I remember the first time I rode up the hill on Newman Road. I know that I’ve written about the hill many times, since any ride to work or West Lafayette will normally involve that route. But the first time was much different.
I had only been riding seriously for about a year, and I think it was before I bought the Trek. which means I was still using the Murray. This was also a few years before we moved out West.
The League of American Bicyclists held their summer meet up in the Lafayette area that year, so there were many routes marked around the area – all starting from a residence hall parking lot on State Street. I picked the 19 mile route that went through Montmorenci.
Towards the end of the route, I was on Division Road and found the subdivision where a co-worker lives. Who knew that I’d be living there a few years later? A quick left on Newman brought me to the bottom of the hill. I put the bike in the easiest gear and started up. I’d never tried a hill that steep before, and it was killing me. When I got to the speed limit sign at the top, I pulled over and took a long water break – trying to stuff my lungs back into my chest. It’s easier for me now.
I know that many riders probably find that hill to be kind of easy, but they are more experienced than I was, have a lighter bike than the 45 pound Murray, and are carrying much less weight than I do.
The ride today was leisurely, and a little windy. I headed up the now infamous hill (and I got most of the way up without using the granny gear) and east on Newman and SR26 to McCormick Road. I followed it north past US52 to Morehouse Road. Just a smidge to the west I found Taft Road. Heading south, I crossed US52 to Klondike Road, west on Fat Ass Road, and south on 400W. Back on Division Road, I rode east back home.
Miles Ridden: 14.4
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