Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Hills from Hell

So as I said, I've been in training.

The elusive century gets closer and closer and even though I've got a lot of time, I will need to take time off for vacations.  I might need to pack some running shoes to make the best of it.  But oye, the bike is SO MUCH MORE FUN.  I'm not a runner.  I have been but I'm not anymore.  I want to be on the bike.

Well, today I finally had the ability to get out.  It had been a week since we had been Tornado Watch and Warning free.  I'm not kidding.  The weather here is that dire.

I knew there would be washout spots in the trail but I was prepared for that.  After all, I want to ride, cross, right?  I am okay with carrying a bike on my shoulders or picking it up.  The problem is that the trail was so much worse than I imagined.  Huge washouts, terrible footing, and trees were EVERYWHERE.  It was the worst I've seen it in the segment behind my apartment, which is really saying something.  I wanted to ride the trail because I wanted to check it out for a group ride that usually occurs on Sunday.  Weather should be clear on Sunday but I am not sure we will get out.  We certainly won't be on the trail.  This is stuff you'd need a 29-er with shocks to deal with, I think.  If I had the MTB already, I would have tried but my delicate road bike isn't meant for such things.

So, I had to suck it up and deal, basically.  This required a lot of walking, picking the dirt out of my shoes, etc.  I seriously wish I had an old hoof pick somewhere because that's what I felt like doing.

I decided, welp, I'm gonna do this as much as I don't want to.  I'm going to do the hill ride from hell. It's only about 15 miles RT from my house to the southern hill that I go to climb.  It was south of my house when I lived down there and it's much farther south than where we live now.  So, I put on my big girl panties and opted to ride these hills.  There is this incredible windy hill with a high grade and lots of traffic at the start of the ride which is what keeps me from doing.  It goes on for about 3/4 of a mile.  We're talking straight climbing.  And I am not a climber that gets out of my seat (thankfully in this case) so it's just a lot of grinding and spinning.  The knack is really knowing when to do it.

I got up the first hill not even believing that was a climb.  I guess the weight loss and interval training are paying off.  Then came the other hills.  They were small in comparison but a challenge again because traffic happens here and no one seems to care that they are parked in a bike lane.  You have to be very good to get in and out of traffic without a scrape.  This is why a lot of people take the trail (myself included).

But it was fine.  The wind picked up on my way back but I spun back up like a pro (there is a big hill coming back, too, just not AS big).  I flew through a green like feeling like a champ at the top of a hill.  No WAY could I have done this a year ago.

So, I conquered the hills from hell.  I sucked it up and dealt because if I wanted to ride, I didn't have a choice.  Let's hope I managed to do the same with comps.  Under pressure, no choices, I just have to deal.


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