Thursday, September 4, 2008

Getting Ready for Uphill

“Nothing gets you ready for uphill like uphill,” says my friend Pete. He’s right. The crisp air of late summer and early fall is ideal for working off all the lazy summer bbqs and beer, but it starts the mental tune-up too.

In this moment, a steep pitch of pavement – the first of many to come – inches by under the wheel of my road bike, but in my head it becomes the skintrack. The sweat beads on my forehead, and my heart rises into an accelerated but still comfortable rhythm. If I close my eyes, the one-foot-after-the-other mechanics meld the long climb up Brandon Gap into memories of snowy climbs up the Long Trail.

(Graham Gephart turns the cranks over on Brandon Gap, Rt 73, Vermont. Photo by Lulu Bael)

Getting higher up the hill, my muscles and lungs start to protest a little more. It’s a good reminder that I need to hit the uphill a little more, and that the reward isn’t that far around the corner.

-Graham Gephart

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