After finally purchasing the road bike in November, that my pals had clubbed together in September to get me for my birthday, after finally getting on it early December and having a nightmare, I had consigned it to our cellar. Each weekend came and went and the real fear of getting on the bike and tackling the hill outside the door that is 10km long, kept growing. I was getting to the stage of almost panic.
I couldn't do it, I didn't know how, I would never be a triathlete, blah blah blah.
Last night we had a few beers with some friends bugers and chips. We were home not too late, and in bed. There was no running today, it had been called off. So when I woke up at 4 O clock in the morning with a slight headache and had to go to the loo, I was wondering, how the hell am I ever going to do that bike?
Today there was a phone call at 10am. I wanted to sleep. It was someone selling some crap on the phone, I hung up. I hate those cold callers...(yes I know they have a job blah blah)...
I returned to bed my eyes falling on my new book about triathlons, I read two chapters, slapped myself on the head and got out bed. Breakfeast and a shower, organised my gear and before I knew it there I was standing in the living room with a bike in my hand ready to go. Or was I?
I sat on the sofa and watched some cable news, I was disturbed by the neigbours upstairs who earlier had been taking bath and now were giving themselves great reasons to get back into the bath..They have one spring in the bed that is incredibly noisy, almost as noisy as she is.
Enough I am getting out of here. I had the bike in the correct gear. I crossed the road. Looked out for traffic and hopped on. Within 10 meters there was an idiot who pulled out with the back door of his car still open.
I stopped and got off. The hill is very steep. I look like an idiot. Every one can tell I haven't a clue what I am doing.
I waited. The way was clear, back on again. I had planned to go to Aspremont from Cimiez where I live. Planned well, not really planned, I just had the idea in my head. It is roughly 10k each direction all hill. So getting there would be a bitch and comming back would be new underwear time as I am not used to the speed. I hadn't really been on a bicycle properly since I was a teenager.
On the bike, lowest gear, wobble, god this is not easy. Breathing ragged after a few meters.. yes a few meters, not kilometers.
I broached the small roundabout at Aire St Michel. Already exhausted and already tempted to stop a few times and having only gone about 2km. Now I was in virgin terrority. I had made the first part of the climb and there was a little down hill bit, I was smiling. One hour later of grunt and grind and burn I was positively whooping for joy. The Alps swept up away from the sea on my left to the snow capped peaks, no one was around, and the sun was shining. The view is quite simply breathtaking.
The joy of finally rounding the corner and seeing the sign at the start of the village was fantastic. I looked at it beside me and giggled.
I made it finally. It had taken ages lots of effort but not near as much as I had imagined in my monster fears. I was completely over the moon at the slaying of another beast, the cracking of a nut, the extraction of the thorn. It had been a big monster for me. But how it took me the best part of and hour and 40mins to get there and 20 mins to get back, well only a professional probably knows. Perhaps it gives you and idea of just how steep it was. But it was the first time, coming down from Aspremont fast on my bike, I smiled, and called myself a triathlete also for the first time. Simply because now I Swim Bike and Ride, so apologies to all you grown up triathletes but today I am born.
A slow Euphoria had built up, and softly exploded all over the hill side. I am sure the others on the road I met thought I was wacko. I was amazed however to see how much they all acknowledged each other, and I. I am pretty sure even one or two going in the opposite direction thought I knew what I was doing. The few dozen who passed me knew well I didn't. I did't care.
It's a great feeling to be a little part of this 'new' community.
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