Wednesday, June 13, 2007

First climb

Date: June 12
Mileage: 23.3
June mileage: 201.2
Temperature upon departure: 50

After a winter of perilous ice conditions and a spring of perilous joint conditions, it has been at least six months since I've made the short jaunt up to Eaglecrest Ski Resort. The meat of the climb rises about 1,300 feet in five miles. Nothing to write to your Congressman about, but not too shabby for a sustained climb, either.

I hadn't made a hard effort since I started cycling again, and today was no exception. Still, just by nature of moving fast enough to stay upright on the bike, some of those pitches required at least moderate effort. When I'm going at moderate pace, I think about my quads. I focus hard on the muscles, firing and contracting, until I form a vague mental picture of pistons churning inside of an engine. My idea is to put all of the effort on my muscles, and remember that my knees are just being pushed along for the ride. I have no idea of this is proper therapy, but it seems to help. My pedal-turning comfort has improved drastically since I stopped "using" my knees. Who needs 'em? Someday I will have artificial robotic joints, and this will all be a distant memory.

The Great Divide Race is coming up on Friday, and I am starting to get very excited about following it on the blog. For me, this is way more exciting than the Tour de France (which is probably also coming up soon. Who knows?) My friend Dave Nice leaves this morning for the Rooseville Montana, the starting line of this 2,500-mile mad dash. It all begins at high noon. If I was a bettin' gal (which I am), I'd wager:

Pete Basinger sets a new course record in just over 15 days.
Matt Lee is really close behind, like 15:10:30.
Jay Petervay, who no one has heard from in days, rolls in at 15:20:00.
Dave Nice finishes strong and sets the fixie course record in a little less than 30 days.

As my illustrious Sen. Ted Stevens loves to say, "My guess is as good as anyone's."

I can't wait.