A friend advises that if you’re riding your bike, don’t take a road that has the word “Hill” in the name. (smile)
Me? I like hills. Not that I’m great at riding or anything, but there’s something enjoyable about climbing. It’s kind of a thing for us that now and then Kelly and I “happen to find” a big hill.
The classic example was the day we accidentally climbed the access road to the Cog Railway up in the White Mountains. No kidding. I’ll tell you that story sometime.
It happened again at the end of the 2018 riding season. We always wondered what was “over that bridge and through the woods”. So one day, we decided to ride out and discover.
We were confident without reason it would be a nice loop back to the car. Maybe a little work, but on such a beautiful evening it would be like a date-night.
Let’s just say cell phone coverage wasn’t all that good. But hey, you’re not supposed to use your phone during date-night anyway.
OK, she asked me to check, but there was no signal. Not a problem really, we could just explore. Little did we know how our special road was actually a seriously big hill that became a class 6 emergency access road. But hey, it didn’t have the word “Hill” in the name. [wait, it did have the word “Mountain”]
The good news is that with all the sharp turns and stepping features we couldn’t see very far ahead. That made the bursts of steepness easier.
Now, when I say steep, most of the challenging part was in the last mile. It was the kind of steep where poor technique makes your front wheel come up off the ground – never a comfortable feeling for a rider. No problem, just stay calm while you panic. If you’ve ridden hills on a road bike, or harvested honey, you know what I mean.
I was my usual Tigger self .. “Man, this is great”… “You can do it” … “I’m sure it levels out just ahead” … “Wow, did your front wheel lift” … “Look how beautiful this is through the woods” … “Want me to take your water bottles to reduce some weight?” … “Maybe we’ll see a deer.”
Now, my lovely bride doesn’t often say “shut up”. It’s not that I don’t provide the occasion, rather perhaps that in such bursts of my happy commentary, it may be difficult to find opportunity to merge into the conversational lane. Those moments are probably the closest we get to serious marital trouble, and I probably have no clue just how close.
Then it happened. The road straightened out and we could see several hundred yards ahead. Well, me first. But she wheeled up to that a similar vantage point soon enough. Both things caught her attention right away … the blacktop ended but the grade of the road didn’t. Good thing Tigger shut up – and was just out of reach.
As they say, we can laugh about it now.
Isn’t it good we don’t know ahead of time all the details of this adventure of life? Here’s to building memories.