OK, so you know how I got a bike? And then I found that I live in the midst of many hills, which made bike riding hard? Well, this has proved to be a huge challenge for me, and one that has quickly changed my fitness level, and my thighs.
First I conquered a smaller hill near my house and I felt great about it. But there was still the Hill of Doom. Very close to my house, which is on the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho border, I can hit a street that takes me down into the village of Corrales for a nice flat ride through a more rural area. There's a bike lane and the lovely aroma of cows. I like riding this area, and to get there is a nice, breezy downhill ride. But what goes up must come down, and it seems to work the other way, as well.
At some point, I have to go home, and the only way back into Rio Rancho is a steep climb. I have found no path that isn't. So I'd been taking this street back up that is quite steep in parts. Then it curves and becomes a, I swear I'm not exaggerating, 45 degree angle. It's unbelievable. So, on the straight part of the street, I'd make it up about 1/3 of the way and then have to walk the bike, all while gasping for oxygen and feeling quite dizzy. Then I'd reach this particular tree and the road would flatten out for a bit. So I'd be walking about another 1/3, then get on and ride a bit. Then I'd reach the Doomiest hill of all -- the 45 degree one. I'd ride till I was going so slowly that I'd almost tip over. I would be gasping so loud, I'm sure people could hear me from a mile away. My head would pound and I'd be dizzy. I felt like I'd vomit. I'd get off and push to the top, where it meets with another street and then I'd turn left. But no point getting back on here, because it's immediately another hill, albeit a short one. At the crest of that one, it was smooth sailing the rest of the way home.
Well, today, I was riding up the straight part when I realized I was already past the part where I usually had to get off and walk. I was already to the point where I would get back on and ride! I did it! I did it! I rode to the 45 degree angle and had to push, because even an Ironman could not ride this part, I am sure of it. I got to the stop sign, but instead of turning left and walking the last hill, I got back on and rode it.
I rode home in a huge state of joy and excitement. I think all these painful workouts are paying off! Plus, I've lost about 4 pounds in the past several months, which may not seem like a lot, but I didn't have much to lose -- just a little jiggle. I'm looking a world better in the legs and I'm very excited. I'm even not TOO scared about being photographed in a skort for my newspaper article on golf wear.