|Reaching the summit of Trail Ridge Road at 12,183 feet above sea level |
on Ride the Rockies in 2012 was one of the best feelings in my life!
|At the summit of Mt. Evans. 14,220 feet |
above sea level. The highest paved road
in North America!
Heck, according to the Urban Dictionary, I’ve been stale for 10 years already. They (whoever “they” are) describe over-the-hill as: “Meaning that you are 40yrs old, therfore [sic] you have reached the climax of your life time and your [sic] beggining [sic] to go "over the hill."
Kids today. What the hell do they know? They can’t even spell “therefore” and “beginning” and don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” Besides, isn’t 50 the new 40? I think Urban Dictionary needs to update their definition. But where were we? Oh yeah…
Every definition I found when I searched Google for “over-the-hill” was negative. Those birthday cards will probably be black, signifying the death of my youthful vigor and freshness. What message are we sending with all this negativity? At age 50 I feel better than I did at age 30. And there is no question that I am in better shape. I am more physically active, eat better, and have more energy than I did 20 years ago.
|At age 30 (left) I weighed 270 lbs. By age 40 (right) I was a much leaner, healthier 215 lbs, which I have maintained eating beef almost daily in the past 10 years!|
In cycling terms, over-the-hill is a good thing! It means you have reached the summit. The long uphill grind is over. It’s time to celebrate before you go screaming down the other side at full speed towards the finish line. As we often say at the summit of a day’s ride on Ride the Rockies, “It’s all downhill from here.” And that’s a good thing!
|The finish line in Breckenridge in 2005,|
my first Ride the Rockies.
But I also realize that it’s never really “all downhill from here.” There will be more hills to climb. The aches and pains from the hard climb will begin to set in. I just hope that by the time I reach the finish line I’m ready for the ride to be over (I always am). There is no better feeling than crossing the finish line and the sense of accomplishment that comes with having given it your all and reaching your goal.
There will be six mountain passes and 2 mountains on Ride the Rockies 2014. That’s eight summits to celebrate. I look forward to every one of them. With each summit I will remind myself that the whole reason for the climb is to experience the thrill of the descent!
|Rabbit Ears Pass, along the Continental Divide, is the second SHORTEST pass we will cross on Ride the Rockies this year! We crossed this pass on my second RTR in 2006.|
So how do I feel turning 50? Frankly, I’m relieved that I made it to the summit. It’s good to be here and I’m looking forward to the rest of the ride. I don’t want it to be over yet, for sure, but on this ride the finish line isn’t on the map. You never really know when it will appear. My plan is to keep peddling until it does and rest when I get there. :)