The Big Hill

I went out and bought a gravel bike a week and a half ago - a really cool Salsa Vaya 2 - and now I have it in my head that I can do a 50 or even a 100 mile gravel race/ride. Seems reasonable, I tell myself. All I have to do is get out and ride gravel, tackle lots and lots of gravel hills and build up my endurance and milage bit by bit.

So today I planned to go on a gravel ride of some length, maybe 10 miles. Turned out that lawn mowing,  helping my 11 year old son drive the lawn tractor, gardening, and sending my almost 14 year old daughter off on a week-long youth mission trip filled up most of my day. By 8:30 I realized it was a short ride or no ride so I decided to go. I didn't even change out of my gardening clothes. I just put on my helmet, gloves and bicycling shoes, grabbed a water bottle and headed out on Zippy (that's my Vaya's name) for a short spin.

I thought I would just go down the flattish gravel by my house and call it a day but I decided I would ride what I call "The Big Hill" for the first time ever on Zippy, turn around, ride The Bill Hill again and head back home. I've never ridden The Big Hill out and back on any bike without having to stop to rest or get off to push. But I did tonight.

Yay! I rode The Big Hill!

The Big Hill - looking south
But, it's funny how the brain works, or at least my brain, because by the time I got home I was frustrated because I was tired and hot and felt very, very, slow. My ride was short, a mere 3.3 miles. My average speed was only 10.4 mph. I started looking at numbers and started comparing myself to the fast guys and gals and got myself all feeling bad, feeling like I can't do a 50 mile, let alone a 100 mile gravel ride when, really, as long as I keep working at it, I probably can.

It's kind of like my "big hill" in life is comparing myself to people and psyching myself out of starting something before I even start. Like I'm just sitting at the bottom of a hill on my bike and decide to stay there and never start pedaling. Or maybe it's more like I start to compare myself when I'm pedaling up a hill then quit and start coasting backwards. Yeah, that would be a mess - coasting backwards down a steep hill. Crash! Boom! Ouch!

So I have work to do - some wonderful personal development work and some ride my bike so I can go on a 50 mile gravel ride work. 

Something tells me the riding the bike part will be the easier of the two :-)
The Big Hill - looking north. The longer climb.


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