Saturday, August 1, 2015

Closer to Heaven

The Cincinnati Cycle Club has an organized ride every Thursday evening that begins at the monument for William Henry Harrison’s tomb. It is endearingly called “The Tomb Ride”. Velo Junkie and I join every chance we get.

The ride is about 20 miles, + or – if you go out and back. It can be 24 miles if you choose to challenge yourself on Dugan’s Gap, a road with about a 250 ft. climb and up to 11% grades. On the other side of the climb there is a magnificent downhill coast with steep grades on a winding road. I, being the Reluctant Cyclist, avoid hills like the plague. Especially in 90⁰ F temperatures. I tend to overheat when exerting too much energy and then have to pour water over my head to reduce my body temperature. My face turns bright red, my scalp feels like it is shrinking, my heart wants to beat out of my chest, and it just isn’t pretty.

This past week I had a very special reason to push myself to the top of the hill. You see my Mom passed away on Sunday and I needed to get closer to Heaven. There is a beautiful statue of Jesus overlooking the Ohio River Valley from atop the hill. Mom always pushed me to get to the top in her own special way so I drew on her strength to finish the climb. I overheated, had to pour water on my head, and my face was still beet red when I got to the bottom, but I did it. It was as close to heaven as I could get. I was singing this song to get me up the hill…

Way over yonder
Is a place that I know
Where I can find shelter
From a hunger and a cold
And the sweet tastin' good life
Is so easily found
A way over yonder, that's where I'm bound
I know when I get there
The first thing I'll see
Is the sun shining golden
Shining right down on me
Then trouble's gonna lose me
Worry leave me behind
And I'll stand up proudly
In true peace of mind – Carol King

So, of course, this is the day my goofy Cateye GPS jumbled the data and said this ride took place on July 23 instead of July 30. Probably Mom's idea of a joke. Below is the ride so you can see the climb.

Peace be with you.