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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Keiko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Up and down under the midnight sun

    After a great ride with my son on Saturday, there was no Sunday ride for me. My wife and I were washing the car, she the interior, I the exterior, when she knocked me out with a car door. I was laying in the driveway for a short time or until a neighbor helped her carrying me inside were I woke up again. I spent the rest of the day on the couch, watching the Indianapolis Grand Prix F1 not feeling fit for biking.
    Note to self; wear helmet around wife.

    I was feeling better so I went out for my favorite trail, 10 miles, with 5000ft of climbing. Sun was shining and there was no sign of life in the mountains, except for some birds and the sheep running on the trail before me. On one of the steepest sections, I decided to stop to take some photos of myself but although I made two attempts, I only managed to take a picture of my behind, which I deleted right away.
    I felt that my physical condition was quite good. I had the power to hammer up the hills I usually was riding in the granny gear, and most of the time I was riding in the middle chain ring. I had this feeling that I could do everything I ever wanted to do on a bike. Me and the nature were one, and my heart was beating in rhythm with the heart of the sheep running in front of me. I stopped again to take some photos. The sheep ran of the trail, probably relived that this maniac had stopped the pursuit after them or maybe they thought I was not though enough to bother competing with.
    This time I managed to take some photos and pleased with my self I kept on riding to the top of the trail, and finished the circle on the downhill-like gravel road that leads back home. When back home I could not believe my own eyes. I had biked the circle in less than an hour. Usually it takes me one and a half hour to ride it, but this time I did it quicker although I had stopped to take photographs. This was great achievement for me and as I was showering I started to think of new goals to reach.

    Faraway biker

    Getting closer

    Tuesday, longest daylight time of the year.
    On my way home from work, I noticed that a group of campers had parked their cars on the camping area. As I walked by, a mountain bike got my attention. One of the campers had taken a full suspension Carver (German brand) bike along for the tour in Iceland. I stopped and asked if he was interested in me showing him some trails, but the respond I got was that they had decided to leave since the camping area was getting crowded. A bit disappointed, I went home to gear up for a ride on my own. Once I started biking my disappointment changed to relief. My condition was not to good, and I figured that I had just embarrassed myself by riding with the German guy. The training agenda for the day changed quickly from steep climbing to technical up’s and down’s. One of the trails started at the bottom of the gravel road I had descended the day before. I have only once managed to ride it up, but as a matter of fact, I had only once tried to do it. I was almost at the trail, when a mountain biker appeared in front of me. He greeted me in English, and asked if I had been riding this road earlier. I told him that I had been down the road the day before, and asked if he had done the circle. He denied it and said that he had ridden this road for an hour, then turned back home. I could not believe this. This hill in front of me was an obstacle I was afraid to try overcome and now this older gentleman told me that he had been up this road on his old hard-tail. I had to make an attempt. After he left for his dinner that he believed his wife had prepared for him, I switched down to my lowest gear and started ascending. Man this was hard, for twenty minutes I had to push the pedals in constant rhythm, as hard as I could. Sweat was dripping from underneath my helmet, running in my mouth and with burning sensation in my eyes. My legs were screaming for rest, but my mind was set on finishing. At the top of this steep hill, the road keeps accelerating, now in a moderate slope. I tried to switch to a higher gear, but my legs refused to cooperate, so I switched down again for the time being. Slowly I regained power and managed to ride to the highest point on this road in about 5000 ft. I hit the singletrack and started descending. This was the first time I rode this roundtrip of mine counter clockwise, but definitely not the last time. Unfortunately the wind had picked up, and I dared not to ride at full speed down the hills, since the track was narrow and the side wind could easily push you out of bounds if airborne. Tired but very happy I came home, already planning for the next tour in the mountain.
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  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bigwheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Very cool Keiko. Days like that go a long way towards making up for the ones at the other end of the spectrum! 5000 gain in 10 miles is a pretty good grunt for sure.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  3. #3
    don't try this at home
    Reputation: moschika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    nice post. gotta post more of those icelandic rides. i used to enjoy your posts on the old boards.

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