My first biking experience every morning is a short but speedy descent down a hill. It’s a 72-foot drop over 539 feet (with a traffic light at the foot of the hill so I really have to be alert). It’s a fantastic way to wake up in the mornings. However, early on, I knew it wasn’t going to be all fun and games:
My new apartment is on a hill. Biking down to the ferry was fun. And fast! Wheee! (Tweet scheduled for 6 PM: "AAARGH! MOTHERF*&^ING HILLS!")
— Allie Verbovetskaya (@alevtina) October 2, 2013
If every morning started off with a descent, every evening would end with an ascent. I’d have to climb a 13% grade every day. At first, I couldn’t do it. There’s a certain point where it becomes extremely difficultwhen I can see the end in sight but my lungs and legs refuse to work any harder.
Gradually, I was able to conquer the hill. I would huff and puff up this tiny but mighty hill, with my legs turning into jelly when I finally get off my bike. These days, I’m much better but it’s still a struggle. I’m still out of breath and panting at the top of the hill, with a slight wobble to my gait when I dismount my bike.
…But not this guy:
This guy climbed a 38% grade (that’s 3 times as steep as my tiny hill!) and he didn’t even break a sweat. Ah, to be a tiny man on a lightweight steed who rides a bike for a living…