Flat ain’t FUN

Several weeks ago, I read my friends blog about cycling.  He and his daughter were attempting to bike from Texas to Florida.  He mentioned that hills were good… (See Eastbound and Down Day 2).  I laughed as I read his daily adventures.  I never really understood the joys of East Texas hills.

For those who do not know me…I ride my bicycle…a lot! Since I began riding in August 2011, I have ridden over 2500 miles.  I have ridden in some harsh weather.  After I had ridden a few hundred miles, I thought I was a tough “hiller.”  So, I began finding hillier rides.  One day, I defeated a .25 mile steep climb.  I was a HILL BOSS!!!  So, I got way over confident and proceeded to find something harder. I do not claim to be smart here…

A few days later, I turned left and saw the hill of the day.  It didn’t look too bmountain-bikingad.  Mind you, I had never been down this road before.  So off I went.  The downhill portion got longer and longer..and steeper.  I hit around 40 mph.  As I reached the bottom, I knew I was in trouble.  Mount Everest lay before me.  I had some momentum, which quickly dissipated within 10 feet.  I downshifted…and downshifted…and downshifted until I was in 1-1.  I had gone about 30 feet now.  And the peak  of Everest was still FAR away.  I put my legs to work and pedaled.

I made my first stop about .25 miles in. I AM no hiller. I realized, but I had to get to the top if I wanted to get home.  I got back on after a 2 minute break and pedaled for another .5 miles before gassing out.  My legs were jello now…and I was running low on water.  Here is where I mention the outside temperature was nearly 100*.  After a short break, I decided to finish the hill.  It was another .50 mile climb that leveled out for 30 feet before the final .25 mile climb.  That”s right, my simple hill was a 1.5 mile climb. I had conquered a HUGE hill.  The only problem was…I still had a 6 mile ride back home and my legs were about to go on strike if I had to climb anything.  Fortunately, the ride home was relatively flat, except for a simple .50 mile climb (climb yes…but nowhere as steep as Mount Kilimanjaro I had to climb earlier in the ride).  I had ibuprofen and a gallon of water for dinner…and went to bed early.

What I notice about the topography of Indianapolis is there is not any. It is flat.  Flat as Chris mentioned is good, except I have to pedal all the time.  Flat is good to build endurance and seat time, but nothing builds legs and stamina like a HILL.  I never realized that until I started riding here last week.

This kind of goes back to life. No one wants hills in life.  Hills are hard. So, it is time to shift thinking her… hills build muscle.  Hills challenge us to overcome.  Hills can and should be conquered.  It is okay to get tired of the hill and take a break…but I had to get back on and keep climbing.  I am not saying to go out on purpose and find a hill to conquer, but don’t be afraid if the road you are travelling suddenly becomes a hill…. because flat ain’t fun!!!


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