Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Epic Moment

Every Cycle Oregon - particularly the week long ride - has them. The Epic Moment. Likely there are more than one, but always at least one that will define you in some way. It is near impossible to predict what the moment will be or when it will hit, but you know it when it happens.

On my first Cycle Oregon week - in 2006 - it was cresting one of the really long monster climbs in the mountains. I was at the end of my physical rope and wondered "What the HELL am I out here doing?!" Then there it was - the "elevation" sign up ahead. It was an Epic Moment - the achievement had been reached. One of those realizations where you feel weak and humbled by just seeing a little sign, and then feeling totally invigorated.

Sometimes the Epic Moment are ones you could live without, like getting a sudden front flat tire from a goathead thorn on a recumbent high racer at 35MPH. That is Pants Wetting Epic. A moment like that is even more Epic when on the next day you hit a new top MPH on a blazing fast curvy mountain downhill - and visions of that darned goathead are right there on the brain.

Pulling off the road for a break and being witness to incredible scenery that takes your breath away  - Epic. Especially when you think at that moment - "I would NEVER have seen this unless I was right here on Cycle Oregon." Truly Epic.

In anticipation of the upcoming weeks "Epic Moments" here are some from the past in no particular order.

Leaning hard at 50+ .. then leaning more.. and more... and more...
Epic Palpitations.

Goathead thorn flatting your front tire at 35MPH and you stay upright.
Scary Epic.
Eastern Oregon sunrise over the road less travelled.
Epic Sunrise.
Rest stop on a cold AM with a hot fire.
Epic Comfort.
Pausing on the climb to look waaaay down to see teensy-weensy cyclists methodically powering up on the road below.
Epic Climb.
Lunch with Jonathan Nicholas himself.
Epic Dining.
Friend hits cow in the road on his bike the day before (minor injuries) and forever earns the name "Cow Tipper"
Moooo Epic!
Looooong downhills where you can let it roll.
Epic Cruising.
Building crazy beer cup space needle architecture from the empty cups of you and your friends.
Epic AM Headache.
Low AM clouds riding deeper into the forest.
Epic Greenery.

Hitting 7,392 feet elevation during the ride. (Day 1 started at near zero).
Personal Epic Accomplishment.

Scenery that takes your breath away
Simply Epic.

Cousin with healing knee riding Cycle Oregon 2008 on a hand cycle with zero previous miles on it.
Crazy Epic.

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