Last week I spoke of a ride inspired by the efforts of Frank Schleck and the prospect of being chased down by Action Figure Bill. But for every great ride a guy (or gal) has, there is a price to be paid. Yesterday, I paid.
It started out as just another after work ride. I was looking at doing what has turned into the "usual loop", then Bill drops the line on me, "You're getting pretty well adapted to this loop. We need to mix it up a little. It'll be good for you!"
I was feeling good, so I ignored the classic "it'll be good for you" warning sign. It wouldn't be long before I would regret this blunder.
It was the usual route at first, until we got around Fayson Lakes, and we did...THE TURN!! I got the overall description of the new leg of the ride, and was informed that I had two hard climbs to look forward to. And sure enough, we came to a hill. As I struggled up over the hill (literally and perhaps metaphorically), AFB rode by me like I was standing still and yelled over, "This isn't one of the hard ones".
And he was right. The next one was MUCH harder. I dug deep down into my reserves to muster up the energy to enquire if this was one of the hard ones. Fortunately (I think), it was. As we crested the hill, there was a lemonade stand with a sign saying LEMONADE 50 Cents. Sadly, it was unattended. And I can tell you, some little kid missed a big sale, because I was prepared to throw down a five and say "Keep that sugar water coming!!"
We had a little teaser of a down hill, and then back up. This was the second hard climb. The difficulty wasn't so much in the grade as it was in the duration. Every time I thought I was at the top, my enthusiasm was beat down by the sight of another pitch up. Somewhere in this climb, Action Figure Bill graciously parted with the last of his Nuuns and a couple of shot blocks, which was manna from Heaven at that point. And eventually the climb did end, and we were back on the original course. From there, we still had a fair bit of riding to do, but we put foot to pedal and finished it out.
Fortunately for me, I made it to town just before Nature's Enerqi closed, so I could grab my power ball and an iced tea to pull me the rest of the way home, where I proceeded to collapse. They say that which does not kill you makes you stronger. I have hopes.