Made the Hills My Minions aka, First Long Ride of the Season

15 04 2012

Did it yesterday 🙂

I admit, I was nervous. And not because the ride was in Kansas and the threat of severe weather was high.

The ride was the Wamego Cabin Fever Challenge, and at times, it was challenging.  I was worried about the distance. My friend and I signed up for the 30 mile route. Last year, my longest ride was 40 miles, and it was at the end of the riding season. I wasn’t sure I could BEGIN my season at a ride only 10 miles less than my longest.

But my friend Becky is awesome. She encouraged me and believed in me. Not only did we finish, our time was better than we’d anticipated. I expected it to take us at least four hours. Total time from start to finish was 3:20. We stopped at the support stations along the way to refuel or “empty the tanks”. Our total moving time, was 2:49. I was amazed.

But it was momentous for me in another way. Last year, I took a pretty bad tumble on my bike. I was on the road going down hill (which means fast – I’d gotten up to 25 mph that day). Through a series of unfortunate events and bad decisions, I found myself on the ground, stopping me and my bike with my bare arms. I took home some beautiful looking road rash and a cracked rib as parting gifts. I did two more rides after the accident (a 40 and 32 mile). I was scared and nervous on both, but I finished. I was terrified of going down the bigger hills. I went, but slowly, surrendering the joy and sense of freedom I’d had on hills before the accident.

Yesterday, I knew a monster hill was coming. I’d studied the course and elevation before hand. But Becky encouraged me. Marry that encouragement to the utter frustration of feeling like I couldn’t do something, and I let go. I enjoyed the rapid descent. The feeling of freedom as I wheeled faster and faster down the hill. At the end, I looked at my speed. I’d hit 29 mph. Not only the highest since the accident, but a personal best. I couldn’t help it. I gave hollered my joy.

I expect I’ll still be nervous on the downhills for a bit. Pain is an effective teacher. But to feel that accomplishment and freedom again will help balance the fear.

I can’t wait for the next long ride!

 

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5 responses

15 04 2012
Terri

Yay! Glad you did it.

15 04 2012
ajdurrant

Thank you 🙂

16 04 2012
DD12

30 miles?
That is a long ways!!!

18 04 2012
ajdurrant

yes it is 😀 Working to do the 70-something ride for the ms ride this year 😀

18 04 2012
esmale

At first I was shocked that I had been made one of Alta’s Minions. Then I was upset that I was a minion that didn’t even warrant being told I was a minion. Which was followed briefly by the thought that I had become one of her literary minions in her current WIP…before finally realizing this had nothing to do with me at all.

How very disappointing.

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