I DON'T LIKE RIDING MY BIKE UPHILL! At all.
...which is weird because all of my cycling friends are fine with hills. Oh, but they all weigh about 165 pounds. Even their bike tires are skinny. But do you know how some of them got to that weight? By riding their bikes, even uphill.
I live in a valley, literally. My "river loop" route that I normally ride is 6.5 miles of mostly flat bike path, along a river-bed. Given that I live in the desert, I have only seen water in that river about 3-4 times over the past 6 years, but they still call it a river-bed.
So, if you live in a valley and don't want to just ride around a bunch of sand, you have to "ride hills" to get more scenery and distance, to alleviate the monotony of the same route.
The hills around me are tough (for a man of my stature), but not impossible. I have climbed La Canada about 15 times now. But as time passes between those climbs, it becomes more intimidating. It's like it gets steeper somehow. Makes a wimpy guy like me want to keep that bike in the garage and move to a flat terrain somewhere.
I was talking with new friend, Mike, recently. He is an experienced cyclist. We were talking about how some people are just really good at hills. They have larger thigh muscles and can stomp up hills like mountain goats. Mike is a mountain goat. Neighbor Ted and my friend Weegie are mountain goats. Good for them.
I asked Mike "So, how do you get good at riding hills?" He laughingly responded "you ride hills". You might have seen that one coming. I think I did too.
So, I will commit to a new mini-challenge for myself. This fool will "ride hills" 10 times before Father's Day. This also means that 'll be cycling more, which is needed for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge. I'll post the count in the title as I get this done. Yesterday I climbed what I will call "Short Hill loop". It is 9.3 miles and the loop took me 43 minutes of hard work to complete.
Details: From my driveway to the hill-top was 21 minutes...that was the hard part. The rest of it was just a sprint on a more flat terrain and the quick downhill descent. I'm including the detail here so that I can benchmark and see how I do as I progress. I'll vary the distance, but the initial hill-top climb will be the constant. 1 down, 9 to go.
(By the way, I love these old cycling posters from France. I have been following some new sites that are really into "bicycle art" and I want to use some cool cycling images. If any of you French-Canadians out there want to translate these posters, that could be pretty cool for the rest of us.)
Keep riding everyone!
P.S. Thanks to ALL for the encouragement after my weigh-in post. I especially want to thank RockStar Tri who encouraged me by simply saying "less writing, more riding" and Massive Marcus and ZeusMeatball for the straight talk. It is easier to blog, than to do the work. Good reminders for me. Much appreciated.
Also, RockStar: On my ride today, I wore those bib shorts that you sent, along with my original jersey. I love those bib shorts! Thanks so much for the gear. My jersey fits great now, even a little loose. Soon, I'll offer it to an newbie Clydesdale to pay it forward.