Conquering Bear Mountain
Sunday 15 May 2016 my toughest ever adventure in the sport of cycling. It was cold, wet, windy and laced with hills and more hills. A great experience but alas I only climbed 2000m out of the 2500m available and left 48km out of the 160km unridden. Needless to say next year I shall be back to conquer and shall give better respect to the big bad Bear Mountain. It’s reputation is to be believed…
To my fellow warriors from NYC, London and Lagos I hail you all. Thanks again for having my back!
You need to ride the mountains they call the Bear in the GFNY and the Tumble in Wales. In fact Wales was almost deceitful in that the first 84km is literally flat with some small Otedola like rises in between that you would be forgiven for thinking you were in the Lagos Group A1 Pelton and then you get introduced to the Tumble of only 6km of sheer “joy” to climb and behold… Then very Argus like akin to Suikerbossie they have the Caerphilly mountain as they are other towards the end of the race. Ol boy my legs and I have never climbed anything so painfully. (Special note to self more leg work and less junk miles on the bike).
After I did all that, having gone through cold temperatures, rain wind, with just 3 miles of gentle miles to the finish line (that’s 5km for you velominatians), you won’t believe it but my seat post snapped clean in two. Luckily I have no horror story to tell as it didn’t happen zipping down the tumble by the way the descents in Wales are scary fast if you let go of the brakes and let gravity take you. As I was saying it luckily didn’t happen on one of those descents. As I set there dejectedly thinking “kai I won’t finish again…” (I gave up the GFNY after 112km. I just couldn’t bear to see another rise that they call hills so I gave up and joined the luxury bus home. In my defence it was cold and miserable and I didn’t rest well enough so the climbs were just too much for me. I had already ridden 2000m and in the last 48km I still had 500m to go so I ate humble pie and have vowed to take that bad boy they call
the bears next year.
So as I was sitting there on the pavement looking incredulously at my snapped seat post with people around me going (ahhh and he’s nearly at the end), I somehow wedged it together and believe it or not rode home to the finishing point standing up. I need to check out my finishing photos cos I felt like a pro standing and sprinting to the finish line… little did they know if I dared to sit well let’s just say all is intact in the seat region !
So I have recuperated and I am in the market for a new bike – the good news is that the store I bought it from refunded me in full… so all’s well that ends well. A great (or hard) riding experience depending how you look at it but one with many lessons learnt about suffering and true grit.
See you all at the crit on Monday 30th and well done to the organisers…