Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thoughts From the Saddle

Last Friday Jenny and I did a 67 mile training ride. This is one of our favorite routes because it's mainly rural roads that are lined with thick forest on either side. The first 40 miles of this route are full of rolling hills which get your legs and lungs burning on the way up and your heart pounding on the way down because of the speed. The last 27 miles are fairly flat which used to be my favorite section but last Friday things were different.

I must have eaten my Wheaties on Friday because the hills didn't really bother me that much and when it came to the descents it was the most fun I have had on a bike in a long time. Every time we got to a descent I would tuck down into the drops and get as aerodynamic as I could. Occasionally, I was able to go the speed limit or above so naturally I pulled into the middle of my lane because if I was going the same speed as a car I think I deserve more of the road. In addition, there just weren't that many cars on the road anyway.

This ride got me thinking about life and how sometimes it feels a lot like a long section of rolling hills. We all have hills in our lives where things just don't go our way or things are hard. While suffering up hills on a bike I often question why I like to ride and why I put myself through the torture. I've found if I just keep spinning my legs, put my head down, and tell myself "you can do it, you can do it" before I know it I'm cresting the hill and looking over at the descent that I get to enjoy. At that moment I remember why I like to ride bikes. It's the sense of accomplishment and thrill of the descent.

I guess in life sometimes we just need to put our heads down, keep our legs spinning, tell ourselves we can do it and eventually we'll get to the top of the hill we're fighting through. In the end everyone deserves a good descent now and then.

Enjoy the ride!


Jenny-Jenny said...

So True! The best thing about a hard climb is the speedy descent! Maybe that's why I dislike those false flats after the one big hill so much... I know that after that much work I deserve a good downhill. But isn't life like that too sometimes. After a big trial you don't always get to coast, sometimes you just have to keep pushing forward and know that the rewards will come... eventually.

jeff said...

Nice post! I think that putting your mind to something, then putting in the work to get it done, makes anything possible. I like the sense of accomplishment from a long climb, and love the sweet reward of a speedy decent.

Linda said...

How true this is, Mike. And it's especially true when you get a flat going up one of those hills just after running out of water and the sky is starting to get dark and rumble. But the fact that you do eventually complete that which you set out to do is a feeling you don't soon forget.

Buttsy said...

Fantastic analogy - what a lovely post.....I am personally in those hills at the moment, and life has been a bit tough so I had a few tears welling as I read this.....but good positive - life in perspective type tears.! Thanks