|Miley said it was worth the climb|
The last 2 days I spent at Leadville last week went surprisingly well considering…. My second day up there I planned to do a long ride but cut it short when I was 11,200 feet up and lightning struck. As much fun as Wayne had when he got electrocuted I’m not exactly asking to join that club. (My mom said it’s those critical thinking skills I developed at college that she’s most proud of.) I got about 4 hours in and was able to ride a good portion of the trail. I still have about 15 miles of uncharted trail to wade through, but I’ve got time. The last morning I was there I just decided to focus on mile 48-50. I thought maybe I’d do a couple of hill repeats maybe do those 2 miles a few times. This is when God starts laughing at me. I didn’t realize it would take me 40 minutes to go 2 miles. I think they put all the climbing in that section. The view is pretty great so definitely worth it. But I think it’ll be faster if I run up it with my bike. It only took me 6 minutes to get down it, and that’s including the 2 minutes I was lying on the ground after I knocked the wind out of myself. I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten the wind knocked out of you at sea level, but at 12,000 feet it sucks and you’re sucking a lot for air. The part of the trail I was going down was really lose and I got sucked into a rut and then thrown into a side wall which prompted my body to continue moving forward even though my bike had stopped (and I thought I’d never have a use for physics). Some how in the mix of tumbling over the handlebars I either managed to run into the handlebars or punch myself in the stomach, it’s not really clear and I’m going to blame it on the lack of oxygen. I was able to recover, not gracefully, as knocking the wind out of yourself might be the most embarrassing thing one can encounter. Luckily it’s pretty desolate at 12,000 feet.
I share the same birthday as one of the guys at the shop so he planned a biking adventure up at Curt Gowdy for a few days. The day after I came back from Leadville I headed up which after having an ass kicking fiesta from Leadville, wasn’t exactly super stoked to be spending more time with my bike. Since I was only there for a night I decided to sleep in my car with my bike instead of setting up a tent. The next day my butt definitely did not want to get back on the bike. But I’m glad I did. It was so much fun and just what I needed. There was one section where you take a sharp right and then climb up a nice rock face. Well I turned and went to start climbing but because of the grade didn’t shift my weight far enough forward and lifted the bike up and instead of flipping over I jumped off only to have my shoes slide down the rock causing me to tumble over and have my bike land on top of me. Another great fall I took happened at about 3mph, my bike rammed into a lifted rock and I started going over the handlebars, I realized this and yelled, “Oh shit!” and bailed to one side while my bike tumbled the other way. One of the guys saw my bike and told me he thought I’d have to be taken out on a stretcher. Luckily I have a lot of practice falling. One of the guys had to get 7 stitches (don’t worry mom, I walked that section) so I definitely came out ahead. I feel like I left that trip bonded with my bike. It was probably the 8 hours we spent in the back of my car, that will do it to anyone.
|Best. Bike. Ever.|
My birthday cruiser ride went well. I was drinking water by the second bar but then everybody was so impressed I made it to the 3rd bar they started buying me shots again. Little Boy Blue held up (no pun intended) surprisingly well. The seat stays were low enough that when I started to swerve they would hit the ground sending sparks and making a horrific banshie sounding noise. It was a good way to know I needed to be a little more upright. I also cut my leg on the pedal somehow but informed everyone that it was okay because I have more blood than people living at sea level and could afford to lose some. At every bar I kept asking for an 11 mm wrench to tighten the seat bolts but no one seemed to have on so by the end of the night my seat kept dropping down causing the seat stays to drag on the ground. Whenever someone said something I said, “Well ya, 145 pounds of muscle is pushing down on it, why would it stay up?” We did rectify the tandem for this ride but I refused to use it, instead one of the girls from the shop and her boyfriend had the honor. The pedals are a little out of sync and the next day we found out the front wheel wasn’t properly tightened down, but it survived. I don’t think they appreciated when I tried to pop the balloons off the back of their bike because it reminded me of mario kart.
I also came across this article a few weeks ago that I have open on my phone at all times now. A senior wrote it for a special edition in the Yale Daily News. It was only after she passed away in a car accident that the piece gained national attention. I’ll let you read it for yourself but one paragraph has stuck with me: