I love riding in northern Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania and the northeast corner of Maryland. It is so hilly and so fun! My brother-in-law and I went out for a nice little ride in the hills this afternoon and came back none the worse for the wear.
The beginning of our ride was a nice easy roll with a lot of downhill and short little uphills. We cruised along enjoying the scenery and the "friendly" honks of rush hour traffic. People are so kind here, making sure you know they are behind you, patiently waiting to pass.
When we got to the Quaker meeting house, we turned and climbed and climbed and climbed up the hill that not so many years ago did me in. I climbed it too fast that time and found myself gasping for air at the top of it. This time, we climbed it a bit slower and had no trouble at all. We stopped at the top for a drink and then continued on.
From there we enjoyed a bit of flatter riding. We rode along at a pretty good clip so that when we got into town our average was up around 18.2mph. That dropped precipitously when we turned and started climbing again. It's funny to me that I remembered the last 30 meters or so of that hill, but not the rest of it.
The next few miles are among my favorite on earth. I love the speedy downhills with sharp corners and the grueling uphills. I just feel alive when I'm riding this section of this familiar route.
We rolled past the Quaker meeting house again and made our way to the much dreaded climb. I can't tell you the name of the housing development, but the hill ought to be called hell! It's scary knowing you'll have to climb it after riding almost 26 miles. I had no problem at the bottom of it, which I was told later was the steepest part. I just settled in and rode it seated. It was after that my legs fell off. I kept thinking, "Will this thing ever end?" I wanted to quit, but I kept going. The biggest problem I had was remembering this hill incorrectly in my mind. I thought it went on longer than it did and I was pretty close to redlining as it was. I was sure I would die on the imagined section that I remembered. It never appeared. I just rode over a rise and there was downhill in front of me. That had to be the best I've ever done on "hell" hill.
From there it was a short ride home. There were still hills, but nothing terrible until the entrance to my in-laws' development. I think they need to move. Beech Hill averages about 12% and has a section of 16%. We have to climb it EVERY time we go out for a ride. It is awful!
We made it home. Tomorrow we ride with our families in the afternoon and with one of my Twitter friends in the afternoon. Should be a great day! (garmin data)