Monday, October 3, 2011

Character Building, Advanced Class

Saturday started innocently enough.

I felt cautious about my healing shoulder so I started the day with a hot bath and took the bus to meet up with Sisyphean hill climbers Nick and Scott. A quick tiger balm purchase and we were off!

After crossing the 205 bridge, I experienced new levels of pain, and hence, endurance. A new goal in life is to never ride the horribly bumpy, barely-paved, crap-ass, uneven, tortorous eight mile stretch of SR-14 ever again.

Alone on Washougal River Road, I had a serious discussion with myself. "Suck it up, Wussy McWuss-alot. Life hurts, feel it. Just ride on this little piece of pavement. Do not quit." and so forth until I gave up that tack and sang camp songs instead.

My riding partners somehow managed to put up with me and slow down their usual scorching pace. By the time we reached the Bridge of the Gods, I was ready to ride five extra miles if it meant beer. These big smiles tell the story.

Fishtailing on the high, metal-grated, bridge with a line of cars following certainly reminds one of their mortality. I had a strange - very strange - sensation of equal parts fearlessness and terror.

Each bike ride is a microcosm of life. It isn't easy. It hurts like hell sometimes and you can choose to either give up or continue on. Choosing the latter leads to limitless rewards. Like riding through a cloud.