Fall has arrived! Only between 0500 and 0800 in Phoenix, but at least its cooler and I try not to worry about the mosquitos ~ which are brutal in the morning and the evening. All I want to do is sit outside a bit in the cool air and without the gentle buzzing of disease carrying insects.
I have remained steady in my mileage this month. I’m becoming more confident with my new pedal system and find that when I stop it is easy for me to click in and get going again. There have been a few teeth sucking events but for the most part so far so good.
My long ride took place on Wednesday 16 Sept. I wanted to complete at least 15 so I could begin to get back into the groove of longer mileage and join some rides and start looking towards completing a half and a full century for cycling. So I decided to start on one of the medium routes that I had done during August when I was riding 300 miles for children’s cancer. This route is hilly with a sizable hill on the route back. I’m not sure what the elevation is but it is sizeable. Really, this isn’t a fish story. I need to take a picture next time. The first time I road this route I had regular bike pedals and I could only make it up the hill halfway. Even though I stopped I was able to pick back up and keep riding up the hill. Fast forward to Wednesday….que music and wavy distortion.
I’m on the first part of the leg and the counter hill is sizeable but not as steep. The whole time I’m thinking to myself this is going to suck coming back. Already there was doubt in my mind. I road to the end and began to make my way back home. I would say it was a good 7.5 miles in, so about halfway. The road is flat but I’m still thinking my strategy of attacking this hill. I mentally psyched myself out and analyzing how and when I might fall. It didn’t help that the douche bag alert was alive and kicking and at DEFCON 4. I had already had a close encounter with….a school bus. I was coming up to a light I would go through – it was green by-the-way and the school bus was hell-bent on turning right. It cut me off and was so close I could feel the breeze. You’ll be happy to know no middle finger salute employed. But really? Come on, I do believe I had the right-of-way. So I was already a little frazzled.
The longer I ride I’m thinking that I just need to calm down it’s probably not as bad as I think and that if I have to stop, I’ll just stop. Pedaling, pedaling and I round the corner I gain a little speed because I’m going down a hill. I realize great! This will give me what I need….to….get to the top! Yes! You know how you see things from a distance and you think…this isn’t bad at all. Then there is a sudden clarity that you are full of crap. Piece of cake. I am….over-confident. Pedaling….I am really over-confident in my abilities right now. Pedaling….damn I am really over…okay I’m not going to make…yes I can!. Ok I have to stop! Unclick, unclick…panic I can’t unclick fall towards the curb! Fall towards the curb! Sigh I unclicked!
I made it about halfway up then it became hard. I was beaten…this time. Luckily I unclicked and was able to stop without falling. Speeding cars and all. This stretch of road is heavily traveled by cyclists but is a four to six lane well-traveled road at times. I gathered myself and rested a bit and thought okay start back up. Uh no. Between starting on a hill, trying to click in and regain balance. Unfortunately, this was a little above my skill set at the moment and I must say a little defeating. So there I was halfway up the hill and I had to WALK the bike the rest of the way. What’s going through my mind with my head hung low? “I wonder if I’m ruining my new shoes?” Listening to the clack of the metal clips on the road. Trying to walk on my heels. My pretty white shoes. I sounded like I was in tap class.
I made it up the hill with a slightly bruised ego and a few scrapes on my shoes. Got to the top and kept on rolling to make it home and a little under 15 miles. Needless to say I will ride that hill until I totally conquer it.
I completed 41.11 miles with 8,597.70 graciously remaining. No middle finger salute needed. Take the time to enjoy the change of the seasons. Each one is beautiful in its own way. Happy Miles to You.