A bike ride is (almost always) good. This weekend’s ride was great, with fabulous weather that more than made up for last weekend’s heat. As we headed out of Catonsville, we were joined by another retro-grouch cyclist riding a beautiful Homer Hilsen equipped with hammered fenders. We admired each others’ bikes as we rode together for a few miles.
On the way to Ellicott City we saw a couple of other cyclists. For one heart- stopping moment I thought I was about to see one of them get right hooked. Luckily the driver stopped mid turn and no one was hurt.
At the turn off for Heartbreak Hill our new friend continued straight on Frederick. No biggie today, I made it up to the top, stopping there as usual to catch my breath for a minute. While we were (okay, I was) resting another pair of cyclists came by and gave a friendly greeting. We didn’t see Homer Hilson again on this ride, but did spot him the next day riding through Catonsville’s Old Town.
My speed on this ride was nothing to shout about but I felt strong and happy to be riding. I tried out a new strategy to get up hills with less distress. I notice that I approach hills that I consider hard with some sense of dread, and in the case of really long or steep hills, with no small amount of fear of being unable to finish the climb. I purposely replaced those thoughts with ones like “Hills make me strong. Hills teach me not to give up. Hills are good for me.” I can’t say this made the hills fun or easy but it did make them less stressful. I am interested to see if accepting the hills as part of cycling, rather than mentally fighting something that I can’t, after all, change will help me get better at coping with them.