The Amstel Gold Race is the largest professional cycle race in the Netherlands. it is known to be "tough and selective, mainly because of the 31 hills that have to be climbed, some with angles as steep as 20% (Keutenberg)."
Since 2003, the race has finished at the top of the Cauberg - a hill which has a pretty steep profile. The red sections are in excess of 10%:
Anyway, this hill is of course not only used by racers. Also the mail has to be delivered. And the local postman, Ed den Houten, is probably one of the most experienced hill climbers anywhere. You can see him in action in this video, taking on Michael Boogerd:
The presenter talks about how if you say you can ride up the Cauberg at a good speed, that's worth telling people over a beer in a cafe. However, the fastest man up the Cauberg is not famous, and is one of the guests at the table...
At 2:15 in the video you see Michael Boogerd and the postman during the Amstel Gold Race in 2001.
As ever, this proves the point that speed is in the legs, not in the bike.
More on what makes for a proper reliable everyday bike - which doesn't have to be slow, and more on all those silly excuses for why cycling doesn't happen in your country, including the one about hills. Buy practical parts for bicycles at our webshop.
1 day ago