Thursday, May 23, 2013

Going big this weekend

I bike with a women's group sometimes and every weekend they offer 3 rides of varying lengths: short, medium, and long. The distance for each length varies each week and progressively increases in each category as the season goes on.

When I'm not busy with rugby, I sign up to lead a ride usually of medium length because that's about the distance I'm at on my weekday rides. I don't like going too long before I'm ready because then I just hate my life and stay away from the bike altogether for long periods of time, as was the case with an Olympic distance triathlon I did a few years ago.

Anywhos, this weekend the medium ride is going somewhere I've been way too many times in the past couple of weeks and I'm kind of sick of that route. The long ride, on the other hand, is going 43 miles (I haven't ridden that far in over a year) AND uphill.

By "uphill" I don't mean any ol' hill, but rather the ride that I've been afraid to do since I first began biking around here three years ago. I'll go up a mountain, but for some reason I'm too afraid to ride to Jamestown.

At the same time, my jaunt up Lookout Mountain a couple of weeks ago has given me some courage with regards to road bike climbing so I'm pretty confident I will be able to make it up there with minimal psyche scarring. After all, the average grade is only 3.2% for those 6.5 miles. It's not too bad.

Sometimes, though, I get embarrassed by my big butt trying to make it up these hills, and I imagine other cyclists thinking that I don't belong there and that it's no wonder that I'm going so slowly. In those cases I have to remind myself that during such a long and brutal climb, everyone is simply focusing on their own suffering and no one pays attention to anything besides the burning of their lungs and legs.

That self-centered thinking makes it all better. It's also the only instance where I applaud egotism, mostly because it helps me. Also, I'm going with a bunch of women who are all very supportive, which helps matters as well.

So on Saturday, I ride this:

I'm choosing to ignore the 6 miles of uphill leading up to the real climb. Those are just pesky details that should be disregarded for the sake of my sanity.

Also, I will be going with the "fast" group (16+ mph) because although I will slow down significantly on the uphill (like 6.5 mph slow), I'm pretty sure I can keep a 16 mph pace during the flats on the way out there, and everything after the climb is downhill for 17 miles all the way specialty!

Sometimes gravity really does work to my advantage.

No comments:

Post a Comment