...and it felt pretty good, too
All these years, while I was perfecting the art of the Couch Potato, she has diligently, faithfully, almost, religiously, gone to the gym and worked out in aerobics, step, toning, yoga and all manner of apparati (treadmill, stairmaster, elliptical, yadda, yadda). The woman is capital "F" Fit. But she's never been a cyclist. That's what I do. She's trying more lately, though, and really enjoys it when she does get in the saddle. She's a good girl
Sooo.. she wanted to go out for a ride on Sunday but isn't too crazy about the road (and cars) so I need to find something out of harm's way yet I try to increase her distance and challenge a bit each time out. She's not a fan of hills, either, particularly DOWN hill (and she doesn't do much in the way of up hill) so I need to plan carefully.
I took her to a beautiful MUP I ride along our watershed/reservoirs -I written about them before- but it a nice little 1/2 mile downhill run to the dam and, yep, to get back to the car, you have to go back up that 1/2 mile. Google shows it as a 5.1% average, Garmin puts it closer to 6% and there are a couple of 8% humps along the way.
First time I climbed it, it was tough. I've done it a couple of times since and it's really not a challenge for me anymore. Well, it was a different kind of challenge this past Sunday. We made the first short climb up to the dam after I gave her a couple of tips and, boy, she was struggling and cursing. We got across the dam and before we started up the 1/2 mile, I told her to get in the lowest gear she has, go at an easy 60-65RPM and I'd pace her up the hill. Well, to do that, I had to get in a MUCH lower gear than I normally would choose and I barely got my HR over 125. Even at that, I'd look back and see that this pacing thing wasn't quite working out... she was wayyyy behind But, dang, she stuck with it and she climbed that sucker. She was really feeling it at the top but when she got there, she was just beaming. I was so proud of her. AND she has a much better appreciation of the condition I'm in, now (thanks to her). I guess I do too. What a great day.