Today we had our first real day of rolling hills. We climbed over 1700 ft., and let me tell you, for a couple of Midwesterners, it was tough at times. I found myself thinking back to our first several days with strong headwinds and feeling like I had to face the same mental battles. Except this time, I’d had experience dealing with these mental battles, and I felt prepared to tackle them instead of crumble beneath them.
The day’s challenge was to focus on conquering one hill at a time, and spending your mental focus on cadence and pressure in our feet to adjust our shifting the best we could. Micah and I spent a lot of time about a ¼ mile apart today as one or the other was farther ahead up a hill.
It was interesting to me that even though each hill had its difficulty, I was not frustrated by them. There was never a point in time when I felt like we weren’t going to make it, or questioning whether or not we can make it through the mountains. (Here’s to hoping we can!) I realized that those three days of struggling through merciless headwinds had actually shown me how capable I am. I don’t mean physically, I’m thinking more of what Micah would describe as grit. I realized after finishing those miles in those hard headwinds that I have the grit to do this. I can ride my bike for 80 miles in 20+mph headwinds and still pedal. I can ride my bike up and down rolling hills, dodging potholes and crying dust out of my eyes, and still pedal. I can keep pedaling, and I can finish out the daily miles.
In two days when the hills keep coming and they get higher and steeper, I might have to reread what I just wrote. I might have to remind myself that I have what I need to keep pedaling.
In other news! We’re staying with some friends Kevin and Candice tonight, and we are taking a day off tomorrow to spend with them. So huzzah for an early rest day! We’re hoping the day off will help our muscles rest, recover, and strengthen up for the hills that will inevitably be upon us shortly.
Left: Wolcott, NY, 9:30 am
Sleeping in: a friends house in Evans Mills, NY (They picked us up in Pulaski where we finished around 6pm)
Total number of Joelle’s chain falling off her bike: 2
Total mileage: 63.5 miles
High Speed: 35.8 mph
Avg. Speed: 10.7 mph
Overall weather conditions: warm like fresh baked cookies
Elevation Gain: 1,764 ft
Total Trip mileage: 927.5 miles