Why I Love Hills

13 10 2010

It’s been awhile since I’ve written on my dear blog.  I guess the problem is I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to write about.  I’ve been getting the bug to write more lately though, and I really want to see if I’m actually any good at it.  So now I’m back, and I don’t know what I will be writing about in the future.  All I can do is start a post and see where it takes me, so today I get to explain why I love riding hills on my bike.

Climbing.  Hills.  Mountains.  Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a cyclist quite like a long, arduous climb.  Sometimes we face hills we are familiar with.  Hills that our weekly rides take us on routinely often become the arch-nemesis of a cyclist.  For me, those hills are on the back side of a 20 mile loop that my dad and I like to ride.  They aren’t long hills, and they really aren’t that hard.  For some reason, those short, steep hills with broken and battered pavement never treat me very well.  Those old familiar hills are always the true test of how I’m feeling that day, the test of how my form is that day.  Today I may be able to hammer it up the hills in the big ring; tomorrow I may be in my granny gear grasping for every bit of energy I have just to make it to the top.

And then sometimes we face unfamiliar climbs.  All you know is that you are at the bottom and the only place you have to go is the top.  These hills are a new adventure and bring their own sort of nervous anxiety.  How hard do I hit it on this hill?  Will there be another hill after I finish this one?  Do I need to conserve energy so I can finish strong?  When will this hill end?!  PAIN, MISERY, SUFFERING!  But inevitably you find your way to the top.  You can’t let the climb beat you!  Unforgivable.  I’ve seen people get off and walk their bikes up a climb.  They may not finish it on their bikes, but dammit they finish that climb!

It’s cruel we do this to ourselves.  Who thought it would be a good idea to ride a bike up a mountain?  I’ve taken up arms for some personal battles occasionally but to fight GRAVITY?  Insanity!

So why do we do it?  Why do we keep riding the hills and hitting the climbs?  What is the point of putting on your suffer face, drooling all over yourself, snot hanging out of your nose, helmet and glasses all crooked, hunched over your handlebars unable to breath enough to verbalize the string of curses running through your mind?  It is in those moments of unrelenting pain that you learn who you really are.  It becomes the ultimate test of your perseverance and you know that when you reach the top of that climb you have reached the top of the world.  You have accomplished what nobody else can comprehend.  On these climbs only you know the suffering in your own personal hell, and only you see the value in reaching the top.  At the apex of a climb the world is at peace, uncertainty fades, elation boils over and you truly see that you have become the ruler of your own fate.  Despite all adversity you finished.  And dammit, if I can make it to the top of that climb I can do anything.

“It is by sprinting that we come to know speed.  It is by climbing that we come to know ourselves.” (RedKitePrayer.com)




2 responses

13 10 2010

Great perspective! As someone who isn’t a fan of hill-climbing, at all, it is helpful to hear someone put a different spin on the misery of it all. And I always tell myself that I’ll get there eventually, one way or another, and somehow that is a victory in itself.

13 10 2010
Dena Donnell

You should definitely write more often…you have a knack for it!

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