I went on a bike ride last night. One I’ve been sort of putting off/dreading for awhile. It’s REALLY no big deal, I just needed to actually do it. It was the bike portion of the course for my upcoming triathlon. Just under 14 miles, no big deal. I’ve ridden most of it already actually, but there is a barrier that you have to dismount and carry your bike over at one point so we just turned around there. Hmmm, that may be why when I read someone’s description of the bike portion as ‘hilly’ I thought they were overstating it a bit. I mean, it does have some rolling hills, but nothing overly taxing.
Then….yesterday I went past the barrier…and I found out what they meant. It gets a little more hilly overall but still not too much…and then I turned this one blind corner, and there it was. THE hill that even if it were the only hill on the course, would require them to call it hilly. Oh my goodness. The worst part about the hill – is not knowing that it’s coming. You take a blind innocent looking right turn and there it is and you have basically no time to build speed. I tried to force my way up it, (almost falling over in the process) but I had to stop and walk the last 15 to 20 feet. And of course the racing folks have a good sense of humor. The course was already marked from previous years and at the top of the hill there were the words NICE HILL =) painted on the road. There is going to be a lot of swearing on race day when people reach the top of that hill. I’m just thankful that I live close enough that I can practice on the course and know about the hill. Coming back from the other direction it’s a more gradual grade, (and I knew it was coming) so I was able to make it up the hill, albeit with a substantial effort. Again I was greeted with “NICE HILL=)”. Going down the other side, not as fun as you would think. It’s very steep and while normally one would be excited for the break and the free speed – it takes a pretty sharp turn to the left immediately at the bottom of the hill, so I still relied on my breaks so I didn’t go too crazy fast.
Anyway, that was pretty much the most exciting/suprising thing that I discovered on the course. Now I am even more motivated to do my other hill workouts, to make sure I can tackle THE hill without using all my energy. I mean after the hill I still have to ride back about 6 miles and then run a 5k! Oh boy. =)