In order to prepare myself for my first-ever (steep!) century bike ride, I’ve been cycling on weekends with my man (in between the rain here, anyway). Here’s what a typical afternoon ride looks like:
Huff. Huff. That’s me breathing as I pump up any one of the Bay Area hills.
“All right love!” TP says from behind me. (He says that he prefers to ride behind me so he can go at my pace. All right guys, is that the real reason?)
I’m new at cycling — so I go much slower than him, and I try not to get down on myself about that. TP has been cycling for a decade, and after most solo rides, he returns with stories about racing guys up the hill and beating them.
As we reach the summit on a recent afternoon, I look up and take in the incredible view of the San Francisco bay, with its wispy clouds on the horizon. I’m beaming: sunshine and fresh air, mixed with a good work out, make me happy.
“Now, are you ready to push?” a deep voice says from behind me.
Huh? I snap myself back from my sunshine fantasy.
“It’s time to really take it up another notch,” my man says, riding alongside me now, sweat trickling down his face.
I know that he means well. But the way that he pushes up a hill… isn’t the same way I do it. I enjoy the journey of getting up the hill. Yes, I like to push myself, but I’m not focused on speed. He, on the other hand, is an aggressive cyclist who loves the thrill getting a better time.
So, when a girlfriend recently asked me if I wanted to join her on the Cinderella Ride this weekend — 65 miles, mostly flat, with moderate hills in the Bay Area — I said, “Yeah!”
When I got the registration form, I smiled at the rule in all caps:
“WOMEN AND GIRLS ONLY! NO MALE RIDERS!”
So, what’s YOUR strategy for getting up a steep hill — even a metaphorical one?
How do you push yourself?
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