Back home in Brisbane, if I want to do a ride with some climbing, I need to basically ride every hilly road that I know or ride 70km to get to a decent climb. The goal is to try to climb 2000m vertically in 100km horizontally. With the biggest climb in my area reaching just over 500m of elevation, this can be quite difficult to do.
Here in Spain, 2000 in 100 is pretty much a standard ride! Within a few minutes of leaving for a ride, I am immediately going up a climb that is longer than the biggest climb in the area near my home in Australia. This week, I went out for a short 'recovery' ride and in just over an hour I had already racked up almost 1000m of climbing. It is a shock to the system for someone that is used to such flat terrain.
An even bigger shock was the last race I did, Ruta del Sol in Andalucia. The first two stages were each around 180km and each stage had almost 4000m of climbing!! The entire race had very few km's on flat road and it felt like I was either riding full speed up hill or coasting down the other side the entire time!
For someone that is not a climber, the terrain here in Spain can only be doing me benefit. I am slowly getting used to riding uphill so much and at least, when I get home to Australia, a 'hilly' ride will not feel so bad.