Reflection on Bridge to Bridge

Climbing The Bridge


By Richard Strang, September 20, 1998

January reflections…concerned over the hill…searching for stretch…The Bridge beckons…winter rides…gym workouts…spring thaw…club miles…biking the Alberta Icefields… visions of The Bridge at Sunwapta Pass…more miles…the bait is cast…first Don, then Rick, then Larry are hooked to The Challenge…mountain miles - Parkway, Roan, Iron and Mitchell…evening rides extend to 30+…weekend metrics…Autumn Chase Century…leg massages…carbos with reckless abandon…toss and turn…the day arrives…surrounded by friends…butterflies in the stomach and knees…so many riders…have to beat 200 to the Parkway…here we go…catch a line with Don…18mph, this is crazy…aid stations, but nobody's stopping…banana butter on my handle bars…drafting Larry…so many ahead, so few behind…Rick, the happy veteran councils eat, drink and be merry…no time, 200 to beat…the climb at 50…I love it…pick 'em off one-by one…a bag of grapes the perfect distraction…wonder if I've made it…fleeting calf cramp…entrance to the Parkway, what's my number, I gotz to know - "575"…brief relief…thigh cramp…calf cramp…please don't lock…Station #9 - water, bananas, pretzels, water, apples, fig newtons, grapes, Gatorade…back to it…still cramping…water… peddle…portolet…water…peddle…portolet…me and the mountain…legs are better…it's coming from within…singing away the miles with Amazing Grace…switching views - odometer mind games…dapples of light on 221…Grandfather looms…I can do this thing…heart beating in my temples…standing on granny gears…view from the final switchback…you've got to be kidding…up…up…cheering people…level ground…DID IT…everybody else made it, too…shared experiences …stretched spirit…confidence… reflection for days…rejoicing in life……The Bridge begins to beckon again

Richard Strang
Kingsport, TN
Rider #81
607th Finisher
Time 8:33:07


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Last update October 15, 1998