On the 11th of January 2015, I made it to the top of Mt Wellington on my bicycle. I made the decision to do the ride the night before, after checking the weather forecasts for the week ahead and counting down the days I had left in Hobart – I realised I didn’t have a lot of time left and considering the “hot” summer weather Tasmania’s had this season… the weather that Sunday looked like it was the best I was gonna get in a while – it was now or never! (well, not really)
I actually planned to cycle up Mt Welly shortly after the new year and I also planned to do it with some other vegans in Tasmania on Facebook, but I was down with a sickness for 2 weeks after returning from the Falls Festival. I was 70% recovered when I cycled Mt Welly that day; I was still very phlegmy, so I didn’t have much expectation of actually reaching the top, I just thought I would go as far as I could. Since it was kind of a last minute decision, I didn’t organise it in time with the other vegans on Facebook to do it together. I guess it would have been more fun and motivating to go in a group. Oh well, there’re still opportunities in the future!
I started from my home on View Street -> Proctors Road -> Richardson Avenue -> Underpass under the Southern outlet -> Waterworks road -> Romily road (road with super crazy steep slop for 30 – 50 m) -> Huon Road and just follow it and lookout for signs to Pinnacle Road (Mt Wellington).
When I managed to get up to the Springs without dying from exhaustion or cars, I was quite encouraged and motivated to finish this climb so I continued. The ride was hard (and I later found out on Strava it was a HC climb, a Hard Climb? Whatever it means, I know it was the toughest category for climbs! Wow!). But I was so happy I did it, and reached the top. It was a great feeling to have conquered the mountain! Achievement unlocked!
1. Don’t wait for XYZ to come just to do ABC. Do ABC first, then XYZ will follow!
I got this from Durianrider’s ebook, but he has also talked about it in his videos. Basically what this means is that you can’t always wait for the perfect moment, for the right feelings to come around before you do something. For example, you wanna exercise, but you wake up, you see the some grey clouds outside, you don’t feel motivated, you want to wait for the perfect weather, and you don’t end up exercising. Or you want to start a something, a project/business for example, but you don’t think you have the right skills yet etc. so you don’t end up doing it. But the point is to just do it and whatever motivation, skills, etc, will follow. In this case, I knew I was still recovering, I wasn’t feeling 100%, but what the heck, I’ll just get on my bicycle and pedal towards the mountain, and see how I go. Even if I can’t complete the ride, it’s okay. And when I did finish it, and the clouds parted when I reached the top, hell yes! Best. Feeling. Ever!
2. Take your time, take it easy, don’t make it a race
On the other hand, Sometimes I think I feel a bit too confident to do some things, I’ll be like, ha! How hard could it be? Nek minute, I’m doing it I’m like shieet, this is actually hard. I had to stop at every kilometre while cycling up the mountain. I was having a mental struggle in my mind. I wanted to say, this is good enough, I’m happy to go back. But the other voice in my head was saying, you are almost there! I made it as easy for myself as I could. I allowed myself to stop and rest when I wanted to. There’s no shame right? (right…? Haha) Well, whatever I did, it got me to the top. So, when you think you took on something more than you could handle, maybe it was all it your head, and all you have to do is break it down into pieces so you can tackle them one by one, and make it easy for yourself. Chew before you swallow right?
3. Don’t be afraid of the cars! (but try to start early)
Related to reflection no. 1. Don’t wait for all the cars to break down before you start cycling on the road. Just do it, just be sensible about it and most drivers will be understanding.
4. Never say never?
As I was riding the last kilometre up the mountain, I saw the expressions of some of the passengers in a car going back down; they seemed to have a look of amazement as they watched me sweat my ass off. It was encouraging to me, and I remembered the first time I saw someone cycling up Mt Wellington as I drove past in a car, I was amazed too! I was like OHH MAHH GAD, THIS DUDE! CYCLING?! MOUNTAIN?! THIS FAR?! WOW! IMPRESSED. At that time I didn’t think I would ever do it, yet here I was!