I dread hills and to some degree still do but I am finding my way to get some enjoyment from them and find that the pleasure comes in the conquest. A very nice byproduct of the mission of doing long difficult climbs is that when I do my crusing around regular routes, little hills that I suffered over seem to be a breeze, or nearly so. Tiny inclines that gave me the fits are a mere "oh did I just go up a little hill? Hardly noticed."
|Preparing the decent|
|Preparing to climb|
Saturday June 4th was shaping up to be nearly the same heat and humidity as last week when I did the first dreadful climb on this trail. The week before I made the climb but never descended as I could see off into the distance a few miles where the Huron Valley Trail was going to connect to the South Lyon Rail Trail.
That day I'd had a late start and it was at the height of the mid day heat. This Saturday I had the earlier start plus the advantage of parking right at the junction of the Island Lake State Park Trail, the Kensington MetroPark Trail and the Huron Valley Trail. That gave me a head start of about 3 miles and I had been hankering not only to descend the monster that I had climbed the week before but to continue on and finally get to the end of the SL rail trail. I'd ridden it to within a half mile of it's end but for one reason or another never got to the end. Today was the day to ride the entire connection from the three way junction and to the end of the other trail.
The climb up this ridge was long going from west to east, the descent was swift and I reached speeds of 30 mph with brakes on, I'm guessing if I had not had brakes on it would have been upwards of 40 mph. That's pretty fast. The assent on the trip back going from east to west was shorter but much steeper. The descent from that ridge continuing west was about half the speed but you could roll forever it seemed.
My round trip mileage for the trip was 11.11. On Sunday I hit the flat portions of the rail trail 4 miles up and 4 miles back for a RT overall of 8.16. Today I had a run about town for a total of 5.55 miles. Saturday's ride was long, hot, challenging and very tiring. Pushing to do the difficult thing showed up in the subsequent days riding, pleasantly so. I found my following rides to be a lot less effort. I believe this is a sign of getting stronger and that's a good thing.