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07/14/15 Still Climbing

Submitted by Jacob on Thu, 07/16/2015 - 10:17


It has been two days of a lot of climbing. I think I have been proven correct that crossing the Appalachians is harder than the Rockies. I have had more than 6,000 feet of climbing for three consecutive days, including 6,800 feet today alone. Instead of just being the short, steep ups and downs; I had a lot of actual “passes” of more than 4 miles long. I like the longer climbs because they are usually more gradual.

How to Climb Hills (They aren’t as hard as they seem)
1.       Shift down
2.       Pedal
3.       Look at the surroundings
4.       Repeat until smallest gear
5.       Occasionally stand on pedals
6.       Eventually, you get to the top
That is pretty much it. It’s kind of weird to only go 1.58 miles in 52 minutes (one of my measured climbs today), but the downhill will eventually make up for it.

The past two days have also been the most beautiful of the whole ride. I no longer loathe the Appalacchia; I have a respect for it. I hated it endlessly in upstate New York two years ago. I hated it again in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia because I was “so close” to the end of the ride, and the hills just slowed me down. Here in Pennsylvania, the beauty astounds me. To get up to 2,700 feet and see a town on the valley floor, with the cars looking like ants is a beautiful sight. Instead of a big stone, snow-capped wall, I am instead greeted by more shallow and gentle layers upon layers of hills. From a height, you can see about 3-5 layers of mountains into the distance; the first is green and the further ones are a deep purple.

Also, here in Pennsylvania, there are a lot of old buildings. You get up to a relative height, and you see all of these small hills, and then a silo and a church steeple jutting out from behind a hill. It is such a splendid mix of natural beauty combined with the beauty of man-made architecture that nowhere else really seems to capture.

The climbing I have done, in measurement of feet climbed, is greater in the last three days than the 3 mountainous days in Colorado (Craig through Steamboat Springs and on to Fort Collins). Bravo, Pennsylvania. My perspective has been changed.

Only 65 miles or so to get to New Holland. It will be hilly the whole way, but we are very close to Gettysburg, and I’m certain the big hills are behind us. I think tomorrow is going to remind me of upstate New York at first, before becoming more gentle.

Sorry to keep this one so ride-orientated, but I can’t understate the beauty of it all. It’s so hard, but the hardest days are the prettiest. It is the donations that all of you make that really keeps me going. My thanks go out to all of you for helping make the gift of hearing possible for another person.