Yesterday, I wrote about the easy speed I discovered at the back of a large peloton. Today, I want to describe the easy speed I discovered as the result of hard work.
The end of Sunday’s ride included a 5 km climb. It wasn’t steep, a 5% grade at most, but long. I have climbed this hill many times before. It is on a busy street but it is newly paved with a separate, wide bike lane. It is a steady, continual climb with several intermediary summits.
On Sunday, at the start of the climb, I first noticed that I felt fresh despite having already cycled 45 km. And then, I noticed I was spinning in a higher gear than normal. The three months of single-legged squats, hamstring curls, sit-ups, planks and spinning workouts were paying off. I felt stronger than I ever have on this hill and, I was on the Roberts, the heavier, steel frame bike.
As I neared one of the intermediate summits, I noticed 2 young men, half my age, struggling to turn the pedals over. They were barely moving. As I sped past, I overheard one say to the other, “Did you see that old guy? How does he do it? We need bikes like his.”.
That made my day.
I discovered easy speed of a different kind. The kind that comes from hard work and perseverance. The last kilometre of the climb levels off a little. In the past, I would slow down and take it easy to the top. Not this time. I had energy to spare. Instead, I geared up and raced to the top in record time. Well, at least for me.
I can’t wait to climb this hill on the lighter, full-carbon Garneau.