The Bear

 

I’ve only been up Bear Mountain about three times but the first time was tough.  A few guys from the club were going so I decided to join them.  I had been up the more challenging mountains upstate so I knew it would be ok to do this ride.

It was an unseasonably cool fall morning.  The air was very crisp and cold.  We met up in Nyack for the hilly 66 mile ride.  The climbs before and after the mountain would be more challenging than the mountain itself.  

We started the ride and were making our way out of town and we got to the first hill.  I took the hill hard to warm up as I always did.  I breathed the air a bit too deep and it choked me.  I started coughing and wouldn’t stop. I had to pull over.  I was a mess.  I was blowing snot in the street, spitting, and coughing.  I rode in with someone else so going back wasn’t much of an option. A couple of the guys hung out with me until I regained my composure.  They asked me if I was ready to continue so I rode on.  We dialed back the pace a bit until we were sure I was ok.  

We went up hill after hill until we were finally at the base of the mountain.  The climb really wasn’t bad.   I kept an even cadence and pace.  When we reached the corkscrew of the climb my ass was on fire and I couldn’t wait to get out of the saddle and stretch a bit.  I finally made it up the damn thing and was greeted with a beautiful view.  I took a few pics and then a few group pics.  The colorful leaves made the view a breathtaking one.  Once we were all done with taking the pics and stretching out we continued on our ride.

After the mountain we were about halfway done with our ride. We went up more hills before we stopped for lunch a few miles after the mountain.  We had a very ghetto lunch experience at the pizza restaurant/deli.  There weren’t any tables so we ate our lunch using a dumpster as a table.  I know I’m broke but that was the most ghetto meal I’ve ever eaten.  

After lunch we rode up more hills, some very challenging. That had to be the longest ride.  We were out all day and took a few breaks besides the lunch break.  You can probably understand how enthusiastically I counted down the miles to the end of the ride.  I looked forward to changing out of my riding clothing and into something warm and dry.  I longed for my hard earned protein shake.  It was absolutely heavenly.  The guys all congratulated me for finishing the ride under my circumstances.  They all agreed I did very well.  It felt really good to compete that challenging ride under any circumstances.  

It was evening when I finally made it home.  I enjoyed a nice evening in and even watched a bit of TV.  The other times I went up the bear were also eventful for different reasons.  We had a great time but there was always something going on.  You never knew how it was gonna go with the group I used to roll with.  I haven’t been up the bear since 2016.  I’ve been meaning to go but I just haven’t.  Maybe one day soon………

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