I'll never be a QOM, but I know what one feels like

There is a hill in my neighborhood that I have always avoided. It’s not long, but it’s a very straight and steady 12% grade that looks baldly menacing. Plus, it’s populated with parked cars and sees steady traffic. I’ve lived in the area for 12 years and never sought it out. Hills in general have always scared me to the point that contemplating one I know is coming later in a ride will measurably increase my HR and respiration and make my legs shaky in anticipation.

Last summer, I realized that this had to change. I was broken by a long and challenging cycling tour, in part because of the climbs. I signed up for the same tour again this year (coming up in 9 weeks!). I used the off season to hit the gym and get seriously strong, reasoning that I’ll never be a climber, but then neither is Peter Sagan, and he’s done all right, and better than wishing for a different body is making good use of the sprinty one I’ve got. March-May, I did the Systm mountainous fondo plan, and now I’m loosely applying the GG200 plan to my outdoor riding. I haven’t lost any weight, but my body composition is much improved and I can feel the difference in my power and endurance.

My husband, a mountain goat who rides hills for fun, has a favorite route that includes the four local hills I hate the most, including the above monster, which in my imagination had grown into a snow-capped Alp. This week, I decided it was time to ride that dang route. I would pace it gently and save all my energy for the climbs. I would be patient and talk myself through it.

And I did. I talked my heart rate down, I babied myself uphill, and when I got to the top of my nemesis, I thought, “That’s it?” No jelly legs, no rolling backward, no tipping over, no falling into traffic. (No oxygen hunger, frostbite, or snow blindness either!) I felt like the empress of all I surveyed. So today I went back out and repeated the route, twice in a row, just as slowly but just as successfully, and I do believe I have broken the dark spell that hills have held over me at last.


I LOVE this!

Way to get after it @DameCristy !!

1 Like

Great story, and great inspiration for all of us. Chapeau, @DameCristy !

1 Like

Truly inspirational! It makes me want to do some hill climbs pretty soon at a place where the mountain bikes out numbers road bikes 10:1

Chapeau @DameCristy! :fist_right: :fist_left:

1 Like

Awesome job. I too am not a climber. It took a long time before i would climb some of the big hills with a local group. Like you, I did finally conquer them. BUT…

There is one climb in an imperial century that I still need to get. I have had to walk the last 1/2 mile both times I tried it. Thanks for reminder and the inspiration.

1 Like

You are such a rock star. Way to go!


The Badassness!!!

1 Like

Brava @DameCristy!



1 Like