After 92 miles and more up than I care to write about, one argument about politics (Of all things! The one thing we all agreed on is the system is rigged to pit neighbor against neighbor, to keep us divided… But dude, the number one rule in cycling is never bring up politics before, during or after a ride), and an otherwise fabulous day for cycling….
Seriously, folks, it was 47 degrees when we left at 8 am but it quickly warmed to the mid 70’s and we had a tailwind all day long. In fact, here’s a shot from this morning:
Thankfully one of the guy’s girlfriend is SAG-ing for him, so at one of the stops she collected all of our cold weather gear so we didn’t have to carry it with us. Yes, she knows exactly how thankful we were…
We rolled on. And on… And stopped at Bellaire for lunch, mile 67:
From there it was 22 miles to East Jordan, and the fire station rest stop… mid 70’s, sunshine and more gentle tailwind than you could ask for and I was feeling more like the strong me every mile (after that stomach bug the day before the Tour started)…
It wasn’t completely perfect, however… there was a lot of up. Miles upon miles of it. Then, at 90 miles, all joking stopped and it got real quiet. We began our 3 mile climb to the wall. Seriously, we climbed three miles to get to a hill.
Notice the sign?
That’s the wall. 18%. Last year I walked half of it, and if you know anything about hills and cameras, that photo doesn’t do it justice. This year I was determined to nail it so my daughters could see their dear old dad conquer something he couldn’t do just a year before…
Immediately after taking that photo, I pocketed my phone and focused… Hard…
I muscled up that damn hill. Last year I was way too fast up the three miles-ish climb to the wall. Halfway up I just wanted the pain to stop… so I walked. That freaking choice haunted me all year and I wasn’t about to make it again.
SPECIAL THANKS: To my friend, Phill for pacing me up to the wall this year and for pumping me up the whole way. Thank you, my friend.
To my kids. All of the people on this route and how many have their kids on top of that hill cheering for everyone in the group? Not many. Thank you.
To my wife, who organizes this whole thing. Can’t even put my gratitude into words, but I’ll try. Often.
9 more miles to the school and another 100 miles done. More photos tomorrow, friends. Today is the most picturesque day of the tour…
Great job pushing up that hill! (And great photographic evidence as well.)
Thanks Tisch. 😎
Great job and what great support you have!
Indeed I do! Thanks Sue
Wow! Congrats on conquering a beast. I was looking for some paperboy in the pictures but it doesn’t look like you resorted to that tactic… even better for you!