In addition to being a downhill specialist, I also consider myself of decent cycling ability on the flats. Which is good, because we have a lot of that in central IL. I can easily sustain ~20 mph for a few hours or ~16 mph pace all day (pending wind of course).
I am, however, not the best climber. Now this particular skill could most definitely be improved if I were to say, lose some more weight. Or I could always just spend a few thousand dollars and get myself a lighter bike (check). But I think the fact that I live in central IL and fall to the back of the pack on climbs is not mere coincidence.
Let me provide an example: Monticello Ride
If you follow that link, it will take you to my Garmin stats for a standard 40ish mile ride that I do on the weekends with a group of people from work. Roughly 240 feet of climbing over 40 miles. If we are "climbing" for half the ride and "descending" for the rest, that works out to an average grade of around 0.2%.
Not exactly the Tour de France.
I like the challenge of climbing hills, and would actively seek them if I could. Unfortunately the best I can do, beyond driving at least a few hours, is plan my commute to include both freeway interchanges between my house and my office.