Bicycling up Smelter Road

My poor bicycle hasn’t seen any action for months and months, so today seemed like the day to make a change. First I inflated the tires with the tiny-but-very-effective bike pump. Then I rode around a bit to test the awesome machine. The disk brakes complained loudly at first, but after a bit of use they calmed down and decided to make the best of it.

Smelter Road has a wide shoulder, perfect for bike riding, so I headed that way. It always amazing to me how, as a child, I didn’t think anything about the effort required to ride a bike. I never thought about my quads burning up or, “Can I make to that next tree?” When I went bike riding, I just rode. Doubling in size might have something to do with it. Things are very different now. Riding a bike is WORK.

When I began the climb on Smelter Road I knew it was going to be a challenge. My running has helped build up my lungs, but my legs are another story. My quads started screaming for mercy on what seemed like a very gentle slope. I kept going. The quads were winning the argument so I geared down. I kept going. Up, up, up I went, making little goals along with way. It’s not far to that tree. I can make it to that fence post. Up, up, up. There is a trade-off of advantages when you hit your lowest gear. Pedaling becomes bearable, but the speed becomes unbearable. To reach that next tree was taking forever. So, I notched it up a bit and dealt with more pain.

Every time I topped a rise and expected to enjoy some downhill, there was more uphill – just not as steep. The view is spectacular by the way. I’ll bring my camera next time. The gun club was my target to turn around at first. Then I went a little further to a big black trash can with a bright orange liner. Making it to the smelter tailings will have to wait. My lungs were in good shape. My legs weren’t happy at all.

The ride down was glorious and fast. The end.