Overcoming fears, finding new challenges

I am finding that blogging about my fears seems to help dissipate them. I love this, and hope it continues. (I recommend some version of this to anyone reading: if you don’t have a blog, maybe post about some of your fears on Facebook, or tell them to friends. See if it helps!)

Case in point: Yesterday I wrote that I had a hard time getting myself out of the house in time to go to the nature park I had hoped to visit in West Linn. While that ended up turning out fine, because I chose to make a new plan and do some “hill work,” and enjoy beautiful views on Mt. Tabor instead… I am pleased to report that today, after my livestreaming concert ended at about 2:45, I got everything together in time to head out the door at 3:15, bound for the park. (Mary S. Young State Park, if you’re in the Portland area and want to visit yourself.)

I had a lovely ride, and found the park to be incredibly beautiful, with forested trails and river access. I decided to take a different route on the way back, so that I could do a bit more hill work and enjoy more beautiful views in the Tryon Creek Natural Area, as well as the River View Cemetery. The views and time spent in the perfect-temperature September evening were definitely worth it… but I did find myself facing another, now-familiar concern: How do people build up the stamina to handle all the distance and hills I will need to cover on my trip? How will I be able to do this? I estimate that I climbed less than 500’ on this trip today. I covered about 30 miles total in my loop. And I didn’t have any luggage or gear, except what I carried in my small backpack. On my nationwide journey, I expect to travel probably an average of 50 miles per day, and sometimes as much as 60. Elevation gains could reach 3000-4000’ on any given day. And I expect to have either a trailer with a suitcase, or possibly some version of packs rigged directly onto the front and rear of the bike. (I’ll figure out such logistics later, maybe next summer.)

How do people do this? It seems really challenging. I know people do it. How do they do it? I’m in decent shape, I think, and at 47, frankly I’m on the low end of the typical age for Brompton touring folks. 

So… I guess if they can do it, so can I? I sure hope so. Maybe after a week or so of putting in the miles every day, I’ll just get used to it? All I can do is hope so, and continue to give myself local excursions to practice between now and then. Maybe next summer I can begin “training” in earnest, with more and longer trips, and carrying a load.

One day at a time, eh?

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