This was my first year riding The Santa Fe Century and my only concern was the infamous Heartbreak Hill. Strangers and friends alike warned me about this short, yet merciless climb. The informational guide even said there’s no shame in walking your bike up to the top. Like any prideful cyclist, there was no way I was going to walk my bike.
Jared and I stopped at the aid station conveniently located right before this epic climb. We used this opportunity to unload anything that could add weight to our climb. The good thing about being a small woman means I have less weighing me down for climbs.
I’ve wrote about mental toughness before, but it’s worth mentioning again: cycling is as much mental as it is physical. This climb isn’t for the beginner cyclist. I’m thankful my house backs up to the foothills which offer unlimited amount of climbing.
I was mentally prepared to be in slow and agonizing pain. I expected my legs to scream, my gears to grind, and my skin to gleam from the sweat pouring out of me.
I didn’t expect to pass all the men and women struggling through the climb. I passed the three walking their bikes shamelessly (maybe a bit of shame). I shouted “on your left” to a man weaving back and forth over the yellow line. I muscled past all the dudes standing out of the saddle, gasping for air, and I sure as hell didn’t stop at the top for s breather. Lactic acid was flowing and the ol’ ego was shining as bright as my skin.