Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I think I can...

Several weeks back my bro-in-law called and proposed a bike ride...
He is a HARD CORE biker!
He has ridden up Mt. Rainer and averages 100 miles a week...

Needless to say I was INTIMIDATED!

But he is a nice guy and he knew who he was inviting so "we" (Jeff) said yes.

The proposed route was to ride West from The Dalles to Hood River - which sounded pretty flat...

We decided to have a mini getaway and after ditching the kids on Sat. we headed to the Gorge. After many stops along the way we eventually ended up on the road we would be biking...I had decided to ease my fears it would be best if I saw the road we would be riding before we actually did it...then I wondered if that was a mistake?!



It was decidedly NOT flat! This is a picture of what would be our first climb out of The Dalles...2.3 miles of switchbacks. I have NEVER done any climbing like this...

There would be another 3 mile climb and many other "shorter" climbs in the 43 miles we would be riding. But my brain settled on this first climb...7 miles into the ride I would have to tackle this hill...I began concocting excuses reasons why I should stay behind and send the boys on the ride without me

1. It would be good brother bonding time
2. I would just slow them down they would have more fun
3. Somebody really should have a car in case of a flat or some other "emergency"
4. What if you run out of water? Its super hot and I could make sure you had water
5. My tummy hurts...


We headed to our hotel and jumped into the pool and I tried to put the hills out of my mind...

Side note: Why do men without Michael Phelps type bodies feel compelled to wear speedos and bend over in public pools where I am swimming??????????



We met up with bro-in-law and drove up to the look out to check out the views and show him some of what we would be riding.




This picture was taken the night before...Please notice the road way down by the river...that is where we would begin...I am putting on a brave face as I was working on my reasons why I would not be riding in the morning...

We shared a hotel and after a night of nerves (I could not get the hill out of my head) TWO snoring Fry guys and a miserable excuse for a pillow it was 5:30 am and we began getting up...

Because the forecast was for 100 that day we had decided to start early...


I had resolved to just do it... or die trying...

It took my the 7 miles to settle down and stop panicking...It helped me tremendously to know it was 2.3 miles long. It helped me know how much longer I needed to hang on until the top...a mile in I knew I would make it and I just kept peddling...If I could climb this hill I could do the rest of the ride I told myself...I've told you about my head games before...


While I didn't pose at the top this is what I was doing in my head when I got there but there wasn't much time for celebrating because we still had over 30 miles to go...


We got off the road and hit a really cool trail that took us through tunnels with amazing views. It was UPHILL the whole way! Every time I went down a hill it was hard to enjoy because I knew I would have to come UP the hill very soon...I began concocting reasons why I would only make this a one way trip...but then I thought about how badly I wanted to ride DOWN that huge hill at the beginning...I had earned it and darn it I wanted to ride down it!


In the tunnel there is an amazing view behind us...take my word for it :)


My bike enjoying the view...It is about 8 am and it is getting HOT already...



Cary did the big hill at the beginning twice...show off! ;)

I rallied and decided to ride back even though there was another HUGE LONGER hill to climb and it was HOTTER!  I started to worry a bit when I was hot but I was feeling chilled and had goose bumps all over me...But I did it! I survived! and I'm so very glad I did!

It was AMAZING to go down the hill at the end...mostly because I knew I had done it! I knew I had accomplished something new and big for me and it felt amazing! As I whizzed by those climbing the hill I was so grateful that was behind me and I was enjoying the reward!

This last year I have had to push through several walls of fear...it is teaching me perseverance.  This is a good thing...



Frychik

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