I haven’t been talking much about my weight or fitness lately. Here’s a quick assessment, for those who care: my weight is way too high and I’m having motivation difficulties with dropping that weight, mostly due to a profusion of really good taco stands within walking distance of my office.
My fitness, though, is doing pretty well. This morning, for example, I climbed the Tibble Trail. This is not an easy climb, and most people would have to push most of it.
I, however, cleaned the first mile of this climb today. Meaning I didn’t put a foot down during the most intense mile of an extremely intense climb.
And I kept going.
I cleaned the second big pitch, too. That’s saying something, because the second pitch is even steeper than the first mile, and goes for about a quarter mile.
In other words, my legs are strong, and I’m climbing well.
So I thought, “Well, let’s see if I can clean this whole thing” (I planned to give myself a free pass with regards to the crux move, which is more of a miracle move than a real move right now).
And I kept climbing.
I cleaned the hard, loose pitch at the end of the first meadow. I cleaned everything leading up to the Mill Creek intersection.
And I kept climbing.
The section between the Mill Creek sign and the third meadow is very steep, rooted, and otherwise technical. Cleaning it is never likely, but I was doing well.
That’s when I saw a group of cyclists, descending toward me.
“They’ll yield,” I thought. “They’ll know the rule.”
They got closer.
“They’ll pull over,” I prayed. Surely they could see that I was climbing in a difficult spot and should be given the right of way.
And then the first guy in the group rolled by me, forcing me off the trail and off the bike.
I guess he didn’t know the rule.
So, for anyone who mountain bikes but perhaps doesn’t intuitively know the rule of who yields to whom, here it is:
The climber has the right of way.
It’s obvious, really. Who has an easier restart? The guy going downhill. Who’s fighting harder to keep his momentum? The guy going uphill.
Yield to the climber. No exceptions. Any questions?