Before my freshman year of high school in the mid-80's, we moved from a flat area to a place 700 ft up in the hills, which was really broken into smaller climbing segments. That's when I came to appreciate the importance of a lighter road bike with a range of gearing. An old garage-sale Raleigh (with stem shifters that I'd occasionally hit with my knees when grinding up a hill out of saddle) with ancient components soon gave way to a more modern Bianchi Brava from the classifieds, which I rode to school, summer jobs, etc. There were a variety of ways to get home from school, going from shorter/steeper vs. less steep/longer distance, and I pretty much tried them all. Many years later, I still typically think of rides in terms of hills. I do some casual rides with friends and my wife, and they laugh about how they have to rescale their expectations if I suggest a ride with "not too much climbing".