Friday, May 8, 2009

stairwell from hell

Preparing for a long distance bike journey is a microcosm of one’s larger life; you’ve got to give to get. I know that the more physical and mental preparation I put in before the bike journey starts will permit a more enjoyable experience. I will be better able to compartmentalize the discomforts, stay focused, and absorb outstanding scenery and wildlife in traversing the greatest country on Earth. It will be a fun ride to benefit the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter.

Part of my preparation includes workouts on human-made hills…bridges and stairwells. These are the only real elevation gains in Carteret County, North Carolina. My workplace features two dungeon-like stairwells that, this time of year, are 80 degrees and 80 percent humid on a good day. In climbing and descending the four-floor well 30 times, the heart-rate and discomfort ratchet up. The goal in each of these hour-long workouts is to give my mind and muscles the experience of trying to complete the last miles on a long hot day across the plains, or trying to ascend a mountain pass in Colorado. The bike journey will not be exceedingly difficult all the time. However, there will be those miles on the trip where the terrain, wind, and traffic create tough conditions where I will draw on months of advance preparation.

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