At Westbrook Cycles, based just near the North Yorkshire Moors National Park - we know a thing or two about rolling roads. The local road network over the moors covers some of the most beautiful and unique countryside in the world, but the network of interlinked valleys can make for exhausting cycling.
In this post, we discuss some of the trips and tricks that we use to ride undulating and rolling roads - and how you can implement these to not only perform better on rolling roads, but also enjoy them more.
The first issue most riders come into when riding on rolling roads is how quickly to ride. With a fresh set of legs it’s very easy to ride too aggressively and too quickly - which can leave you lacking on steeper sections. For the best possible day out, try and ride at a more moderate speed for longer - using your pace to iron out steep sections in the road.
Power meters are really handy for tracking this pacing and target zones - ensuring you stay as fit and as energy efficient as possible.
The best way to keep your momentum on rolling roads is to keep pedalling, allowing you to carry greater speed into the next inevitable rise in the road. If you enjoy coasting downhill sections - you can expect to have a lack of speed and momentum when you get to the bottom, making the climb up again even more difficult for yourself.
Into the Wind
The wind can have a dramatic effect on your cycling performance and how difficult a ride across undulating terrain is. If you are riding in a group, into a headwind - make sure that you alternate those in pole position allowing everybody to share the workload.
If you are riding at the front, or riding alone - maintain a low profile and aerodynamic body position to reduce the effects of the wind. Avoid sitting completely upright and swaying around - which can multiply the effects of a strong wind.
Riding with a Group
Riding with a group across undulating terrain and rolling roads carries much of the same risks as riding on flat surfaces. Be extra mindful of bikes around you, and if heading up a steep section stand up, try and avoid your bike rolling backwards as you move into the standing position - as this can very easily cause you to drop back and cause a crash. Give riders around you plenty of room, and enjoy how riding with a group can carry you further than you have gone before.