Look Up, Ride It Out

I think it may be that simple. I hit the trails twice this week and both days got through some shit for the first time. It’s the steeper climbs that get me, and at least to some degree, I think that’s because it’s so easy to look down at the front wheel rather than up the trail. Then when the wheel hits an obstacle, that’s the focus and all momentum dies.

This week, I focused ahead more than I ever had. And when something slowed down on a climb, I got out of the saddle and torqued the pedals. That got me up one hill for the first time, got me clean through one rock garden for the first time, and opened my eyes. Looking forward to the next Preserves ride – That 47% grade pitch is going to be mine this year.

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About swampyankeecyclist

I'm Andy Engel, just a middle-aged, middle-class guy from Roxbury, Connecticut. I've been married to my best friend since 1988, and we have two grown sons. I like riding bikes, and my biggest accomplishment is the 180K D2R2. I own 5 bikes but my go-to rides are a 2016 GT Grade gravel and commuter bike and a 2016 Specialized 650b hardtail mountain bike. Additionally, I have a 2000-something carbon-fiber Orbea road bike, a 1990-something Specialized Sirrus that's my old dirt and commuter bike and which now serves as a spare and a trainer bike, and a 1985 Ross Mount Hood MTB. All but the 650b have Brooks saddles. I work from home now, but used to commute 32 miles round trip to work by bike year round. I was a carpenter and still love building things, but regular paychecks, insurance, and vacation time lured me into journalism. I've written a couple of books on carpentry, and I've been an editor at Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, and Professional Deck Builder magazines. Currently, I manage construction events at the JLC Live and Remodeling Show trade shows. Additionally, my wife and I run Transylvania Guest House, an Airbnb. Find us on Instagram. Come stay with us and I'll show you some great cycling.
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