I have no idea what Kloe and I are getting ourselves into. I drove to Telluride, Colorado, last weekend, for a bluegrass festival. It was 300 miles of mountains. In my mind, you go up a mountain, go down the mountain, and then are over the Rockies. This is not the case. Within 100 miles you can go over more than one “pass.” A pass, I found out, is insane. Monarch Pass, which we will be riding, is seven miles up at a six percent incline, then the same down.
“How do you do that,” I asked my friend who has biked it.
“Don’t brake, you’ll fly off your bike,” he said, nonchalantly.
“But there is no shoulder on the road,” I said.
“You are faster than the cars,” he shrugged.
The road shoulders are what Kloe told me to keep an eye on, so every few miles I would get excited if one was over four feet.
“Look at this one, it’s great,” I pointed out to Becky.
“And look at this one,” she said, as the shoulder all but disappeared around a sharp curve.
Pretty much our entire route from Colorado Springs to Ridgway, a town 30 miles from Telluride, is the same route that Bike and Build takes, which I kept reminding myself every time the car had trouble getting up a hill—are they even called hills when they are literally mountains?
It is amazing what the human body is capable of when pushed to extremes. This is what I told myself before the two centuries I did, when I realized that I had not trained at all for either. And this is what I am telling myself now, as I sit in my bed, having not worked out in days. I am glad we are biking for The Bridge School, an amazing organization where students are pushed everyday to work towards better communication, and an organization that pushes the boundaries on technology. Each time we entered another town and I saw the elevation sign increase by another few hundred feet, I reminded myself of how impressive The Bridge School is, and how I can’t complain about how sore my butt will be or my legs will be, because we will be biking for something so amazing. Or at least I’ll try and remember that on my way up—and down—Monarch Pass.