Sunday, July 30, 2017

Inspired By Hills

Something made me stop to take this image of these hills.
I spent part of the weekend cruising some gravel roads to get somewhere I had to go. (More on that some other time, perhaps) Where I was took me over some big rollers and I couldn't help but start dreaming of riding my bicycle up and down them.

Rewind the clock to 20 years ago and my former self would have balked at the very idea of doing anything like this. So, just what has happened since then to change me? What has inspired me to want to climb hills and not only that, but on gravel roads?

By all appearances, it just doesn't make any sense. I am a big guy. I weigh a lot more than anyone that is thought of as a "climber" in the cycling world. In fact, I look more like a, I don't know......a football player? More like that than a cyclist. I just don't look like a climber. I don't look like a guy that would like to do that, as gravity challenged as I am. But the thing is, I relish a good climb.

Oh yeah.......I am old too! I mean, let's face it, climbing on a bicycle is supposed to be a young man's game. By the time that you reach the middle ages, you're supposed to be smarter than that!

Anyway, I was driving down the road and looking at these hills thinking how awesome it would be to ride them on my bicycle. They always look so intimidating from the top of the one you are on, but ironically, I find that when you are at the bottom, and just getting around to climbing, somehow that hill doesn't look quite so bad. That's really weird, but it always seems that way to me.

The other thing is that climbing comes with benefits. You get the downside, which is usually fun, fast, and can be pretty thrilling. But you also get the benefit of the view. That's what I like. What is over that hill? Let's find out!

I used to hate climbing hills. I dreaded it. But not anymore. Sure, they are hard work, but there is just something about doing that tough climb.


Robert Jones said...

Well said. I totally get this!

Tim said...

The "age" card is overused, not just by you as I use it too. Honestly, riding, hill climbing, century gravel rides, etc. are open to people of all ages. It's the journey, external and internal that gives my gravel rides meaning. Peddle on through the ages!

Steve Fuller said...

I've gotten to love hills over the last 3 or 4 years too. Odd for a big guy, but I don't care. It's a good challenge :)

Mac said...

I kind of like climbing. Still fairly terrified of the downhill part, at least on gravel.

75 miles south said...

I've driven many miles of the state we live in, mostly on state/county black top, wondering what the gravel offshoots do beyond my line of sight. It's only natural to look around when you have the chance. There was a time when every pasture looked like a cross country running course. Now, I often wonder what kind of cyclocross course (someone) could put into a pasture or hayfield.

@steve, its not odd, it just shows that your self-worth or self-enjoyment doesn't come from a comparison with others.

@mac, I love climbing, until I hit a percentage around 9-10% for more than a quarter mile, then I hate it. I love descending on gravel, until the chunky stuff comes in fits and spurts, then I wish that I wasn't riding a CX bike, and I had financial room for a true gravel grinder with 42mms to descend at 35-38mph (or somewhat slower speeds after dark).