Etre en forme

I don’t know the climb well enough to quote its exact length and grade, but I do know it well enough to recall how the road first pitches up on a right-hand bend before a 90-degree left where it really starts to get steep, past the stand of rust red mail boxes set against the trees, before a brief respite and the pothole that is always seen too late, then the final cruel rise through the open fields where I once saw a coyote.

By all accounts it’s a climb that begs for the small chain ring and a sensible cadence. Instead, I shift into the 50×23 and turn my gaze down as the road starts to rise.