Earlier today on a little outing, the spouse and I ended up on Hawk Hill overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and a miniaturized San Francisco, the entire vista in a gray wash of light through the layer of high fog that wouldn’t dissipate at that morning hour just yet. It’s been a good number of years since I’ve been in those parts of the Marin Headlands, but even as the car climbed the curvy road, it wasn’t the scenery that held my interest. My attention bobbed along with the colorful spandex-clad cyclists, scores of them in different groups or alone, making their way up the hill, some with a swagger and ease that seemed unnatural, if not illusory, and the others, struggling valiantly, so hard in fact that I could feel their burn almost in my own quads.
In my imagination, in spin classes lately, I have been scaling steeper and steeper climbs all in an effort to give my “guts” as much of a workout as I was lavishing on my abs, and the rest of me, of course. But even if with those newly stretched neurons of fearlessness, I was having a hard time imagining myself on the bike, pedaling up and up and up, one steady stroke after another on the long climb that Hawk Hill is. May well be that my bike will never make it up Hawk Hill, at least not powered by my legs, but my imagination will keep on shifting into lighter gears for that little extra power as it keeps the summit in focus.
That said, I should simply take the bike out for spin, even if on the flats…. It’s been a really long stretch since I rode anything with wheels that weren’t fixed in place. The only actual speed I could gather outside lately were the attempts at running. Walk a minute, run another minute, and all the while trying to convince myself that this could be fun.
Why torture myself with running? I have some trips coming up and want to keep my fitness routine going. Running seemed the easiest option for logistics, but it’s turning out to be not so simple for the imagination that keeps pining for those wheels under it.