Monday, November 03, 2008

My latest cycling adventure....

Ok, so I've been a bad blogger - AGAIN. I have an interesting story to share, but I find myself at a loss as to how to share it. You see I think it has a happy ending, but there are two distinct camps of thought in my real life.

Non Cyclists - "Oh no...."

Cyclists - "I remember when...."

But before we get to that, let's go back to the beginning.....

Candace, the party planner, put together a weekend of fun at our local mountain retreat. (Laguna Mountain Lodge.) She rented the three bedroom cabin and invited a ton of people and they filled up her cabin and rented a couple more and I think there were over 20 people there at one point in time. I'm not really sure what the reason was, but they planned to hike Stonewall Peak while they were there. Stonewall peak about killed me the last time I hiked it and since I'm still not supposed to be walking much.....well the hiking thing wasn't a big draw for me.... but then Jane and I immediately began brainstorming how we could fit cycling into the weekend.

Did you know that if you ride from Laguna to Julian it's only about 650 feet of climbing, but over 2300 feet down. Wheeeee........ Jane probably would've made the journey a round trip, but I'm a little smarter than she is (wink, wink) and I thought it would be more fun to ride to Julian and then have Jr. Slave Boy (Josh) drive us back. Sadly we couldn't talk anyone else into making the journey with us. Something about winding roads and traffic.

We had a short little hill at the beginning and then wheeeee......... we had sooooo much fun. Jane stayed with me at first, but then I encouraged her to go and have fun. She's quick and she was on her road bike. No sense holding her back!!

And then we got to the hills. I'm not the greatest hill climber in the first place, add about 5000 feet of altitude and I had a hard time breathing. The cool thing is that my legs were fine. I actually didn't mind the climbing. If only I could breathe! I just took it slow and stopped a few times to catch my breath, but I never walked the bike!!!!! I played the old mind trick..."I'll keep peddling until I get to the next sign..."

Good thing you can't see my face too clearly because I'm sure I was going to die!

I love this picture of Jane coming up the hill. She said she saw Josh and knew she had to be strong!

I did find it amusing to see Linda (Josh's navigator and fellow photographer) peering down one of the hills to see if I was still coming. I was glad that they let me tough it out and didn't come down to see if I wanted a ride up though.

At one point I thought about cheating and getting a ride, but Josh didn't really give me an opportunity. (I think he knows his stubborn mom wouldn't have been happy about it later.) When I got to the top of that hill I pulled up alongside the car and said "I'm so glad you didn't let me cheat." Little did I know that they were ready to give me a ride up the next one. But off I went. I turned the corner and started toward Julian and then all of the sudden I was going down.... I have replayed the scene in my head a thousand times and I cannot figure out what happened. I very distinctly remember my front wheel going down, like in a hole, but we never found a hole. All I know is that something happened and then I made the rookie mistake of pulling hard on my brakes. In hindsight I think my bike and I would have fared better if I hadn't done that... Even still, I'm totally fine. I got scraped up and believe me I had some amazing bruises on my legs and my ribs were sore for a day or two, but other than that I am completely fine. I wasn't scared or upset, in fact I was almost giddy.

My poor wobbly wheel

You see the ride was so much fun that my little crash can't possibly wipe the memory of it out. In fact, I can hardly wait to go do the ride again. And... I've always known I would crash at some point and I have been terrified. Now that it happened and I survived, I'm fine. I'll learn what I can and hopefully be a better cyclist.... but I'm definately still peddling around!!!!

See, there's no denying the sheer joy on our faces, even though I have my elbow resting on a frozen water bottle.

(If you've read this far....stay tuned... I made 20 cards yesterday AND Jane is joining me for my first commute since the time change!)

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