Bicycling in Vermont

Today, I did something I am proud of, so I'm going to document it. First, the disclaimer: I do not do stuff like this all the time; this was a momentary stroke of amazingness. I rode up a mountain on my bike. A kind of big mountain... It was a category 2 climb. It was dreadfully slow, but I finished, so by default, it was amazing.

I had set two goals for my self. 1) do not stop. 2) stay in the second ring, don't go into the third ring. The second goal lasted for about 500m, when I reached the first hairpin turn and realized that if I didn't go into the third ring, falling over would be a real possibility and then both goals would be broken.

I did make it to the top without stopping, and learned some lessons along the way:
- You need a slogan for the tough parts. The spray painted kilometer countdown for the Killington Stage Race "King of the Mountain" competition really helped. My mantra about three quarters of the way up became, "I am not a princess, I am not a princess, I am the queen of the mountain!"
- don't get too full of yourself, you're bound to get knocked down a couple pegs. About one quarter of the way down, my thoughts were more like, "yes, I am a princess. What was I thinking? Don't cry!". And, "which brake am I supposed to use, and when?"
- Enjoy the way down, because once you are back on the flats, flats really suck.
- When going down a mountain, do not look at the mountains. Look where you are going. Otherwise you'll come so close to a pothole that you won't even have time to curse yourself.

Sigh. So to recap, I would be amazing, if I wasn't Queen of the Chicken-er-poops.


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