23 June 2007
I climbed Mount Evans today. On my bike!
We got up at 3 and were on the road before 4, which means we weren't going to miss the sunrise. But we likely would be tired after our big day.
It was kind of windy on top, so we weren't even sure we'd get to ride. We saw no critters. We shot the sunrise and headed back down to Idaho Springs. We had hotcakes, and then I dropped The Lizard off to ride up from the bottom. I drove up to Echo Lake.
The Lizard caught me before Summit Lake, so I thought I wasn't doing very well. But I made the summit in three hours and four minutes. I'd never done it in less than four hours. I averaged 4.6 today on the way up. The bumpy ride down, which once again I vow I never want to do again, pulled my average up to 6.5 mph.
I fueled properly. I didn't run out of energy until Mile 13. The uphill pull is 14 miles. I probably should have eaten at my last pullout, but there wasn't much space, so I didn't bother trying to get into my pack. And even though I was tired when I made the summit, I could have made it a little further if I'd needed to. I was very pleased with how much energy I had throughout the ride.
My knee didn't hurt. That was simply amazing. I think the adjustment The Lizard made on my bike was perfect.
I carried my pack the whole way and didn't make my back hurt worse. Climbing didn't make my back hurt worse. There's still that feeling back there, the one that goes away sometimes during the night now and stays away for a couple hours in the morning. But I'm getting used to it now. I'm very happy it didn't get worse.
And this was the first time I ever made it up Mount Evans on my bike on the first try of the year. It has always taken me two or three attempts to get up. I made it on my first attempt!
On the descent, I was rolling along at nearly 30 mph when suddenly a big, huge, gigantic, car-swallowing pothole/sinkhole seemed to appear out of nowhere. I did NOT have time to stop. I didn't really have time to anything. I couldn't even decide how to react. There wasn't time!
I held the handlebars as tight as I could and tried to lift my behind a little off my seat so it wouldn't hurt as much when the back wheel hit. I knew I had to hold the handlebars straight. I gave it my best shot.
I just knew I was going over the handlebars. I just knew. How many Over-the-Bar-Scar-Club patches do I need?!?
I tried to remember to tuck and roll. Tuck and roll. Tuck and roll. I hoped like heck I wouldn't roll over the edge and down about 2,000 feet or so. The helmet would help, but boy, would that still hurt. Bad!
Tears were impending my vision as the front wheel struck what I hoped was the shallowest part of the pothole. I don't know what happened next, but The Lizard said I put my weight back, which is what I was supposed to do, although I didn't know that then. The back wheel hit, and it hurt, but the bike did not flip. Unbelievably, I didn't even bite my tongue or lip!
I had to regain control of the steering, but I did not go over. It took everything I had to bring the bike to a stop after the impact because I was shaking so badly, I wasn't sure I could squeeze the brakes hard enough. But I needed to stop and settle down. And cry...
The Lizard hugged me and told me how proud he was of me. I took a few pictures of the pothole while I tried to calm down. I kept looking at that monstrous hole, which now didn't look so tremendously intimidating, while The Lizard checked my wheels, which unfathomably did not pretzel.
It wasn't me. Pure and simple. I don't have that kind of skill. There's only One who could have kept me from impending disaster. And He did. And I thank Him.