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Pressure mounts as the hill rises before me.
A mile back seemed like an eternity; we should have stopped, but continued anyway.
Friends beside and behind, we charge the hill.
The chain fights as I apply force, but every beast is meant to be tamed.
At the foot of the hill now, we’re feeling good, on top of the world.
My body begins to slide back on the seat; I’m in for a tough climb.
Half-way up, I’m not sure I can take much more; Legs throbbing, lungs burning, heart racing, I continue to charge.
Almost at the top; I can anticipate the other side, coming ever closer.
Gently sloping, a stream traversing the path, the other side finally comes into view.
Cresting the hill, I give one last push as gravity finally offers some assistance.
Slowly at first, but eventually, I find myself flying down the other side; Water splashing, wind whipping across my face, tires refusing to grip the slippery terrain.
At the bottom, gravity no longer is my friend, but again my enemy.
The recurring sound of my rattling chain again takes over.
It is quiet, the only sound being rattling, running water, and heavy breathing.
Brakes squeal as we stop to rest, exhausted.
The water splashed against us is medicine to our aching limbs.
Before we know it, we’re back on our bikes, racing through the woods, straight towards another hill.
Pain again grips our bodies at the frightful sight of the hill, only to be healed by the summit of the hill, which seems now ever so far away.
As we crest this hill, we know our work has paid off as once again, we begin to descend the other side.
The wind on our faces never felt so good.