Hills, on a Monday

11 06 2009

Last weekend was pretty uneventful, but surely relaxing. The Mr. and I got away to his mom’s place at the beach. A great thing about living in Maryland: mountains to the beach in less than 3 hours. Salt water runs in my veins, so this is my key requirement for any living situation.

We left Friday after work, and got up early Saturday for a ride around the seaside state park on the cruisers. We doubled up on the bike loop and found a few beach access spots that are walk-in/bike-in only. Sweet! We rounded out our morning with a nice lunch on the terrace at the Lewes Ferry terminal. Drinks were had by all. I was able to catch a few rays on the beach that afternoon before dinner, making mine a perfect day.

photo courtesy destateparks.com

photo courtesy destateparks.com

Making up for a weekend of no mountain biking, Em and I headed out to the watershed Monday after work to try some of that new singletrack we scoped last week. The trail is full of switchbacks and obstacles, and I had turned into a wuss. Of course, when you’re on foot and imagining what it will be like to ride something, it seems like a breeze. Not so! Add two wheels and 11mph to my speed, and I’m easily jacked. A few of the switchbacks were crazy and I couldn’t get myself over one of the little rock gardens, but I’m going to keep trying this one so I can improve my skills on windy-er trails.

The new trail does NOT look like this.

The new trail does NOT look like this.

The new piece of trail spat us out onto a section that I rode a lot last season, and the climbing began. I had my mind set that the rest of the ride was not going to kick my ass. Maybe I had conserved my energy from wimping it on the singletrack, but I was taking the hills in stride and with good pace. There’s something about climbing a hill. My husband hates them (although he conquers them with ease), but I relish the challenge. Stating the obvious, I’m not a fan of the rocky decent. Give me a hill to climb, and I’m all for it. I gauge my progress on certain hills throughout the riding season, noting how far I make it each time before taking a short breather, or how winded I am at the top compared to the last ride.

There are two long, steady, rocky climbs and one short, steep one that wrap up the loop we rode on Monday. Em and I tackled them with force, encouraging each other and giving praises along the way. I was mentally encouraging myself, too, since these are heart-pumping, leg-burning ascents. I get a little philosophical when I ride lately. I think of things like, “If you can run a business, you can handle a little hill on a bike.” “Think about how you’ll feel when you reach the top – keep going.”

Biking a hill as a metaphor for running a business? Sure, I take my little “victories” with me for back-up when I’m having a rough day in the office. Instead of compartmentalizing (wow! college vocab) these things I do to “feed” myself, they’re mixed together to make a stronger me. Can’t argue with that.

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