Thursday, March 24, 2016

Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all. (Mark Twain)

We have done a bunch of windy rides this week. Long rides that leave the legs feeling drained and wobbly.

While we were traveling in North Florida, we came across a sign on a bridge warning about an 8% grade. Somehow I think most trucks won't find a short grade like this a problem. But I'm sure tourists from other states get a laugh when they see the sign.

Most of Florida is a curious place for pedaling a bicycle. You can argue that it is easy because there are no hills. You can also argue that it is hard because there are no hills.

You have to work harder to pedal up a hill. But you get to recover while you are going down the hill. If you are lucky and riding in rolling hills, you can get in a rhythm. Work to climb, rest as you descend and swoop into the next climb, then work again, swoop again.

Our cycling friends in places with actual mountains can laugh all they want. Mountains are interesting. But I've yet to have one of these friends come to our flat lands and laugh after they've spent a few days riding the coastal flats. Hour after hour of steady pedaling, no downhill coasting, just pedal, pedal, pedal. Your only variety comes from the wind and an occasional bridge. It builds a surprising amount of endurance.

We take long rides in Florida's flat lands. Bridges and wind aren't mountains, but we are't particular. They worked just fine for us this week.