Accomplishing a goal has a few steps. First you need to know what the end step is…though of course there is no end, but you do need to be aiming somewhere, or you will get…no where.
So, yesterday, riding my bike back from town, for the first time, since I started riding the 7 miles to town, and then back, I rode up only ONE hill on the way home. And that is a HILL. A SERIOUS hill. I don’t think I will EVER ride up that hill. I know that hill intimately. It starts sneakily about a mile away, with a teeny rise, that is no problem (now) for me to ride along.
In the beginning (nearly two years ago) my mind would complain loudly about the slope of that road. I am not calling that part a hill, because it isn’t, but it is a long, slow, sneaky rise. Now I can do it without thinking about it, but in the beginning, even though I could ride it, I was not happy. Now I ride along it, thinking about the HILL to come.
Now THAT is a HILL. It starts before the cross street, and makes me work quite a bit, before I get to the cross street, which is level, trying to trick me into thinking that I made it. But no…the worst is yet to come. After that cross street it REALLY turns mean. Sharp uphill rise, and long LONG before even the one quarter way mark I cannot ride anymore, and I need to walk. And I can barely walk (and push the bike) up that HILL. Finally, after a lifetime, I get onto the level, and I move the bike over along the stone wall, and lean it there. I get my drink, shakily walk ahead of the bike, and sit on the wall, while my heart and lungs slowly come back to normal.
After nearly two years of that hill, I can ride up to, and across the street, looking back over my shoulder for cars turning onto that street. If more than two cars are waiting to turn onto the main road from that street, I need to get off and walk, as I don’t really have enough room (or strength) to work my way through, or around them.
Most of the time there are no cars waiting, so I ride across the street, and hit the next (serious) part of that hill. There is a telephone pole about ten or 15 feet past the entrance, and I aim to reach that, and sometimes I do, and sometimes not.
And sometimes now, I can get back on the bike before I am quite at the top of that hill, just where it starts to kind of level out, and I can begin riding again, which means I don’t need to sit and rest. Or maybe I’d like to sit and rest, but it is not VITAL for my being able to continue. So, I guess I have improved since I started that route.
When I first started, I had to walk up seven hills, going home. There are more hills going home than going to town. Yesterday was no different on that HILL. I walked up it, and rested at the top for maybe 7 minutes, but I guess I really am getting stronger, because I rode up all the rest of the hills on the way home, and generally now, I walk up three of them.
So yesterday was a milestone! Walked up only ONE hill!
And for my upcoming trip I got: biker shorts: now I can at least look like a real bike rider
a bike pump, and a little package of patches for holes. This is ‘insurance’. You know…if you are prepared, you won’t need them. Well, I am not really ‘prepared’ as I don’t know how to change a flat. That is on my list of ‘to do’ things. If I know how, then I REALLY (I hope) won’t need it.
A stove I looked at the web site of Mountain Equipment Co-op and found the one that sounded best for me, then went into Vancouver, on the bus (a long trip) and looked at what they had, talked to the guy who knew what he was talking about, and ended up getting the one I was planning on.
And, tomorrow I am planning to do my 2nd training ride, of 1 1/2 hours out and back. Maybe one more of these and then I will do a two hour out and back ride. That is probably a third, to a half of the distance I plan to do on my first day of the trip, so I am on schedule.
I think I have an ‘in’ to get a tent, so, really, all I need now is a sleeping bag, and maybe a pad for under it.
I just found a book in the library written by a guy who rode his bike from Newfoundland to Latin America, over a bunch of years. His name is Martin Lobigs, and his book is called ‘A Life on Wheels.’
I am also following the blog of ‘Jeremy’ who is one month into his trip (in real life) right now, and is in Carolina, I guess. He seems like a very nice young man. He doesn’t say the state in his videos or blog posts. I also don’t know where he is aiming at, except ‘west’. Also, for some strange reason, he is not wearing a helmet. You can still die wearing a helmet, but I’d still think it is a good idea to wear one. At least he is wearing proper shoes now. He started out with flip flops.
There are actually a lot of people either on bike trips right now, or who have made trips, and written about them, and put videos on You Tube, which is helpful.
So maybe I will use my ‘Map My Ride’ app, and post that tomorrow, after my training run, and see how it works on here. Stay tuned.