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It's all uphill from here - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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It's all uphill from here [Sep. 21st, 2006|01:37 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |nervousnervous]

When I step astride my bike this evening and pedal away from the office, I will not be heading into the sun as usual, but will trek further east to join Ferrett for an evening of minding our friends' almost-three-year-old daughter. Carolyn is an absolute joy, but the bike ride is making me nervous. There is no avoiding the fact that there is one heck of a climb up to Cleveland Heights.

Now, I can cruise for miles on relatively flat surfaces, but I must confess that I suck at hills. Being on the West Side, this is generally not a problem - we are at the beginning of the great, flat center of the U.S. Between here and Cleveland Heights, however, lie the first little toes of the Alleghany Mountains. The elevation rise doesn't seem like that much when you're driving in a car, but the fact is that Kat and Eric get snow on days when we get nothing but rain.

And today, I have to make that climb on a bike.

Now, if my legs give out, I can always hop off and push. It lacks all dignity, but it is possible. The bigger worry, however, is the choice of roadways. If I go up Cedar Hill, I either have to ride on the sidewalk on the wrong side of the road (which means negotiating across all that traffic) or ride on the road in the midst of a lot of very impatient (and kind of crazy) commuters, because there is no sidewalk on the uphill side of the road. The other possibility is MLK, but I haven't driven up it often enough to know if there even are sidewalks.

The third possibility is to wait until after rush hour and take my bike on the train to Shaker Square. That, however, strikes me as cowardly - how am I ever going to learn how to do this if I don't do it?

Coming home won't be a problem; Ferrett is bringing the bike rack in the car. Riding back would be kind of fun, but it would also be really dark. About 23 miles in the Really Dark. Through some parts of town that, after nightfall, get Really Scary.

So, no.

It's interesting; when Ferrett first suggested this, I immediately made excuses - have a cold, really tired, want to get some things done tonight. The truth, though, was that I am nervous about how best to do it. And when I realized that, I also realized that I have to do it.

Time to stretch my wings a bit. And my legs.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: scarfman
2006-09-21 05:45 pm (UTC)

we are at the beginning of the great, flat center of the U.S.

When I tell people Omaha is hilly and they say, "No it's not. It's in Nebraska," I tell them to come visit and bike in from the airport.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-21 05:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, and Kansas as well, but they are usually gullies rather than rises.
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[User Picture]From: irishjeeper
2006-09-21 05:58 pm (UTC)
About 23 miles in the Really Dark. Through some parts of town that, after nightfall, get Really Scary.

Yup! I'll agree to that. I hope your bike ride to your friends home goes smoothly.

I miss Shaker Square, I really must trek on over to your area again soon. I'm only 2 hours away if that.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-21 06:22 pm (UTC)
You should!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-21 07:07 pm (UTC)
And alas, Shaker Square really isn't the same since JoBeth and Wild Oats moved out. Still some good restaurants, but not as much fun.
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[User Picture]From: jeanniemac
2006-09-21 06:01 pm (UTC)
If I remember correctly, it depends on what part of MLK you are on. The part that goes through the park should have sidewalks since it was designed for pedestrian traffic. I don't remember what the other sections of the road are like.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-21 06:23 pm (UTC)
It's the part climbing up the hill that I'm concerned about. I'll simply ride out Euclid to Case first, then head up Stearns. For as far as my poor little legs will carry me!
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[User Picture]From: gieves
2006-09-21 07:11 pm (UTC)
> I'll simply ride out Euclid to Case first, then head up Stearns

I'm hoping you mean Stokes... ;-)

But even so, Fairhill, which is the part of Stokes that heads up lacked anything resembling a user-friendly surface last I drove it. It does have the advantage of having something like five lanes going up the hill in parts, so you'll have fewer scary-impatient drivers to contend with in any given lane... but I'd consider a ride up Fairhill about on a par with Cedar. I'm also not certain about the useful presence of sidewalks on on the hill.

Ride with caution!!

(I think my recommendation at rush hour might be the Cedar Hill sidewalk, which is the way I used to go in my long-ago bike-riding days to the Heights.)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-21 07:48 pm (UTC)
Okay, now I'm leaning more toward the Rapid again! [g]

I will probably do the Cedar Hill sidewalk route. But gods that's a long way up....
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-21 11:51 pm (UTC)
All plans fell apart and I didn't do it at all tonight. Some day, though!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-22 11:35 am (UTC)
By the way; are we seeing you two tomorrow or Sunday?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-22 02:07 pm (UTC)
Boo! Oh, well, another weekend, then.
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[User Picture]From: adjust_56
2006-09-21 06:29 pm (UTC)
Ahhhhhhhhhhh I love therse moment before we actually start stretching.... yoiu'll be fine on the ride itself even if you don't make it to the top of the hill, it's the anticipation before and the judgement after ( either elazted or critical) that gets us all riled up....take a breath and conserve your energy for when it's needed.....yeah right!.....I have confidence you'll do fine!!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-21 07:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'll get there, eventually.
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[User Picture]From: ithildae
2006-09-21 06:29 pm (UTC)
Back int the dark ages, when I was riding my bike all sorts of places, I had a gear ration something like 34:36, that I called my spiderman gear. If I wasn't in a hurry, hills were no problem.

(Of course, I was much younger then, and didn't use the gear often, but it was sure nice to have on some treks. Especially at the end of the day!)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-09-21 06:40 pm (UTC)
The new bike is way fast on the flats, but does not have as low a low gear as the ol' mountain bike. We'll see how I do....
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[User Picture]From: labelleizzy
2006-09-21 07:47 pm (UTC)
go you for being willing to stretch and to try!

(I'm still being a little bit cowardly wrt fitness-work...)
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