Three days in and I have already met some very cool and inspirational people. One of them happens to be curious about what it feels like to ride a loaded bike over a 1000 foot hill. My new cyclist friend, Dan, and I have been sitting in the campsite pondering our first huge hill that awaits us over cape lookout the next morning. ( “Cape” I have now learned to associate with “giant hill”). Our other friend, who I met that day over lunch and a fascinating conversation has joined us for the evening, bringing us some cold beers and sharing his own cycling stories. One thing leads to the next and the next morning I find my self cycling unloaded on a BMX bike while watching my two new friends struggle up a hill with about 70 lbs strapped to the back.
It looks like it must really suck.
And it does because lo and behold as our other friend returns to the campsite and me and Dan trudge on I learn that a bigger and steeper hill awaits us 20 miles down the road.
The anticipation of a hill in my experience is actually the worst bit about a hill. I mean, don’ t get me wrong, riding a loaded bike over and up a hill sucks. Big time. Like it is no fun. Absolutely no part of the actually climb is fun, unless you are a total machoist.
But in the end you get to the beginning of the hill, put your headphones in, crank up the music and just do it. In so many ways it is like life itself. We worry so much about problems and try to plan how to approach them and what we will do when we get to them but the only way around them is to just face them head on with a pace you can manage. Like any hill, or any problem, you never want to tire yourself out to quickly otherwise you will be miserable half way through. So for me it has been slow and stead all the way. And in the end once yo get to the top, with your thighs burning and endorphins rushing and the logging trucks zooming by having survived the hill you feel like yo can conquer anything. And that, in my experience, is one of the best feelings in the world.