My headlamp is minimal but only because I use it to look at my heart rate monitor. I was wishing I brought my powerful lamp. When I turned to look down slope all I could see was dark. I knew if I slipped I would fall all the way to the bottom of the canyon and the journey could result in some busted bones. I also wished I would of posted a tweet or something where I was going to ride my Mukluk tonight. If I fell and needed help no one would come. In fact there would be no one up here. It was too dangerous.
Suddenly the rear tire of my bike slid off the ledge and my toe hold in the wind crusted snow bank started to strain. I was off the bike and trying to walk it but now it seemed that it had decided to give up and jump off the cliff … and take me with it. I struggled to slowly pull it back up and by holding onto the top tube. I needed another toe hold fast and I glanced around. Nothing but ice.
What was I doing up here and why did I have to push so far past the comfort zone? With all of life’s responsibilities I was struggling to keep up a good training plan and I was not even supposed to be out here. The workout I did on my lunch break would have been enough and I would be at home right now talking to my girlfriend on the phone. I made a mental note to text her if I ever got to safety.
Just as I started to shout out loud my disappointment at the seasonal conditions I spotted a clump of dirt extruding out of the icy ledge. As I started to calculate how much jumping force was needed to reach the oasis my foothold gave way so I lurched towards it. I didn’t have enough leverage and came up short just above the perch on a glare ice section. My foot slide immediately towards the abyss but caught the dirt clump on its way. Suddenly I felt it hold and I put all my faith onto it. It seemed solid so I looked around for another foothold.
I repeated this process for 5 more minutes until I was finally across icy slope. I looked at my training device and realized I still has 3 minutes remaining in my interval. I jumped back on to get my heart rate back up and started to climb to the next ridge. I raced up the climb stepping off the bike one more time and falling flat on the ice for like the 13th time. Finally my interval was over and I stopped for a swig of Carbo Rocket and to contemplate my next move. I needed to turn around and face that dangerous slope of ice and snow again but in the opposite direction.
I got out my cell phone and text-ed, “Out riding, got carried away having fun, will be a little late for tonight’s call”.