Biking as cross training and MOPE

OK. First. I had a really great MOPE moment yesterday. And to give credit where credit its due, the first use of MOPE (My Own Personal Everest) that I encountered was in a recent post by Mikefule. So, nice acronym Mike (if you’re indeed the coiner of said acronym). I think it’s the best one since UPD.:slight_smile: Anyway there is a hill in my neighborhood that is a fairly steep paved road and has become, over the past few month, my nemesis. I don’t know what percent the grade is but it’s one that I need to really gear down my mountain bike for. I’m sure many of you could go up this one backwards, in your sleep, but it has confounded my every time. I had just ridden into town to go pick up some new glasses from the optician and was on my way home. I decided to take the long way into the neighborhood and this concludes with THE HILL. I was feeling the anxiety about a hundred meters before I even started the climb (defeated before I even began) and I turned the corner and headed up the street. I felt a bit shakey and wasn’t keeping a good line. I made it about 50 meters up and just before it turns 90 degrees to the right and gets steeper, I UPDd. :angry: I cursed and growled and picked up the uni and, in anger, slammed the tire down on the ground. This is a fairly typical scene on this hill and usually by the time I get here I’m pretty exhausted and I end up walking the uni up the hill to where it levels off and finish my ride home. This time I was angry enough that I walked it back down the hill and started at the bottom again. I’m on my 29er, which I still have a little bit of trouble free mounting. I got up on it first try but a little shakey and I didn’t get my foot placement exactly where I wanted it on the pedal. I managed about a 2 second still-stand and readjusted my foot and started up the hill. Still a bit shakey, mostly from exhaustion, I started to grind up the hill. I really tried to concentrate on keeping my momentum up and I made it to the turn. I got around the corner. This is my usual UPD point and I almost lost momentum as the hill gets noticably steeper right here. I managed to stay on top of it and kept going. I got about half way up the steep grade and was still going. At this point I was really going through the internal stuggle of keeping focus on the climb vs. the little voice inside my head saying, “you’re not gonna make it.” I focused on a driveway entering the street near the top of the climb and told myself that, if I make it to that driveway, I’ve got it! As I got close to the driveway, that irritating little voice was getting louder but I kept going. 5 meters, 3 meters, 1 meter, there! At this point it was still 10 to 15 meters to the crest but the grade starts to level out and I knew I had it. I relaxed, but not too much just yet. And then, I was there. Dripping with sweat and grinning ear to ear, I pedalled to the next turn towards my house, dismounted and got the water bottle out of my back pack for a drink. I remounted, first try, and rode the last half mile home, knowing that I just made a real, noteworthy improvement in my unicycling.:smiley: :smiley:

Now for my observation in bike crosstraining. I haven’t logged 10 miles on a bicycle since my obsessive/compulsive disorder got re-focused on unicycling. I used to be a 3 to 4 thousand mile a year road biker. Well, with gas prices rising and a recent boost in motivation brought on by National Bike to Work Week (May 15-19) I’ve outfitted my mountain bike as a commuter and started riding it. It makes for an 80 mile week, roughly, so it’s more biking than I’ve done in a couple of years. It took a couple of days to really start feeling my ‘spin’ again, but it came back quickly and naturally. I continued to ride my uni daily, when I got home from work, and after a few days I noticed that my pedalling cadence was smoother than it had ever been. I’ve been frustrated by the fact that my pedalling on the uni has always been a little bit jerky with too many little hesitations and corrections in it. I’ve been actually able to ride for about a year and a half now and I’ve felt really frustrated and sometimes angry that I don’t ride better after that time. Well, the smoother cadance has been noticable and has really helped my endurance and speed. I still have a long ways to go but I think that remembering the smooth cadance I have on the bicycle has been benificial to unicycling. And there you have it. Thanks for listening.:slight_smile: