Category Archives: Tues/Thurs 7:45am ride

Endless ramblings regarding the every Tuesday & Thursday-morning bike ride, leaving Olive Hill & Canada Road at 7:45am, rain or shine

I’m glad it’s not easy for me to totally give in

This morning’s ride up Kings… it was so much harder than it should have been. Tuesday wasn’t easy, but not terrible. Today I kept looking for a feeling different than “Wouldn’t it make sense just to give up here and turn back?”

Stress certainly plays a part. My wife’s sister’s cancer is at that stage where you’re not expecting that many good days left, and last week’s break-in at the shop, watching the thieves in the videos, looking for clues and becoming triggered in general when you see anyone in a mask… not a good thing for rest. Still, there have been plenty of really strong rides for me when I’d gotten very little sleep, and it’s been arguable in the past that I use stress as a fuel.

But I didn’t give in. Irrationally, I continue to believe I’ll feel better later in the ride. And just as irrationally, that’s always true. I was able to generate some power on Skyline, and felt OK climbing the last section of Tunitas (we’ve been descending as far as the grassy knoll and then heading back up to Skyline). But I’m going to have to get used to the idea that this year, in France, Kevin’s going to be waiting up for me on the climbs, and/or we’ll be redistributing the load we carry so he’s hauling a lot more up the hill than me.

France. Just over a month away. We’ll be staying in Annecy for the first time (and, after doing this 20+ times, doing something new is getting tougher!) and a number of new climbs in the Alps. It’s going to be really tough doing it without a rental car, but that remains the plan.

Can’t see Kevin in this photo because he’s not a Turkey

After Sunday’s tougher-than-usual ride, featuring Black Road for some really steep grades, I wondered what shape I’d be in today. Ready for anything, because I’d faced the worst and come through intact? Or would weary legs feel like lead?

Somewhere in between, actually. I didn’t feel particularly inspired as I watched Kevin gradually ride away. No fanfare, just a bit more speed as he slowly ramped up his effort on the climb. He’s way better on the second half than the first, probably one of those “finding your rhythm” things. That comes much much later in the ride for me. I’m totally gassed at the top of Kings, struggling to hold on as we head South on Skyline to the turnaround at Skegg’s parking lot, not really finding myself until we get past Swett. But once I do, I’m good, able to hold a much better pace and feel like I can keep on going rather than wonder why I’m out there.