It sounded a bit odd as I said it, and yet it made complete sense. Kevin and I were at mile 65 or so of our 114-mile round trip to Santa Cruz, on the least-fun part through the San Lorenzo Valley, battling lots of traffic, a not-very-wide road and little junk climbs that just wear you down. Basically, a ride without rhythm. Once you get a few miles past Boulder Creek you finally get to the good stuff, the long climb up Highway 9, first to Waterman Gap and then on to Skyline. About 10 miles of relatively-serious climbing and dramatically less traffic than the valley floor.
Sometimes I wonder why I would want to get up earlier than I have to so I can go climb a hill on legs that often protest “Why me?” right from the start. I’m reminded of pro cycling extraordinaire Jens Voight, who, when asked how he keeps going when he’s tired, tell his legs to “Shut up!” His legs seem to listen better than mine. Still, cycling is easy compared to running, where every step connects to the pavement and requires force to push forward. No way to “coast”, downhills as painful as uphill (or even worse if you’re clumsy on your feet like me), and if you ease off the pace for a bit to rest, it’s obvious, while on your bike, you still look like you’re going places. Continue reading