Thursday, July 31, 2008

more about water

remember my 8 oz glass with 4 oz of water in it?
my "realism" versus pessimism versus optimism story?
I had an "ah-ha" this morning, and needed to share the other piece of it:

I always know that I will be able to get more water.

lost river road

today's ride was a 45 minute "recovery spin," as ordered by my tapering plan. whee! I love being home before 7, making coffee, enjoying the cool morning before life gets wound up.
the challenge, of course, is where in the world to ride where I can really do that. (or more accurately, where in my part of salt lake city can I do that.) so I do my best to spin more, go slower up the inclines, and keep to streets that are as flat as possible.
this morning I took a slightly different route than my usual recovery ride, and passed a street named "lost river road."
oh, my romantic heart just soared! I want to write a book about this street, which would of course be set somewhere quite different from its actual location, a very nondescript part of the millcreek area.
my book would be about an older Cape Cod style home, with a huge porch, in which generations of the Stewart family had lived, labored, and loved . . . all on Lost River Road on the remote edge of, gee, what city shall I place them in? oh, I'd have to do some research, but they'd probably end up back east somewhere, some romantic-sounding little town in north carolina . . .
okay, so this is what happens to me while I'm riding.
people ask me what I think about while I ride, and I am always at a loss for words. (I know, that's hard to believe.) but I think about a million things, I think about nothing. song lyrics repeat themselves, over and over, and I go to a meditative place where everything comes in and out and leaves nary a trace. I solve world problems, I create shopping lists, I zone out. I curse yellow lights, I give thanks for greens, I look all ways before cruising through 4-way stops, and my mind is on auto-pilot. I think, I memorize signs and street names and flower beds, and I absorb the cool air so I can relive it later in the day.
and I sometimes take myself to a beautiful spot alongside a river, where huge trees let their branches hang over the water and rocks stick their backs up high enough that you can walk across to the other side, where there are no people at all, and just a few houses set far apart and back from the simple, packed-dirt road that is only occasionally traveled and named, lovingly, 'lost river road.'

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

to taper

three facts I learned this morning:

1. wasatch boulevard between big and little cottonwood canyons is a mess.
2. little cottonwood road is closed, heading east from wasatch (9800 s.)
3. even 46-year-old (MIDDLE AGED!) women in unflattering biking shorts can get whistled at by guys in trucks.

I am tapering this week.
this is a concept I'd first heard of about a year ago, and I must say it's kind of a fun one. in a layperson's words (that would be mine), it's about letting your body prepare for an event by resting and lessening your training intensity.
since I am riding a long, challenging century this coming saturday, I thought I would try this tapering guideline I read in bicycling magazine. so today was a 3-4 hour "moderate" ride, to deplete my carbohydrate stores so that my body is prepared to have that happen again in 3 days.
now, truly, I believe I have enough carbohydrate stores to last me a good few years . . .
but, I am playing the game, because the other three rides this week are mellow, and it just sounded like I should give it a try. anything to help me complete this saturday's ride!
I tend to work, work hard, and fear that if I stop I will lose everything I've worked for. I have read that it's difficult for many athletes to use their will to hold back at times: to spend long enough warming up, to lighten up on recovery days, to not push as much as they think they can all the time.
I don't claim to be an athlete, but there seems to be a lot of wisdom in having that discipline.
I am working on it.
now, the discipline to carbohydrate-load: that one comes quite easily to me!
off to eat more chocolate cake,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


the glass is half full.
the glass is half empty.
the 8 oz glass has 4 oz of water in it.

I tend to live in the last category, and call myself (among other things) a realist. I definitely have a positive outlook, and even consider myself optimistic, but my optimism is tempered with a healthy dose of reality.
this drives some people crazy, just as I'm sure optimists and pessimists do the same to others.
one of my biking partners told me the other day, "if you always think you have a tailwind, you do." I thought about hitting him. honestly. wishing and thinking just can't always make it so, and why should it? what's wrong with me noticing that I have a headwind pushing against me? I don't dwell on it, I don't bemoan it for long, and I don't turn around because of it . . . but I want to be able to point out that it's there without being considered negative.
there are plenty things in life that conflict with our dreams about how life might be, and I see nothing wrong with acknowledging them. to whine, complain, and not move forward because of them is unwise and self-defeating, but to pretend they don't exist isn't necessary, either.
I have a child who says to me at least two or three times a day, "you know what I hate?" and then goes on to tell me her latest gripe. they are usually minor annoyances, and I try not to roll my eyes when I hear the question. I get tired of hearing what she hates. I want to hear about something she loves! sometime!
but she's entitled to recognize and verbalize those things that irritate her, and if she wants to say she hates them, that needs to be okay. and I'm hoping it's just a phase.

it's okay to hate things, to wish or want them to be done differently.
it's also okay to love things, to share your joy about them with everyone you know.
and it's okay to see things cleanly and simply, and just be aware without attaching any strong feelings to them at all.
and I guess my favorite people are accomplished at merging all three of these as they go through life, without imposing their way of thinking and viewing things upon anyone else.

Monday, July 28, 2008

lotoja latest

today I can't imagine myself riding lotoja.
my brain is having a drama fest, telling me what a fool I am, and how crazy I am to think I can do that ride. and that even if I DO complete it, the time it will take me is so long that I might as well not do it.
that I can barely make it up any hill, that everything is steep and I'm just slow. that last saturday's 90 miles wiped me out: who do I think I am to commit to riding 206 miles?

I am also registered to ride the 'tour de park city' century this coming saturday: it has some pretty significant climbing involved. a friend was telling me that their family drove the route the other day, and it is LONG and STEEP and NARROW and has NO SHOULDER and on and on . . .
so my little drama queen brain has leaped on that as well, telling me I can't possibly do it. that I'll be the slowest one, that I probably won't even be able to make it.

days like this I just want to tell my brain to take a hike. I know it's just a little pity party going on in there, that I actually am capable, and I will succeed at whatever I set out to accomplish. that my brain just has nothing better to do so it's going to stir up some DRAMA to keep me flustered and anxious.

it is doing a darn good job.

and I am worn out from talking back to it today, so I am shutting myself down and counting on tomorrow to be (in my favorite singer Sting's immortal words) a brand new day.

meg ryan

have you seen City of Angels? it's a movie with meg ryan and nicolas cage, and although the story line is a little odd, the overall impact of it is powerful and beautiful.
one scene in the movie is set in lake tahoe (which I love; okay, does anyone not?) at a time when meg's character is the happiest she's ever been. she is riding a bike downhill, and she takes her hands off the handlebars and closes her eyes, just reveling in the perfection of her situation. you can see the joy on her face, you can feel her complete bliss.

I am practicing being meg.

beacon drive is where I do this.
when beacon heads west off wasatch boulevard, the street swoops around and down, and this is where I practice taking my hands off the handlebars, raising my arms in joy and freedom, and experiencing that triumphant feel. today I lasted my longest yet: almost 6 seconds. I don't close my eyes, but I am everything that meg manifests in that scene.
this is why I cycle.

because those moments are my reward for all the work and effort I put into this. I earn those moments, and I relish them. I only swoop after I climb. and I can only take my hands off the handlebars because I've spent over 6000 miles getting comfortable enough on my bike to do it.
the best things in life are not given to us, but are earned by us.

I picture meg ryan's face and I know that my joy is as great as her characters', my joy is as great as my grande coeur can hold.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


my biking buddy bill told me a story:

this morning he was riding up millcreek when someone started to overtake him. testosterone bubbled up, and bill put on the speed. nevertheless, bill got passed. by someone older than him. someone with gray hair, probably at least 60 or so. uh-oh.
you guessed it, bill starts working even harder, determined to stay on this guy's tail. which he did: bill is a great climber, a strong rider period. (he has to hold back when he rides with me, or he does loops around me: up and back, circling, waiting for me.)
gray-haired-guy wins, but not by much, and bill catches up to him on the way down. they ride together for a few minutes, while bill compliments him on how strong a rider he is. the guy acknowledges the compliment, and says, "it's all I've got to live for."

deep breath.

as bill relays this story to me, I am stunned, then immediately jump to rescue the man. maybe his wife just died two weeks ago, he must be in a temporary hole, it can't be his total life outlook, it's got to be a momentary thing . . .
it made me reflect on the millions of unknown stories out there. to bring it down to a manageable thought, I concentrate this morning on the cyclists I see out when I ride. they all have stories, lives, whole universes of which I know nothing. maybe some are riding to relieve pain and anguish, maybe some are riding to prove they are physically capable. some may ride to release stress and anxiety, some may ride because they are in training for a limit-pushing event. some probably ride to escape, some ride for pure pleasure, some ride to work off the extra piece of cake they ate last night . . .
my point is that we all have stories, and they are all more rich, varied, and deep than we can ever imagine. we see physical attributes, we hear quips, we seek clues from facial expressions. but we cannot know anyone's truth unless we sit and be with them for a substantial period of time.
I will make up a story to go with this gray-haired man. I have not seen him, I do not know him. but I have some small clues, and I will fill in the rest with feelings. he has experienced loss, and is hurting. so I will send him love and peace and strength via my God network. you know, that universal energy that flows within and between all of us . . . some of you may deny its existence, but I know it's there.
to my gray-haired man, and to all of you who have ever suffered loss, I send peace and love, and energy to heal. we humans are amazingly resilient, and I know he will once again, someday, feel that he has more to live for than cycling quickly up a canyon.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

not about cycling at all

coldplay in my cd player, me singing at the top of my lungs, fast little car motoring on the freeway, a double rainbow in the sky, rain sprinkling in through the open sunroof . . . I am so blessed. what an incredible world!
as I curve around the freeway exit I face west, and the sun is behind narrow dense clouds that let only silver show around their edges.
I do not want to be anywhere but here.

let them eat cake

1. it is hot out there.
2. 90 miles, more than a handful of them exceedingly painful.
3. morgan is experiencing a decidedly unpleasant fragrance day.
4. favorite boat name seen today: "Gorge Us"

I set out to ride 60 miles. I was going from my house up emigration, then up big mountain, down to east canyon resort, around the dam, and back the same way. but my training schedule suggests a longer ride, and I haven't been to morgan yet this season, and these two things were chopping away at my conviction to keep the ride to 60.
and I was feeling pretty good, once that first half hour was over, so I started thinking about riding all the way to morgan . . . and next thing I knew I was on my way.
when I reached my favorite morgan rest stop (a big, clean, bright phillips 66), got water and a nutrition bar, the plan expanded. why didn't I go on to stoddard, take the freeway overpass, and come back on the other side of the valley?
where is a good reason to nix an idea when you need it?
so I rode to stoddard, and around the morgan valley, and back up to the dam. since I've now gone way past the TMI point (that's Too Much Information, for those of you who don't have children), the short end here is that I barely made it back up big mountain, wanted to stop about 6 times but didn't, then fought the wind all the way back home, coming close to being a bundle of pure misery.
my arms ached, my back ached, I was so uncomfortable I just wanted off the bike.
OFF THE BIKE. perhaps permanently.
so today's question is, why do we do things like this to ourselves?
I can't be the only one.
how do we determine what's right for us, what's enough, what's too much?
take drinking, for example. or eating. or gambling. or working: some people don't have much at all, some seem to quit at an appropriate time, and some are unable to say 'no more.'
is it a character flaw in some of us that keeps us from stopping at a reasonable point? how do we determine that reasonable point? what if a 'reasonable point' shifts from experience to experience?
I've ridden to stoddard and back before. why was today worse? and was there a point at which I should have reined myself in, knowing I had to retrace every mile I rode? should I have known that I didn't have as much in me as I thought I did?
where's the line between under-achieving and over-committing?
eight guys passed me as I was heading up the back side of big mountain. they were all sweating, and none of them looked like they were having the time of their life.
could any of them have felt as bad as I did? I don't know.
but on a lighter note, marie antoinette's famous phrase has been running through my head today, and since I worked so damn hard this morning I think I will let myself
go eat cake.

Friday, July 25, 2008

grab a big gear and get out of the saddle

I have a friend who rides a mountain bike. he used to ride a road bike, decades ago, so he knows the other side as well.
when I started riding a few years ago, he gave me a short list of advice. two things stuck with me:
1. cadence, cadence. it's all about cadence.
2. when climbing, every so often grab a big gear and get out of the saddle.

at that time, I didn't understand either bit of advice, as he used words I was slightly familiar with, but in ways that were foreign to me. cadence? well, sounds like rhythm. must be about pedals going around and around. "grab a big gear?" huh? saddle, ok, I got that.

and now, it all makes sense. I have had cadence drummed into my head (be a spinner, not a masher, spin those legs around), and I get it. cadence has even become one of those beautiful words for me. it flows, it's smooth, I like it. which does not mean that I always keep a beautiful one when riding. but I get it.
and the big gear: make it harder, stand up and push yourself a bit. give your bottom a break, and let your legs have a new experience for a minute or two. I get this one, too. (though I still am completely confused about "gearing up" and "gearing down" . . . which way is which? are higher gears harder or easier? I'm always backwards here.)
these bits of advice took a while to connect with my reality, but once they did, they became staples in my bicycling larder.

the other day I was talking with a friend about her goal of becoming "unstuck." she felt that her life was hovering instead of expanding and soaring, and she told me about some steps she was taking to un-stick herself. this is a great visual, and it quickly connected in my mind with grabbing a big gear and getting out of the saddle. grab that big gear: try something new, different, challenging, or on your list of future goals. get out of the saddle: leave your comfort zone, expose yourself, reach further than ever before.

cadence: keep going, keep moving, keep your momentum, switching gears when necessary.
grab a big gear and get out of the saddle: reach for those stars, give yourself a new experience, push just a little more than you think you can.
because you can.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

those who do

first, a few quick facts:

1. had my first GU of the season this morning. yucch. mango: just don't do it.
2. left just before 6, rode from my house to brighton and back, 50 miles.
3. dropped my chain twice and have shifting problems....back to the boys I must go.
4. seemed to be sharing the canyon with an inordinate amount of unfriendly people.

which leads me to today's subject: people who get out there and do things. I love them!
on my way home today I crossed paths with the July 24th Marathon runners. it was at the mile 18 marker I met the path, and I was catching the tail end of the runners. most of the runners were older or heavier, and none were moving too quickly. but they were moving. running. I have this fantasy that I'm a runner, that I can just leave my house in any kind of weather and run, run for miles and miles. it is complete fantasy. I think, perhaps, if I really committed to it, I could teach my body how to run. but for some reason I can't seem to make myself commit.
I have enormous admiration for runners. I want to be one. cycling seems like cheating, as I get to coast sometimes. and I can cover all those miles because often I'm not working that hard. runners, on the other hand, are always working. the best of them float, gliding along the surface, feet connecting with the ground only to bounce them back into the air. they are sleek, smooth, amazing machines.
but I reserve my highest admiration for the ones who struggle. the ones who are sweating and panting and moving at the speed of, well, me. today's runners comprised the elderly, the infirm, the overweight. and they were out there participating in life, challenging themselves, succeeding. these people inspire me much more than a lance armstrong or a tiger woods.
some mornings as I'm riding I see a woman on rollerblades coming down wasatch boulevard. she is middle-aged and not slender, and we exchange grins and hello's while I think about her commitment to health. she is out there, she is moving. and I find that those in her category are often more friendly than those at the more experienced end of the continuum.
so this is my small tribute to those who get out there even if they finish last. DFL is a million times better than not starting at all.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the grotto

I live two different lives.
at least.
but for brevity's sake, in this soliloquy I'll just stick to two: biking life, and non-biking life. they exist on two different planes, with a gradual transition back and forth. I waken each morning in regular-life, get ready for my ride, and head out the door to transition phase. this can take anywhere from five to twenty minutes, depending on the grade of the streets on my route. (I'm laughing as I type this.) steep uphill grade, I need the maximum time; slight grades cut my time down to about ten or twelve minutes; and flat or downhill streets get me to my other life within three or four minutes.
this morning I rode to a foreign land: city creek canyon. mid-range transition time, maximum biking-life experience. it stormed last night, and the road up the canyon was still dark with moisture. it was olfactory heaven, with every plant and bush and tree sending out its fragrant message. the road is narrow and winding around curve after curve, lifting steeply upward and wrapping around a bend to a gently climbing section, then surprising you with a brief flat before again climbing up, and up.
weeping rock memorial grotto is at the top: I love that name. just to visualize a weeping rock thrills my heart and soul. and grotto, what a beautiful word, stolen from the italian and given to me as a gift when I reach the end of the canyon climb.
back home, I am now clean and coffeed, and having difficulty releasing biking-life because I am still writing about it. my other life calls, wonderful but oh so different, and I will return to biking-life in my mind as needed today. my physician-self has written me a mental health PRN prescription: return mentally to weeping rock, as needed.
biking life, non-biking life.
and a little mental overlap.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

bike shop boys

there is a reason I go to the bike shop.

I had a minor crash sunday, which scraped some skin, drew blood, made an ugly bruise on my thigh, but most importantly, bent my left handlebar. my bike was still rideable, and I didn't detect any significant problems. but I knew I needed help getting the handlebar straightened out.
the guy I was riding with said, 'I have a tool back home, I can do that for you . . .' and then another male friend gave me grief for taking it to the bike shop yesterday ('you need some tools, need to do that stuff yourself').
well, I have come a long way, baby, and there are quite a few things I can do to help keep my bike riding smoothly. I can change tubes and tires, I can use my hex wrenches for all sorts of water-bottle-cage, saddle, and wedge-pack adjustments, I can degrease and lube the chain, I can even do minor adjustments on my brakes. (I can hear you men out there laughing at the minuteness of my victories.)
but quite a few things are beyond my grasp, and to be honest, I'd rather admit my ignorance and ineptitude than perform inaccurate diagnoses and treatment plans.
thus my tentative friendship with the bike shop boys. they intimidate me, and I blush more in that shop than in any other environment, but they are my idols.
pete (whose name has been changed to protect him from being inundated by others like me), is my favorite. he treats me kindly, calls me by name, and always undercharges me. who knows what he really thinks of me (I can only imagine the backroom conversations these guys have), but it doesn't matter because he's always kind and helpful to my face.
today he straightened out my handlebar, changed the attached cable that had been damaged, and returned it to me with a smile and an insignificant bill.
thank God for bike shop boys.

and did I mention that he rides past my house each morning on the way to work, and on these hot summer days he rides without a shirt?

thank God for bike shop boys.


tuesday mornings are sacred.
I love to ride early in the morning (at this time that begins pre-sunrise I also love to sleep, to sit on my couch sipping coffee and read, or to sit in the dark and just be), but on tuesdays I do none of these. tuesdays I give myself the gift of yoga.
I am a yoga neophyte, a newbie, a wannabe. I have been going to class once a week for a little over a year. I have made progress, but it is slow. s l o w.
yoga is a commitment. and I am really quite good at commitments. I am determined, tenacious, and unswayable when focused on certain things. do I love every minute of yoga class? no. can I do everything my instructor ~ the amazing miguel ~ guides us to do? no. do I often look around and think, why don't my heels touch the floor, why can they do this and I can't, will I ever be as good as her? yes, yes, yes. but I keep going. and someday, perhaps, I will be able to hold my body in dolphin or dragonfly. there was a time I couldn't do crow, and now I can, and that is what I must hold inside.
baby steps.
too often we want it NOW, we want it without pain, without effort. and we see others who seem to be having, achieving, accomplishing, and it looks easier than our path. but we cannot know their journey ~ which is likely to have been more challenging than we could possibly believe ~ all we can know is our own.
my yoga classes, like most others, end with a quiet word from miguel which we return to him: namaste. this word can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but my favorite is this: 'I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me.'
so to you all who are reading this, I offer this and send you peaceful energy today,

Monday, July 21, 2008

invisible tattoos

I have an invisible tattoo on my left hand.
like prisoners who have letters tattooed on their knuckles, I, too, have letters on mine.
mine say faith.
and I glance at that word frequently.
when riding a difficult climb, when in the middle of something I don't want to be doing, when contemplating life and my current position in the universe. it grounds me, gives me courage, gives me comfort. it reminds me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and that all will work its way out if I continue to be true to who I am.
it's invisible, amazingly powerful, and it's always there when I remember to look.

basic training

you are in the basic training phase of the tao of cycling. this is the part where you are given lots of information about the foundation, the what, where, how, who kind of things. some people find basic training rather boring, and would rather get on to the real thing, so I am trying to keep this groundwork information minimal and interspersed with more ~ hopefully ~ interesting things.

mondays, lately, are basic training days for me. they are my 'recovery rides', and I have mixed feelings about them. they are all about spinning my legs around without working too hard, keeping my heart rate under a certain number, and, unfortunately, learning to squish my ego.
yes, I've admitted to having one, and though it doesn't roar, it is a sometimes noisy component of my psyche.
my core training (and I'll give a plug here) was from J.R. Smith, and it was exactly what I needed to give me a firm foundation for what I have grown to love. his program worked us hard, but threw in copious amounts of 'recovery.' last summer when I started training hard for lotoja, I forgot the recovery part for a while . . . and then I hit a stretch of significant burnout.
I was concerned about true burnout (google 'adrenal burnout' if you want to scare yourself), and started researching training advice. thats when I found the suggestion that has guided me ever since and caused me to again thank JR, and that is to PUT IN THOSE RECOVERY RIDES! so, once a week now I go easy, and this is the difficult part, let other cyclists pass me. ARGGGH! sometimes I can hardly stand it, and sometimes I let my heart rate go just a teeny weeny bit above where it should . . .
picking the route is the hard part, as it needs to be fairly flat, which is A, almost impossible around here and B, boring. today the sky was sprinkling rain down upon me, off and on, for the entire ride, and that was my excitement. that and the sickeningly gorgeous blonde who passed me ~ twice, once in each direction ~ muscles glistening and quivering, working as hard as I knew I could be if I wasn't having a stupid basic training recovery day.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

today's favorite sign


what does that mean?

fuel, shoes, and couplehood

well, I didn't ride my hundred today: my route planner was a little off in his calculations, and with 73 miles up we decided not to stress about adding the extra sixteen necessary to make 100. and although at that point we were feeling a little beat up, we refueled and could have kept going to our original goal. Ah, what a lesson. I can keep going as long as I keep refueling. I have always struggled with refueling, thinking that it's not always necessary, or I don't know what fuel I need, or that it may be selfish and greedy of me to do so. and though there are certain fuels we all need ~ food, hydration, sleep ~ other fuels can be unique to a person. I've learned I need space, peace, silence, creative outlets, and laughter, among other things. and I have friends who need contact with other friends, gatherings, music, and action movies . . . just as tigers need meat and rabbits need greens, we all have fuel requirements that are unique to ourselves.

So I ended with 84, and called it good. this is big for me, as I usually push to make those goals happen. I am trying to not be so determined, to try to flow more . . .
which leads me right to the flowing river we rode alongside for a while, the Weber. water is soothing, peaceful, invigorating, dramatic: I love the sound of it as it tumbles over rocks in the streambed, and it just fills my heart with joy.

and I also find great joy in street names and signs that I see while on my rides! I collect them, mentally, and know that there is a reason for this. today's favorite: Wooden Shoe Lane. there is a story here! there are stories everywhere. we all have a story, every place has at least one story, every being on this earth has a story. what if one day we all had the wisdom to unearth and listen to these stories?

in closing, toward the end of our ride we were in an area populated with pedestrians and cars, and I rode past an older couple, standing together, waiting to cross the street. I want to grow old with someone I love, cherish, and respect. I want to hold hands and walk together, down a path we create ourselves. I want to wait patiently, knowing that we will cross the challenges of our lives together, when the time is right.

214 miles in this week.....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

super saturday

hi all,
today's ride was brief, as I am planning to do a hundred tomorrow. but what a morning: I met a handful of friends, and thus we started later than I usually do. seven-thirty start at hogle zoo, which became about a seven-fifty-something start . . . this is not easy for me, as I am a "go get it done" kind of person. chatting, well, can't we do that while we ride? what do you mean, rest at the top, don't we get to rest on the way down? oh, truth, so difficult to face in oneself.
so, one person pealed off and went home at the top of emigration, I continued with the group up to the top of big mountain where one other joined us, and then I left for home while the rest planned to ride to henefer and then back.
there were cyclists everywhere . . . I have never seen quite so many out. I have noticed there are more out this summer than last, but today was like a party. maybe because of the later start, maybe because more people are riding, maybe my eyes are just a little more open.
riding up big mountain I was with andy, who has one of those great toys that tells you all sorts of statistics about yourself and your ride. which was great fun, as he kept me updated as to the grade of the road. I'm into grades: just how hard is this? should I really be in zone 5 right now, or am I being a wimp today? how does this grade compare to what I rode yesterday?
I have toy envy.
so, andy let me know every time we hit one of those 9% grades, as I watched my speed drop from six-point-something to five-point-something . . . I really hate riding in the fives. but the fours are worse, and there are certain stretches of road where I can't even get to 5 mph without killing myself.
so now you know the truth.
I am a tortoise, a faithful, committed, determined, capable tortoise.