Climbing is difficult.
For many those first encounters with hills come early in life. During those early years the hill is an unwanted obstacle between you and your destination. And that’s all it is an inconvenience. Only years later when you make the transition from bike rider to cyclist, does the lifelong love affair with climbing begin. One of pain, euphoria and every emotion in between. Then the hill is transformed. No longer a mere obstacle it becomes a challenge, not something to avoid or skirt, rather something to tackle head-on. Now routes are selected precisely because they do have hills not because they don’t. As this love affair of the incline grows the relationship is tested. Every rider will meet a climb, sometimes over and over again which has him slipping, regressing back to that impression formed in childhood; going up is hard, why do it when you don’t have to? Climbing is difficult, often very difficult. Six gap is the perfect ride to explore climbing’s inherent contradiction.
The desire to challenge ourselves as cyclist versus our animal instinct to avoid pain and suffering. In the early morning light, the glorious blue sky holds the sun. In the ocean of wooded hills stretching as far as the eye can see, rolling and heaving across the countryside is to the rider a preview of the gaps. The pain they bring has yet to arrive, but it is coming. When it reaches you the intensity of the effort makes living in the moment the only option. It makes everything more special and more beautiful. After all, no act in cycling is more intense than riding up hills. Climbing is difficult. . . And that’s good.