The limiting condition

I haven't blogged for a while now, but today, I thought I watched enough movies for a while and should do something else for a change. OKAY! Truth be told, my amazon prime subscription expired and I am not sure if I should renew it. So, until I figure that out, I may be doing a little more reading than usual. OKAY! I can't read for more than an hour. Frankly there isn't enough on Facebook for another hour. And so I am back to square one. Okay, lets type up a blog.

If I can interest you to this, lemme tell you about my ride through the Roger's canyon. Earlier this week, on Tuesday evening, I finally set out on the Roger's canyon. It was more than I typical ride. I don't like to ride through winds; which is most days in my little mountain town. But, Tuesday was a little different. The weather prediction (always erroneous, don't believe in weather prediction :) ) said that the wind was about 14mph NE. Frankly, that is not too bad. And moreover it was supposed to come down to 10mph over the next 2 hours; sounds about right for a 20mile ride through the canyon.

Image from University of Wyoming Water Resource data System
So, I was heading north with a headwind and worrying about the climb at the end of the canyon. You know it is not so much about riding the current terrain, but it is about thinking ahead and how you want to "attack" it. It matters whether you will promise yourself 2 stops or 3, huh! as if I were a F1 driver fighting for the 15 second advantage. Anyway, back to the ride.

You know, on a ride like this, nothing much happens. My friend was asking me what I do on long rides. I don't do anything, things happen to me. I don't think anything but thoughts come to me. This time, I was thinking about an article in Bicycling magazine about the physiology of riders, the mechanisms of fatigue and their measures. See the current issue of Bicycling magazine; sorry, I already checked its not on their website, yet.

As far as the ride is concerned, I was doing fine; about 13-15mph; a little lower on the uphills and perhaps upto 20s on the other side of the uphill. But the only thing, that bothered me is that it is a mighty climb at the end. Over a course of the last 2 miles I will climb nearly 500 vertical feet; about 6% gradient; with a headwind of 15mph. Oh my life is splendid on a bike, great.

As I approached the canyon, the road narrows and turns get sharper and steep. I was trying to stay low and reduce the drag; of course. The only thing I could see through my spectacles was my front wheel and things were blurred far distance (outside of my lens). But I could see something moving, something shiny and silvery. "Guess that's a bike. Oh boy, is he struggling? Yeah, indeed, he is struggling a lot". As I was getting closer, it still dint look like he was moving.

So, I decided to sit up and look through my lens. At first, it looked to me as if somebody was walking but it wasn't that. Somebody was skating with rolling skates and a pair of long sticks, the kind you would use for skiing or hiking, only longer.

By then, I was close to this person, he looked like he had weak legs, may be he was going through recovery after an accident, or may be that he was a soldier, wounded in battle, I thought. Whatever it was, he was determined to get there, 10miles out of town with absolutely no cellphone coverage, no people, no water, no nothing except big boulders for crying out loud. And I find this man, in his late twenties or early thirties, pushing himself uphill with a pair of sticks. He would just roll back down if it weren't for the sticks, I thought. And again, I wonder, what makes people do such things, where is the threshold of pain and what makes them overcome it.

I passed him on his left, saluted him in my mind, and said "hi, howdy?" and went my way, struggling to keep my bike at 4mph, on the lowest gear and wondering what I would do if suddenly something would take away all that I have and take for granted!

As expected, I took a long time to get to the top of the hill. Here is my pace chart, if you'd like; see miles 7 through 11.

The way I paced myself (yeah!! as if I had total control over that)

And then came the better part of the ride. Did I tell you they have a new pavement and boy-oh-boy is it a pleasure to ride downhill on a 6% grade. I reached my best for that road, 42.79mph. That sure felt very good. I dint have much time to think anything now, if I think, I was gonna go down. But I was terrified, I was using my breaks, I could have gone faster, I have gone faster, on straight 3 lane highways not a canyon road with twists and blind turns where many car drivers simulate rally driving and gun slingers try cow-boy-joe. All I wanted to do was go a little faster, a little sharper; and I did. It made my day; besides I had a tail wind coming back :). And all the pain going uphill, it was gone.

I am gonna be back just to see if I can hit 50mph down that hill, a little faster, a little sharper; just a little more.


Popular Posts