Blessed Hills

This past weekend I completed my first full Hilly Hundred.  2 days, 100 miles, 8000+ feet of climbing!  Of course, we “Southside Scurriers” met at the end of the second day’s ride, grouping up at our stop sign meeting place.  Congratulations were shared all around, but special kudos were handed out to me and Dewayne.  I was getting high fives for my first complete, and Dewayne was getting props for his 17th complete Hilly in a row!  WOW!  17!  I have to admit- I am impressed!

I had the best time.  We all were light years improved from last year (I only did one day last year!).  At times we were cranking it.  In the last 10 miles a paceline formed that took off 22+ into a stiff breeze.  A handful of us were together, and like a bolt of lightning out of nowhere, this line formed and accelerated, calling “jump on, or get lost!” and I jumped!  After a mile, Rob ran out of gas and hollered for me to jump the gap.  I hit it hard, landed on the tail just in time to hit the brakes as we split apart finding our own line across the grated bridge surface…then, as quickly as it blew apart- the line snapped together and darted forward.  I had one more half mile of strength, then looked up to see the next hill looming in the distance.  There was no way I was going to be able to crest that hill if I kept this pace.  The feeling was exhilarating, but the head said “no!”  So, I fell off, and got jumped by people I didn’t even know were there!  And off they all went.

But that was not the majority of my experience, as I said, we rocked that hilly!  We passed a lot of people on the way up, and on the way down.  We didn’t wait for much, just an occassional extra cookie or piece of chicken!  It was an amazing ascent of Mt. Tabor at 22% grade, with bikes all over the road- and nary a car in sight!  It was a great stay in Robert’s lake cabin outside Gosport.  It was a great pizza at Nick’s in Bloomington.  It was a great 100 miles!

People of all stripes and sizes attack these hills every year and there are all kinds of results.  I came out better than I expected, with better friends than I expected, and found better legs than I expected.  Is that what this is all about?  Perhaps- but, I think more importantly, when I finish a goal even like this- I remember that I am FAR MORE BLESSED than I could ever imagine.  For that, I am eternally grateful!  Now, I just have to remember to show how grateful I am as often and a graciously as I can!!!

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