Monday, September 22, 2008

Big bad hill

I feel so much more alive and normal today. I took my bike out this morning and pedaled to the UNH library to get some work done. It was a bit cooler than I expected and my hands turned pink for want of gloves. As I biked I noticed that all the side of the road weeds were swelling with seeds and berries. I must have fun over hundreds at a time on the sidewalk. The wind blew gently but just enough to rattle the drying gasses and accentuate the rustling of a few animals I surprised along the way. 

The ride to UNH passes a great swooping field, abandoned greenhouses, railroad tracks, a power cut, and a field of now dead sunflowers. The way to UNH is also marked by a steep downhill slope which makes me almost fear breaking the speed limit on my bike if I don't touch the brakes. Needless to say I don't usually go back on the bike but allow the bus to do the work of that uphill for me. 

Today, after 6 hours of really doing good work, I packed up to try and catch the 6:10 bus home. As I left the library the bells ran for 6:00 and the sun's golden glow spread out on the campus lawn. I unchained my bike and suddenly got the urge to just keep riding right past the bus stop. I didn't feel like keeping still. So I pedaled my original route in reverse towards home, wondering if the killer hill would clam me as a gasping, sweaty victim. 

I was surprised that I managed to get halfway up the hill with no problems at all. Then, the fatigue and less-than-substantial food court food gave up on me. My legs started to burn, my breath became warmer on my chin. But I just kept pedaling and pedaling and pedaling. My front tire wobbled like a six year old's with the training wheels freshly off, but I just kept pedaling. All of a sudden, the pedaling got easier. The hill had flattened out to a piece-of-cake incline and I breathed several rapid sighs of relief. That wasn't nearly as bad as it could be or as I thought. It as suddenly just any old hill, just a part of my trip home from UNH. I never once stopped the while way home, and I smiled proudly as the bus passed me only a half mile away from my stop. Not bad for someone formerly afraid of the big bad hill.

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