Nearly everyone wants to be on top of the world, right? But being there never happens if one waits to be taken. You have to work. You have to plan. You have to climb.
And the climbing starts long before that particular day when you are on top of the world. It starts long before, maybe when you go on that first "grownup" bike ride and swear that you might never ride again because of the pain. Or when you fall over with your new fancy clipped in pedals. There are lots of bikes gathering dust in lots of garages after things like that. But you want to be on top of the world. So, you climb.
Now, don't get me wrong. The people who travel with you and who inspire you along the way are key.
And when you do that, there will be periods of time, sometimes long periods of time, when you are alone with you thoughts. It almost doesn't matter whether you are riding in a group or not. Eventually, you will be hearing the sound of your own heart beating and your own breathing, and you are all alone.
At times like that, there are choices to be made. Whose voice will fill your head? Whose baggage will you carry on your back? What's the use in dropping cash on ultra-light carbon bottle cages to shave a few grams if you're going to carry baggage on your ascent. Carry only the essentials--you, your equipment, your training . . .
And don't forget: love and confidence are weightless. In fact, they are lighter than air.
Along the way, you'll reach some summits that are beautiful to behold.
(Juniper Pass View)
But these are only way stations. Don't miss them, and don't forget to enjoy the view; but, if you have a destination, don't be satisfied by false summits or even by real ones. You can't stay here.
You'll know the real ascent when you get there. If you look at it, the switchbacks and the grades will threaten to rob the confidence right out of you.
(Loveland Pass Climb)
(Loveland Pass Climb)
But if your goal is to be on top of the world, did you expect the road not to be steep.
This can be done. Everyone who tries this has to turn the pedals hundreds of times to get to the top. Why not you? Every goal has an obstacle, and the better the goal, the bigger the climb. The obstacle is not going anywhere. You might as well just go.