Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 10. Ups and Downs and Moving on.

On the Divide, distance loses its meaning. It's not so much because of the length of the ride (though that is part of it)'s more like, the character of the road varies so much, depending on the location and weather conditions, that 10km can be a 20 minute ordeal or a 2 hour ordeal. To simply measure in kilometers is a recipe for frustration.

But, it is impossible not to try to measure progress. That's what we do. That's what we are conditioned to do. I usually measure my progress on the climbs in vertical feet. 100 feet. 200 feet. 300 feet. Yes! I'm a collector!

There are a lot of vertical feet to collect on this ride. I realized today that what this unit of measure means to me has changed as the days have passed.

There is a stretch on the first pass in Canada - Elk Pass - when you are just about at the top, where the road goes down for a while, before climbing again to the top. I remember feeling frustrated at the descent...because I knew that I would need to make up that elevation again. And on the big descent after cresting the pass, I thought of the huge climbs ahead. I didn't want to go down. I wanted to hold on to the work that I had done.

But this is not a productive mindset. If you focus on that, you won't get anywhere. You have to let it go and move on. Keep going. Build again and enjoy the ups and downs. After a few days of the ups and downs, I am no longer feeling frustrated with the downs; I can just enjoy them. It feels good to be moving along.

We made it from Butte to Polaris today, through Fleecer. This was a big milestone for me, as it was a turning point for me last year. It was at the top of Fleecer that I met some other riders (luke and dan), who I would then see many more times before I made it to the Mexican border. Today, we didn't meet any cyclists on the mountain; however, we met a couple on a dune buggie. This seems to be the recreational activity of choice for many people around here. This particular couple seemed to be stoned out of their minds.

In other news, I was bitten by what looked like a fly yesterday. Tonight, I'm amusing myself tonight by watching the swelling continue to grow. It's alive!
Sent using a Blackberry that I'd better not lose.


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