Most places, the minutes stream by unnoticed. Not
here. At the base of the hill, I shift down to a lower
gear, thankful the bike is light and so am I. Out
of the saddle, hot sun on my neck, I stand on the pedals
and haul myself up by driving them down. Here 
you focus on the moment, not how far, how steep.
Halfway up this sloping span of road, I feel a sudden
jolt of jitters when the front wheel slips slightly 
sideways on a narrow strip of softened tar. Then the road 
curves right and rises relentlessly, and though it's not
the Galibier, it's enough to leave this would-be grimpeur
panting. I wind the steady tick-tick-tick of legs thrusting
down hard on pedals, inching toward the granite
slab that marks the peak. Here, every second 
breathes along with me.

Copyright 2007 by Brian Dean Powers


One thought on “Climb

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