Face flushed, dizzy with that mixture of satisfaction and exhaustion, I finally broke my dry spell yesterday.
And what a satiating way to do it. Biting my lip between panting and gasping for air, goosebumps were shooting up my neck. Even with a cramped up shoulder, there was no way I was going to stop. It felt wayyyy too good.
It hurt, too, but the masochist in me was loving every second. Bent over in a slightly awkward position, all I wanted to do was go harder and faster. Keep going. Don’t stop. My hair was getting sweaty but I really didn’t care. This is what I’ve been waiting for. Finally.
It’s been a few days since I’ve ridden to Arlington. And from Waltham north, there’s one particular road that’s a solid mile of pure climb [the pictures don't do it justice]. The first time I did it, it was all I could do to keep my bike upright near the top. I can’t imagine doing it in anything less than clipless pedals, and while I can still barely breathe at the end of it, I’m pretty sure my calves look amazing from the back.
That stretch of road is one main reason I’ll drag my feet before the ride. But once I’m on it, thighs burning, clutching the drops in a white-knuckled grip, ass in the air, I remember why I love this route. And coming back from NYC – a city as flat as it is exciting – I threw myself into the hills, extracting that manic pleasure from the searing pain in my legs. Keeping a constant cadence up these babies is pretty near impossible [without gears], so all there’s left to do is mash [and hope I don't just fall over].
And it’s not just that one mile stretch. It’s climb after climb. Enough to keep it interesting, at least. And enough to have me simultaneously considering flipping my wheel to go at it fixed, but thankful for the ability to coast downhill. Ascend, descend, ascend, descend…it might get repetitive and boring for some, but for me, that moment of cresting another hill is priceless.
I also can’t get enough. The goosebumps and the pain, that feeling of release as your muscles finally relax and blood is bouncing through your veins in an adrenaline-fueled frenzy. Only to speed to the next climb; a modern day Sisyphus on a Bianchi. Well, without the sense of total futility. Because at the very least, I’m gaining huger legs.
I used to think good chocolate was better than sex. Climbing hills on a freewheel definitely beats good chocolate though. Definitely.