Wednesday, June 24, 2009

hobie cats and carrots

this is what happened to me monday:
I got suckered by a crisply colorful hobie cat and a handful of imaginary carrots.

my intention was to ride up emigration, and hopefully, as far as the reservoir, depending upon how I was feeling.
but this is what happened:
as I crested the little mountain summit at the top of emigration, I looked down at the reservoir and saw a single, perfect, rainbow-colored hobie cat slicing through the caribbean blue-green water, and I was entranced. my legs kept spinning, my heart leapt forward, and I followed it all the way down the hill, watching the shoreline of the reservoir reveal a small sandy beach and the petite blue-green cove that always pulls at me.
my eyes danced and my leg muscles delighted in the tailwind, and before I knew it I was heading for the gate at the east end of the reservoir and the entrance to the big mountain climb.

okay, I'll just ride to the gate.
zipping along, pushed by the wind and pulled by the glorious day, I skimmed past the gate.

okay, I'll just ride another mile.
which passed so quickly I hardly knew it.

okay, I'll just ride up to Quaking Aspen Grove, about halfway to the top, where the road gathers steepness dramatically, handing it to you like a gift.
I settled in for some work, drank my water, and began thinking about the rest of the road to the top. and then there I was, at the grove.
carrots shimmered in front of me, and I, stubborn mule that I am, kept stretching myself toward them.

okay, I'll just ride to the switchbacks.
another painful kilometer, which would lead me to a pretty good turning point.

okay, I will dig my heels in and suck it up and just give it the remaining 20 minutes I need to get to the top.
which is what I did.

in 19 minutes.

and that is the story of my ride: all it takes is a sun-filled day, a gorgeous body of water, a joyful hobie cat, and a handful of carrots to get me to ride further than I think I want to, giving me once again one of the greatest gifts possible . . . that incomparable, unmatchable sense of accomplishment you can only feel at the top of the hill.

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