Could it be 2007 already? I ended the year with a killer group ride on Saturday with the so Cal Bike Forums group. We had an amazing turnout given all of the climbing that this ride offered and it was a challenging day for me. My goal for the day was to make it to Baldy Village and enjoy some lunch at the lodge. This was only my second shot at sustained climbing, so I figured that if I did that much, I was good.
Once I reached the village, I had the chance to take off to do a bonus climb from the village up to the ski lifts, a 4.63 mile, 2110' ascent at an average grade of 8.6%. To say that this was out of my league was an understatement, but after some encouragement I took off...fully expecting to have to turn around within a few minutes and head back to the lodge. In fact...I told one of the other riders that I would see her in five minutes...that's how sure I was that I could not tackle this climb.
I honestly don't remember most of the details of the climb up to the lifts. All that I can say is that there was the awful smell of brakes from all of the cars, lots of stopping, lots of "I'M FUCKING DONE's!!!!", lots of me hanging my head down and wanting to turn around, lots of pouting, a moment when I was on the verge of tears and an occasional verbally abusive comment for anyone unlucky enough to be anywhere near me at the time.
There was a point when I was absolutely sure that I was done...I was ready to wait right there...telling myself I was happy that I had come that far and that I should be satisfied with that. Then something happened. I looked down and saw a Bike Forums jersey...it was another rider who had taken off behind us, and up he rode. In that instant my ego jumped into high gear and I turned from "I can't do this", to "bring it on!" I wasn't going to let him make it up there while I sat and waited! Later I found out that he was ready to thrown in the towel too, but decided to push on because his male ego didn't want a girl to make it if he didn't! Dueling egos, another friend later called it...whatever it takes to make it to the top!
I quickly realized that the area that I was ready to call it quits for good at, was a mere 500 feet from the top. I must have stopped at least three times in that 500 feet...never ready to give in, just utterly spent and unable to move forward. After catching my breath, I made a final push and was there...I had done it...on my first attempt no less! I won't lie and try to make the whole experience sound pretty, it wasn't...it fucking sucked, but the sense of accomplishment that I felt could not be matched! Next time I'm aiming for less stopping, less almost crying and less pouting. I can't wait to give this climb another shot!
I'm looking forward to a cycling filled 2007...full of climbing mountains, riding double centuries, and challenging myself to do things that I never thought possible.