If you live in Colorado, I find that it is essential to have a well-thought out biking theology. The reason? Elevation!
Not long ago a friend of mine in Oklahoma posted her running log, which included a commentary on great dislike for the "hills" she had to run. The small print noted there was a total change in elevation of 30 feet. It still makes me giggle. I think there's a 30 foot elevation change from one end of my driveway to the other. Well, maybe I indulge the truth...but not by much.
Elevation in Colorado is serious business. All of my bike rides include an elevation change of no less than 1,000 feet. I can't even run around my neighborhood without descending or ascending several hundred feet in either direction.
So biking theology = good idea! Mine is very simple. Go uphill first. This makes perfect sense to me. If you bike uphill first, enduring all the strain and tough work of long hills, you will be rewarded at the end of your ride with a fun, easy, downhill coast. There are several cliches that come to mind that fit this theology. "Work hard. Play later." * "No pain. No Gain." * "The difference between try and triumph is a little umph."
The interesting thing is that about 95% of the bikers I pass on the trails do not share this biking theology. That is — they go downhill first, then uphill. It makes for an interesting ride. As I dig deep and pedal uphill, hoards of bikers fly past me — going downhill — all smiling and greeting me with a cheery "Good morning!" I huff out a "Hi" or "Morning" trying not to expend too much precious energy. I rarely smile.
(Side note: I would think it would only take one bike ride with the incorrect theology to realize a change was needed, but this does not seem to be the case because I continue to be the odd biker on the trail...going the "wrong" direction first.)
Oh, but the tables do turn; and I am the better for it. As I come flying downhill, I pass all those cheerful bikers but there is a vast difference in their countenance. They no longer shout cheerful greetings; they rarely smile or even look up. I, on the other hand, become Pollyanna on the trail and share joy and happiness wherever I pedal — downhill!
PS. My daughter and I tested my theology this morning when we rode our bikes to her piano lesson. It was a quick 15 minute downhill ride to get there. We were smiles and giggles the whole way. The ride back was a very steep (probably the steepest in town) long uphill...and it was hot! It took us 45 minutes. We were grumbles and sweat the whole way. That's not a ride we'll be doing again — at least not any time soon.