Saturday, July 17, 2010

am I there yet?

sometimes the urge to be there is stronger than the desire to actually get there.
I'm going to type that again, just to confirm and assure you I didn't make a mistake:
sometimes the urge to be there is stronger than the desire to actually get there.
and sometimes the desire to get there outweighs the other, and you keep on pedaling until you actually do get there.

this morning bill and I rode up little cottonwood. here's the thing about riding up little cottonwood: for some reason the first snowbird entry is often the stopping point for people riding up this canyon. no matter that the canyon continues on for two more miles, climbing up and up. the only reason I can dream up for this is that a couple of the cycling races I'm familiar with (snowbird hill climb, last year's 1000 warriors) end at that (or the second) snowbird entry.
the other possible reason for the premature stopping point, espoused by my biking buddy bob, is essentially that enough is enough.
but when one bikes up big cottonwood canyon one doesn't stop at solitude; one continues on to the bitter end, to brighton.
why does one stop at snowbird and not at alta?

bob's answer is excellent, but his advice was unheeded by us today. our bikes wavered not at the first snowbird entry, though our backs were aching and my ribs asked me, pleaded with me, really, to please just stop going uphill.
but I was feeling chipper enough to climb those last two miles, or so I thought until I kept on climbing those last two miles. what kept me going was the knowledge that the alta parking lot would soon be within sight, and I would soon be done. then I'd be able to pause, to breathe, to stretch my back, and to turn around and have a delightfully fast and easy downhill before my ride back across town and, possibly, a mid-afternoon nap.

I had obviously forgotten with whom I was riding.
because while my bike decided to stop there at the far end of the alta parking lot, bill's seemed to want to keep going. and what happens at the far end of the alta parking lot is that a packed dirt road takes off up the hillside, twisting and turning and reaching ever upward until three miles later one reaches the albion basin campground, with it's own little torturously ascending loop of campsites.
(by the way, here's an english lesson: tortuous indicates winding, crooked, full of twists and turns, while torturous means painful, characterized by suffering. I purposefully chose torturous to describe the tortuous loop we rode.)

yep, we visited, sat for a spell at, and refilled water bottles at the albion basin campground this morning.
which is a most beautiful place, a stunning place, truly, with meadows of wildflowers and a sweeping vista of majestically sharp-edged peaks, some still gripping tightly the remains of the winter's white coating.
we were not alone, but I didn't see any other skinny-tired people around, perhaps because most all of them choose to remain on pavement.
think paris-roubaix on an upward (then downward) slant.

the lesson of the day for me was simply this: for as many times on the way up the canyon I wished to be done climbing, my desire to eventually reach the top outweighed my desire to simply be there, and thus my pedals continued turning around and around, and around, and around.

No comments: