Day 37 - Eminence, MO to Bismark, MO, 87 miles, 5:47
It seems like I'm going up a lot more than I am going down.
It's the Ozark Mountain roller coaster and the uphill climbs, at anywhere from 3 to 7-mph, obviously take about five times as much time as the downhills.
This roller coaster, more than any other type of riding I've done, is just like life. You can always count on some climbs, and some will be steeper than others, but you can also count on a slingshot effect out the other side.
Unlike the Rockies or other mountain ranges I've seen, these climbs most resemble the difficult challenges you face in life. They are very difficult, short-lived and extremely intense. These inclines, in fact, are the steepest I've seen outside of Brasstown Bald, GA, which is the steepest paved road in America. Some of these would be a close second.
The Ozark Mountains are just 1,000 to 2,000-foot rounded hills where instead of blasting out parts of the mountain to make a nice grade for the road, they just take the road right over the top. I actually spent the first 15 miles of my ride this morning riding through a forest at the top of a particular stretch of mountains along Hwy 106 east of Eminence, MO.
So let's establish something right now. With really achy knees from more than five and half hours of a comically agonizing "climb and coast" ride today, I did have plenty of time to think through some key points.
1) Though I had never seen these roads, I was prepared. I was riding a route documented in a well used bicycle trail map, and I knew what to expect.
2) I had proper equipment, the right kind of bike (thanks Randy and the boys at Olivers), the right gearing, the right nutrition on board (thanks Brother Chris with 10:10 Wellness). I had trained prior to this tour and had five and a half weeks of base miles in my legs.
3) The steeper the hill, and the harder I had to work to get to the top, no matter how long it took, the more satisfaction and reward I knew I would receive going down the other side. In some cases, what I thought was the top, turned into a second or third consecutive climb. But, that was O. K. I knew, at some point, I'd get the roller coaster going the other way.
Juxtapose this conversation with the Word of God. It is your road map for life. It prepares you completely for every situation. The more time you invest in the Word, the more blessing God pours into your life and the more your life will bless others.
I'll never look at a little hill the same again.
This is a link to a 365-Bible online. It's a great place to start if you are not in the Word on a daily basis. www.oneyearbibleonline.com.
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