Excerpts from my consciousness:
Holy Moley, this is steep! Our day is a never-ending series of switchbacks. Each one promising to be the last, only to go around the bend to reveal another mountain larger than the last.
The switchbacks to the right are worse, forcing us up the steep side. If a semi is passing then we have to watch the rear wheels because they track sharply toward us as they pass, rather than away as happens in switchbacks to the left.
Some of the switchbacks are so steep I can barely keep my wheels moving. My speed dips below 3mph and I have a difficult time keeping my bike upright. I have a few slow motion collisions with the retaining wall to my right.
I’m sure the views are great up here. We can’t see jack once we’re in the fog and clouds.
I hear the roar of the trucks’ engines long before I can see them through the fog. I wonder, can they see me?
My body is a mix of hot and cold. My shirt is damp with sweat and mist. My body steams like a fire was just extinguished and my breaths billow out in plumes of white. My legs burn from the relentless climb, yet my arms have goosebumps and my feet have gone numb.
As we approach 10000 feet our breathing becomes more labored, stops for rest become more frequent. Drivers are giving us enthusiastic waves and thumbs up. They must think we’re out of our everloving minds to ride our bikes up and over this mountain.