Getting ready to ride the Cabot Trail...

MacKenzie Mountain, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Occasionally I get asked about why I want to ride the Cabot Trail... Well, here is one of the climbs that we will do on the ride in July... The road rises from the ocean and heads inland a little to get around Cape Smokey which is on the east coast of the island of Cape Breton... In the fall of the year you get views like this from the top of any of the three major climbs on the trail.

Sooooo, one wants to be in shape for this sort of a ride... as I start working on my conditioning I am constantly wondering about "what will it be like this time?" It is a great question and when I am riding... I am at about 200km per week right now, but not feeling all that good about it with lots of hot spots in joints and so on... and I keep visualizing the climbs and beautiful scenery, and the hotel where I plan to stay the night after the ride. In it all, there are scenes of pain (the climb), beauty (the views), insane invigoration (the descents), the satisfaction (the weee dram at the end of the day), and the joy of being in heaven, on earth, at the Ketic Lodge.

Keltic Lodge, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Today I was thinking back to the year before my first heart surgery and how I felt about life. In 2001 we were living in Colorado Springs. I was with Spectranetics as their VP Sales, Marketing and Service and we were on a tear... growing, learning, making a difference. I was healthy, running, cycling, daily work-outs that would tire Arnold, and thought I had the world by the tail... travelling all around it, doing work with famous cardiologists on patients who would otherwise be dead soon. Little was I to know at the time... I was in the same boat.

I have mentioned my illnesses enough... but in context there are so many ways to look at them I do actually try to learn from each. Today it was that in early 2001 with the world as my playground, I had no idea of the mountains I was about to climb... for the next fifteen or so years!

The climb of Mount Smokey, Cabot Trail, NS
There have been some road improvements!
Today, as I rode from Jocotepec to Ajijic my thoughts were similar... ironically, after all that health stuff, I am looking forward like a 50 year old saying I have the world by the tail. I have been through all those issues... and I can still climb MacKenzie Mountain and Smokey Mountain and the passes into Guadalajara at 6,500 feet and the road to Mazetmetla at 7,500 feet... what do I wonder about... well... my speed, damn it.

And then I get a note from a friend the other day... "the race is not always to the swift... but to those who keep pushing, and working at it"... it was this that I was thinking as I rode along. It will be what controls me as I ride in July... and each day as I get ready. And if the Dram at the top of Smokey is to be Tequila, well, they'll just have to wait 'cause I'm bringing it with...


Popular Posts