Technically, that’s a hill, not a mountain… but you get the idea. That was 92 miles into the third century in three days and I was tired. I wanted to quit, if only for a second or two, but I knew darn good and well what comes with quitting – I’d walked that hill the year before and that stuck with me the whole following year…. I knew I could make it up that hill under normal circumstances.
If you look at that sequence, the first photo is my perspective, the rest were taken by my wife. The “I wanna walk” moment occurred right around the third photo, right when the grade really pitches up. I was already in my last gear, there are no more left, and I’m wondering why I didn’t opt for a standard compact crankset. It’s no longer about spinning, it’s just out of the saddle, grinding it out – and the fun part is we had to climb somewhere between two and three miles just to get there.
33,000 miles of training went into that fist bump in the last photo. 75 days over five years on two wheels, an average pace north of 18 mph. Do the math and that averages out to about 57 minutes a day, each and every day, for five years (there were a lot of days off in there, I did not ride every day for five years). While days off are important to training, those 75 days were a lot more important… one thing is certain:
Nobody ever got fit polishing the leather on a couch with their butt, including me. Climbing that hill, riding every single foot of that 380 mile four-day ride was special, but my most satisfying fitness achievement is that I ride every day I can – I found balance between recovery, family, work and fitness.