Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hills and junk

Last night Josh thought it would be good idea to go down Bunker hill and up Great hill on our Fixed gear bikes. One gear. 42x17. 71.6 gear inch. Hey it was his idea. I thought at first he was joking but the look he gave me told me otherwise. The thoughts going through my brain went something like this. "Are you out of your f-ing mind!" or "I guess I can walk if it came to it." "How much money will you give me to go on this ride with you?" Staring at him blankly with these thoughts going through my mind must have meant that yes we were going weather I like it or not. I know I told him a few days ago that I wanted to do those specific hills but I was thinking I would do them alone or on a weekend. Not after I Logged all day. Not after I Logged all day and it happened to be the most I ever worked in my life that day. We normally average 6 hitches a day. We did a record 10 hitches yesterday! I couldn't believe it ether. Anyway, so I wasn't too sure about this ride. We started out and I was feeling fine. I was feeling great actually. The whole ride out to bunker hill was great. We were averaging 18+ and my legs felt great. Any minute now I was expecting to completely falter and have to call my wife to come and get me. But it never happened. We crested the top of Bunker hill and I yell "Pucker up!" then it flattened out again. Then the real hill. Now remember it's dark out, the roads are sandy and ice has frozen into blobs of brown stuff. Spinning like a mad man touching the brakes to maintain 170 rpms until I can get closer to the bottom. I had in mind to break my own record of 200 and hope for 210. My bike started to wobble from the rough road and sand. No worries mate I've been here before. While trying to stay in control I see the bottom and let my legs go. I actually have to push my legs to go that fast. As fast as I can go. All while looking down at my cadence meter. The best I could do was 199 (38.4mph) I was really trying too. We made a left at the bottom of the hill and passed Mohawk ski area. Ya the hill we just came down was made into a ski area. All the lights were on and there were a couple of skiers. I turn to Josh and say "not to be cheese or anything but going down hills like that makes me feel alive." So cliche but true.

Now we knew what was coming. What goes down must come up. Er... whatever. Great hill isn't called that for nothing. I know this isn't Colorado or the back side of Mt Lemmon in Tucson or the front side for that matter, or anything, but around here this hill is dreaded with gears. Doing it fixed was unheard of. We might be the first. Yay! We'll technically I was first. Boo. Josh opted to start a few minutes later so we wouldn't be tempted to race each other up the hill and have to call the ambulance because our hearts simultaneously exploded. I guess we would need a Hurst at that point. And I don't think I would be making the call. Minor details.

I've discovered a trick that I would like to unveil to the world. My 4 friends who I call "the world." Ever since I have been doing Tai Chi I've learned that there is energy centered in your core area. If you focus on that energy and feel like you are holding a big yoga ball in your arms while doing a serious climb helps. It helps me anyway. That way I don't red line. It's more pink.

The climb wasn't so bad as Tanner hill so it wasn't so bad. The first part is the steepest. Sung like that song "The first cut is the deepest." I don't know if that is the title. Keeping my cool and pretending like I'm holding a ball between my arms and handlebars and not looking up helped a lot. When I finally came to the top I checked how long I was out of the saddle. 8 minutes. To me that's a long time. So that's it. We got home safe and wound up averaging 17.5 over 28 miles in 1:30.

I knew that I would suffer the consequences after that hard day at work and bike. I slept like crap and stayed awake from 3am on felling uncomfortable and sore. My legs are shot today and I feel "hung over" (Brian Fantana hung over). I'm hoping it will add something for my riding.


  1. Great job, guys! Think of how easy it will be come Spring on your Road rig that's what, 10 pounds lighter? I had a tough ride solo yesterday. I noticed I forgot my water bottle 20 minutes into the ride, said screw it, and did my best camel impression for 2 hours. It sucked and I'm paying the price today- big time.

  2. Once in a while I get this flash - an image of bloody carnage and and twisted steel. This would be my bike coming apart while spinning out down a hill fixed at close to 40MPH. There is a level of trust between man and machine at that point that transcends most other bonds.

    "Dude, I was totally pink lining".

    Good stuff.


  3. Like the ball image. :o) You are cute. Please be careful!!!!!!!!!