Hills vs. Plains

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Okay, I just got done with a 21-mile bike ride this morning. I took the very flat route out Highway 210 across the riverflat. Last Saturday I did 30 miles going up the moderately hilly Line Creek Trail and the 152 Trail to Tiffany Springs and back. So now I am going to compare.

The hilly trail is easier to ride. Doing the flat trail I was amazed how hard it sometimes seemed. Keeping an even pace, your legs pumping at the same pace and same exertion with little variation, is hard.

The hilly trail you pump up, then you coast down. You shift a lot more, vary your pressures a lot more. You actually get a lot more time to rest, and not just because you get to coast. Though I don’t know the physiology through study, I can surmise that even while pumping continuously, varying the style and intensity gives your muscles time to rest different parts that are used for different strengths and speeds, thus increasing your endurance.

Then there is the psychology of it all. If you don’t let the hill daunt you, you use it to challenge you to put out, and then feel the exhilaration going down the other side. On the flat route you just have the same old same old to look at, or if not the same old, the vista stretches before you, instead of coming upon you suddenly around hill and corner to enthrall and delight.

Guess I’m just a boy from the hills, and for the hills, when all is said and done.

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