Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

A BIG DAM HILL
For part two of my Bike ‘n’ Hike story, I rode the D line to the Mineral station, then mounted my bike for what Google said was about an 8 mile ride to Chatfield State Park. Tim and the family were meeting me there later in the afternoon, but I left several hours early, unsure of how long it would take me to find my way there. The trails were not at all clearly marked, and after two false starts and turning back, I finally went into 7-11 to use their restroom and ask directions. I had been on the right trail the first time, so I started out again. It was hot and the trail was very busy with bikers, walkers, and kids wandering with fishing poles and buckets of bait.
It was an incredible ride once I got into the actual park, where the path was lined with great big old cottonwood trees that cast shade along the path. I was feeling pretty good about the time I was making, and although my legs were a little tired it wasn’t unbearable. The signs within the park were not any better, and I found myself doubling back until I ran into a group of bikers who were stopped on a bridge, snapping a photo. I offered to take one of all three of them, and asked directions to the lake. They were serious bikers, wearing helmets, water bottles mounted to their bikes and clad in Spandex. They directed me to follow them for a while, then they went one way and pointed for me to take the other trail.
“You have a big hill ahead, but then you’re there,” the woman yelled as they sped away.
I’m no longer afraid of hills since I’ve discovered the beauty of gearing down. I thought nothing of it as I wend through the trees, thoughts of jumping in the cool lake after my hot, sweaty ride. Then I came around the corner and saw the “big hill.”
It wasn’t a hill. It was a dam. The dam. The big dam that was holding back an entire lake. And the road began at the lower left side of the dam, and ran steeply across the dam, stopping at the top right side of the dam.
It was the biggest dam hill I’ve ever seen. And I was determined to ride up it. My brilliant plan of course was to gain as much speed as I could before hitting the bottom of the hill, which I did, but it didn’t get me very far because the incline of the hill was immediate. I didn’t start feeling real pain until I was about halfway up the dam, then I was impressed that although I was sure my legs were going to snap and an aneurism was certain, but my lungs felt pretty good. Score one for not smoking.
I geared all the way down to the lowest of the lowest gears, and although my feet were spinning the pedals wildly, I was barely going fast enough to keep from tipping over. A couple of cars passed me, and I realized I was that person. That person whom I have passed on many occasion and wondered
“Why the hell would somebody want to bicycle up a mountainside?”
Yup, that was me. But I made it. Mostly. The last 20 yards I simply could not conquer, but I do not regret it, because I made it farther than I ever thought I would. Once I got to the top I could see the whole park, including the lake. Not far down the other side was the marina, where I coasted to and plopped down on a picnic table, devoured my tuna sandwich and sucked down all my water, then called Tim and told him he would have to come find me, because I could not go another yard further.
After the lake we went back to his house, where he fed me guacamole and quesadillas, before dropping me off at the light rail station. It was indeed a wonderful day.

Advertisements

June 19, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: