||08-14-10 05:36 PM
If at first you don't succeed...
If at first you don't succeed, skydiving probably isn't your sport. Cycling, though, has many opportunities for doing something until you get it right. You may recall that last week, I set out for a 50 mile bike ride along "rolling hills" only to konk out after a mere 18 miles.
So this week, I went back to Delmarva -- an area that's flatter than Chester county PA, but one where I had run into some annoying hills before. The Lions Club was hosting a fundraiser for their get-eyeglasses-to-people-who-need-them branch, on a route that overlapped the ride I had done back in May for my first "metric century." To quote a few lines from my report of the earlier ride:
Everything was fine until we stopped for lunch at the ride's mid-point, smack on Chesapeake Bay (ie, sea level). We heard several people mutter "The downhill portion of the ride ends here!" The start point was at 70 feet above sea level, and I don't think we ever got over 100 ft, but we went up and down a 50 foot hill over and over. I was not the only person to get off my bike and walk once or twice.
This time, I did not walk my bike at all. The route this time went past the same lunch spot, and I downshifted and kept pedalling. Yes, I will admit to stopping at the top of a few hills to catch my breath -- but I did not walk my bike.
On one of those uphills, we encountered several cyclists on expensive road bikes, each impeccably dressed in spandex and road shoes. They were laboring and grunting their way up the hill, doing about 6 mph. Having heard me call out, "Don't wait for me, I'll meet you at the top," my darling proceeded to smoke his way up the hill...
Yup, this hill was on the new route, too. Last time I waved Phil onward as I dismounted and walked; this time, I was one of the 6 mph grunters. Hey, it's an improvement.
PS: the photo for this post is my cycling companion Douglas, shown surveying the world from his post in one of my water bottle holders.