Today I took a long lunch and rode mighty Steakfire out climbing up Logie Trail. Logie Trail rises from the Columbia River a few miles down-river from its confluence with the Willamette. It's an evil little climb, rising nearly 2500' in 2.5 miles with a couple pitches over 18% (or so says the mapping software). Let's see, 2500' over 2.5 miles, makes, um, carry the 3, divide by VO2 max = ow, this is hard. No matter how many times I do it, there always comes a moment near the top, when I think to myself, "shit, I don't,,, think.. I... can... finish... this... fucker.. fucking... fucking... fucker.. .off... (etc.)."
And this comes after I have been shamelessly turning over my lowest granny gear (30x27, the ultra-fred, golden rectangle of gear inches: 30) for some several hundred meters.
I wanted to ride it today because tomorrow LO and I are driving down to our old stomping grounds, the Eastern Sierras for 12 days of backpacking up in the alpine tundra. The first day, always the worst, we climb up 2500' in 2.5 miles, or so. That way, when that usual moment of impending failure looms, I can say to myself, unconvincingly, "you did it last week, but on a bike, on asphalt, with no pack." And then I'll have to sit down and have a light snack.
Backpacking, or long periods spent wandering through places back-of-beyond with a minimum of social interaction, is as big a love for me as cycling. Actually, it's what I enjoy about cycling... drifting along a bucolic back road, lightly anaerobic and under the radar. And it was through BMX that I discovered my love of the outdoors, as you'll see in Part II of my exciting multi-part epic about my early cycling history.
That's what we call in the biz a "teaser." Yo.
Postscript: A couple weekends back LO and I rode out the Gorge, realized we forgot the map for the Bull Run/Roslun Lake return and ended up just riding to Crown Point. On the way back we bought corn from a farm stand and crammed it in our jersey pockets. Later, we both admitted to looking at the corn sticking out of the pocket of whoever was pulling and giggling. Almost anything is funny in a headwind.