Originally Posted by zouch
i was never a great climber, but worked at getting better at it; first for conservation of energy on tour, then later for the joy of descending.
strafing a good twisty canyon on the moto is fun, as is a good alpine ski run... a good rip down a mountain road on a quality road bike is my favorite combination of those things. spending half an hour (or more) coming back down the trail on the side of a mountain you spent all day riding up is a close second.
anyone talking about momentum to get up hills doesn't understand what the kind of climbing we're talking about is... as evidenced by the people here who are confusing "steep" with "elevation".
but clearly, there's some misunderstanding on some folks' part about climbing; as someone who was never more than adequate at it but could do it on a loaded touring bike for days on end, i can attest that lactic acid buildup and exhaustion can all be dealt with by gearing, technique and training.
My old training routes had climbs 20+ miles long. Knowing where I was most efficient (mostly using a HR monitor) and gearing down accordingly allowed me to keep climbing as long as I kept eating and drinking. I might not have been the fastest climber on the mountain but I could wear my training buddies down by the time we reached the last big climb.
The fastest time I had doing the Assault on Mt Mitchell was the year I put a triple on my Vitus.