Monday, October 10, 2005

Mountain Du

For those that prefer an active lifestyle, there are certainly lots of events that one can pick from. From running races to casual biking rides to combinations with a little swimming thrown in. As if that were not enough, if you live in the right areas, you can choose between short and flat events, and long hilly events. The choice is really up to you.

Our team catalyst, Patty felt throwing a little mountain action into our event would be a great challenge for us. Providing a nice place for us to relax and enjoy the mountains before and after the race was all it took for us to commit. (OK, some do not commit as fast as others, but we did get registered before the price went up)

For myself, I have a love/hate relationship with hills. They are hard. They are long. They make you question just what the hell you were thinking. But then they reward you. Each time you crest one, you have a small mental victory. Each time you reach the top you get a brief respite from the gravity as it now works in your favor. Powered by the potential energy you supplied by cranking to the top, you can feel it become kinetic energy as you begin to move faster down the hill than any other sport where you are the engine. Sure, you can ski faster. But did you climb to the top of that hill? No, the lift gave you that energy.

It is hard to describe what it feels like to travel 45 mph down a hill. Harder still to describe the feeling of trying to catch the guy just ahead that seems to be going 45.6mph. Trusting two rather thin wheels and some tubing upon which your seat rests to keep you steady and straight, you become one with the bike. It has become an extension of your legs. The wind is whistling in your ears, you can hear the rubber singing on the asphalt.

Those are speeds you will not reach on the bike if you choose flatter rides. So if you avoid the hills, then you are avoiding the thrills. And to look over and see your friends zooming down a hill as you are climbing is a great motivation to keep on cranking(out and back course on this day).

But the best part of it all is being able to share the experience when it is over.

"Man that last hill sucked. Whose idea was this? What was your max speed? Did you ever consider quiting? Damn, I feel good! I sure need to learn how to spit. Someone wearing that outfit better be damn good."

And we all had enough of a similar experience to be able to talk and share and discuss for quite some time.

It sure is better than talking about some similar experience you had sitting in a bar, or watching a movie or a ball game. We all participated, we were all part of the experience. And that is worth every crank of the bike up the hill and every step of the run.

So the next time you have a choice, go ahead. Have yourself a little Mountain Du. You will be glad you did. I know I was.

Picture(L-R) EJ, Mike, Helen, Brian, and Patty
Not pictured: Sandy, who took the picture and still had some Mountain Du herself


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