In cycling, as in life, the barriers and obsicles we encounter are often more mental than literal. In my pursuit of a more sustainable, eco-friendly life, I have been making the shift to using bikes as transportation, but I have had this mental block about cycling the full distance (over 7 miles) to school every morning. The Mt Tabor ridge has become, for me, the symbol of this barrier. Friday I cracked it.
My rout to school takes me over the Mt Tabor Ridge, a ridge formed by a dormant volcano, creating a narrow East/West divide that runs about a mile. Put that way it sounds very rugged, treacherous and legitimately daunting. How many people need to face a volcano on their way to school? In actual fact, from my home, it's a rather steep incline of 3 or so city blocks. Actual city blocks, paved, with sidewalks and street lights, even has bike lanes through part of it. The ridge is long enough that riding around it seems impreacticle, but it takes fewer than ahalf a dozen blocks to cross over it, once over the ridge the rout is nearly all flat or down hill. Still, combined with the 7 miles that follow, it has felt daunting to me. So up until this week I have "carpooled" over the ridge and to a point just 3 relatively flat miles from PSU.
I am no athlete, and between the demands of single parenting and the approach of Finals week, I have been cycling less and busing more. In doing so I have been feeling that my "conditioning work" was not moving in the direction I wanted it to. Friday morning's clear sunny skies beconed, and I didnt need to be on campus till late afternoon, so I headed out plenty early and rode the full 7 miles to school. As is so often the case, doing it was easier that thinking about it.
The next challenge, riding the full distance home, nearly all seven miles of which is UP hill.