With a 26T in front and a 32T in back, I generally take a "sit and spin" approach to climbing. I have made a point of standing occasionally, in anticipation of someday encountering a hill that is too steep to spin up.
That day came yesterday, and it was a rude awakening. I climbed Gillette Road in Long Hill Township, NJ -- only 0.25 miles long, but an average grade of 13.5%. The top half is steeper than the bottom, with one section briefly topping 20%.
I was able to spin up the bottom half, but by the top I was alternating between sitting and standing, as often as every 5 seconds or so. Needless to say, my cadence plummeted. The idea of tacking crossed my mind more than once, but I managed to keep my nose pointing straight ahead. I survived the climb, but barely.
Other than "more often", is there a better way to approach this hill? Should I have stood up earlier, before I was already tired? Stayed in the seat longer, even if I had to tack a bit? Alternated between sit and stand less quickly?
Of course, the ultimate answer is to lose the extra 15-20 pounds I carry around with me on every ride.