I found this great post by Seth Godin:
Winning on the uphills
Interesting business lesson learned on a bicycle: it's very difficult to improve your performance on the downhills.
I used to dread the uphill parts of my ride. On a recumbent bike, they're particularly difficult. So I'd slog through, barely surviving, looking forward to the superspeedy downhill parts.
Unfortunately, I had a serious accident a few years ago (saving the life of a clueless pedestrian by throwing myself onto the pavement). Downhill might be fast, but it's crazy.
Lesson learned. Now, I look forward to the uphill parts, because that's where the work is, the fun is, the improvement is. On the uphills, I have a reasonable shot at a gain over last time. The downhills are already maxed out by the laws of physics and safety.
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And For those of you who love the crazy downhills...