Getting Out

Now that I’m done with physical therapy and we’re finally back on DST, I need to commit to getting out a couple of nights a week. That’s a little harder working a physical job again – A lot of nights I’m just tired.

But when I do get out, it’s cool to find I’m not in terrible shape. Sunday, Chris and I did 34 miles. My first climb was Grassy Hill. Overall, it’s around a mile, but 3/4 of the way up there’s a turn off. Climbing the whole thing takes you to a sort of a dead end. The road used to go through, but now it stops at the town line with Woodbury. That town abandoned their section of the road. It’s a public right of way still, but it’s overgrown and always flowing with water. To get to the next road, you have to ride 100 yards across a hayfield or down the grass strip of a little-used airport. Either route is a bog in the spring, so I’d been taking the turn off. 

The turn off also skips the steep bit. Most of Grassy Hill is a 9% grind. Not a big deal. But that last pitch before the airport is a 23% wall that’s just long enough to hurt. There were times in the past I couldn’t get up that without putting down a foot and resting. Sunday, I didn’t set any records, but it wasn’t even a big deal.

By the end of 34 miles, my quads were singing the blues, but I’m okay with that considering that 4 months ago I couldn’t walk without crutches.

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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