Every time I see the bridge, I am reminded of that day and I feel like I have some unfinished business.
So this year I decided it was time to try it again. I'm lighter. I'm stronger. I know how to ride better. Would it be enough to make it over the bridge without stoppin.... Oh yeah baby!!!! It is!!!!!!!!
Candace is still nursing her fractured elbow so Su and I were on our own...
The let us go in small heats...so here's our little group heading out..
This time I approached the ride much differently. Since I knew I got all excited at the beginning last time... this time I took my time. We weren't in one of the very first heats. We were in heat 8. I didn't even attempt to follow anyone else's pace. I just set my own warm-up pace and enjoyed the ride... I was feeling great when we got to the bridge. I downshifted and went right up the ramp!!! As soon as I made it up the ramp, I knew I would make it the rest of the way. It's still a decent climb for me, but I just kept pedaling. I looked at the view and truly enjoyed where I was and what I was doing. And... I was actually passing people. Trust me, many others were also passing me. LOL!!
As I was climbing, I started to notice a couple of girls in pink tops way ahead of me. Over time I could tell I was gaining on them. When it started to get harder, I just kind of watched them and kept pedaling towards them. I wasn't really trying to catch them. It just gave me something to focus on and follow... Eventually I caught up to one of them and she was really struggling, but we were really close to the top, so I started chatting with her and encouraging her. When we got to the top we celebrated and she said "I don't think I would've made it without you." Ahhh...that totally made my day!!
Here's a picture I took from the top of the hill. Not the greatest picture, but when you stop to think that
- I could still breathe.
- I could pull out my camera.
- And I could take a picture...
This little picture takes on a whole new meaning! (At least it does for me!)
A few miles from the end we met up with Sue!! Yes, it was Su, Sue and Me. We were excited to be able to all finish together! It was a great day and a great ride and now??? Now I can look at that bridge and feel pride in my accomplishment.
Here's Su and I after the ride...with that Beautiful Bridge behind us. Unfortunately you can't see the part we climbed, but you can see the nice little descent we got to enjoy. :-)