When was the last time you experienced absolute and utter joy?
Maybe you felt it on your first sip of your morning coffee, or it was puppy kisses that made you smile, but for me it happened when I finally reached the summit of Healy Pass in Ireland!
This is pure joy!
Except, as it turns out, the hill I just climbed was not Healy Pass. I just thought it was.
I would actually reach the summit of Healy Pass an hour and a half after this celebratory dance on the side of a random highway. What I had conquered were two smaller climbs.
And there’s nothing worse than a pair of falsies.
While riding up Not Healy Pass I reached the blazing speed of 3.1 mph which is very likely the bare minimum speed anyone can go without actually falling over on your bike directly into traffic. All of this due to a fairly steep grade and a headwind blowing at approximately a zillion miles per hour.
At the end of this effort I was ecstatic! I couldn’t believe that I did it! I made it to the top without falling over and I DANCED from the sheer joy! I suspect the tourist busses passing by were confused, but probably appreciative of my interpretive Irish jig of happiness too!
After my celebration and when I was able to breathe normally again, I got back on my bicycle and went on my merry way totally thrilled that I had gotten through the hardest part of my ride so early in the day.
Until approximately 40 minutes later when I saw a mountain of switchbacks rise up the countryside in front of me. And I knew I had messed it up.
But this is the view from the top of the real Healy Pass.
Healy Pass itself was beautiful. It was a challenging climb in where I looked down those switchbacks to see the tremendous, albeit slow progress I had made. Along the way many fluffy sheep gave me a creepy side-eye stare me (with their disturbing sideways eyes) as I slowly rolled by. That alone was a little motivating to get to the top.
Finally, the celebration at the top was still pretty good, but a lot more cautious. Just in case.
Because, every now and again, even a seasoned cyclist sometimes gets it wrong.