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.

Donna and Dan on Bikes - circa 1998
My sister with her Schwinn and me on the Murray in LaPorte, IN – circa 1998

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.

North Route on Gmaps Pedometer

Click to see the route in Gmaps Pedometer

Miles Ridden: 14.4

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