Monday, May 7, 2012

Double Loop! What Does it Mean?

Double Loop! What Does it Mean?*

The Camping

Our test-run camping trip this weekend with Matt and Karen Holmes was a HUGE success! All the amazing gear we were gifted over the winter from our wonderful friends and family finally made it out of its plastic wrap and into practical use. The sleeping bag liners and inflatable pillows did the trick for a chilly spring night in the mountains, and our cooking set was both adorably-lightweight and actually useful! All in all, we're feeling even more confident at the prospect of camping our way across the country.

The Ride

Round Two of our preparations this weekend was a 55-mile bike ride in the mountains of New Mexico. We did our standard loop route... except twice. It was a total of 5,500 feet (1 mile!) in elevation gain. Sure, we also lost 5,500 feet, but I'm telling you, when you're cruising along an empty NM 4 at 30+ mph, bragging to your husband how much you love being a cyclist now, you quickly forget the whole "what goes up" thing.

Just imagine this x2.

As I told David a number of times throughout the last part of the ride, I really believe that it was the hardest thing I've ever done - even harder than running a marathon. I am not too proud to deny that I whimpered at the base of a few of the more daunting hills (so about 80% of the time). One of my least favorites is the hairpin turn between Bandelier and White Rock. There's nothing like losing 300 feet in an immediate drop only to have to make it up on the other side of the canyon (see pic below).

After 4 excruciating hours, 2 entire camelbaks, 5 minutes resting face down in a ditch, some senseless giggling from the backseat, and a promise that as soon as we got home I would spend the next hour lying on the couch making zombie noises, we made it! Our legs were numb and neither of us could eat because we were nauseated from dehydration, but we made it! Santa Fe Century - here we come!
I don't think of them as hills, so much as pain in it's purest form.

*If you're a faithful YouTube follower, you will immediately get the reference in the title of this post. If not... well, there's always this link (if you wanna waste another 4 minutes of you life).

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