months.

There will always be someone faster.

Pierre's secret? White shoes! (Cycling Weekly pic)

Pierre’s secret? White shoes! (Cycling Weekly pic)