Therapy and a Copper Wall
Our resident Team Naked/TriBella comedienne Amanda C. shares why she does NOT like Sharon and Amanda B anymore…make sure you aren’t drinking anything when reading. You will endure spit-take theatre with this post!
Growing up my parents tried to install life lessons like “Don’t talk with food in your mouth, brush your teeth before bed, when wearing a skirt keep your legs closed, chose your friends wisely” etc. Some of these stuck and some of these I am still working on.
My “friend” Sharon Madison invited Amanda Bye and myself to join her and her friend Ben on a ride leaving from her condo in Vail to do a “fun easy stroll” on a weekend when we were not racing. She will tell you that she said what the ride plan was and expected us to research it but as I learned the hard way you can’t trust anything that “friend” says. Honestly, all I heard when she talked about our weekend was free place to stay in Vail, wine, free place to stay in Vail, and ride with a successful single my age male cyclist who good looking. Ok sign me up, this sounded like the perfect weekend with some good “friends”.
The morning started perfectly. Fresh cool mountain air on my bike heading down a nice little path that happened to be a slight downhill. Amanda Bye and I were riding comfortably in front of Ben and Sharon while drinking espressos and eating chocolate croissants. Life was beautiful as we strolled out of Vail and through Minturn. As we were leaving Minturn Sharon came up next to me and with a smirk on her face said “can you feel it coming?” At that moment she swatted the croissant out of my hand, winked, and peeled out in front of me leaving black tire marks on the ground and a cloud of smoke for me to suck in. I thought “hmm well that is not very friendly but more odd than anything else.” All of a sudden Sharon and Ben were no longer to be seen and a sign stated 5 miles to Battle Mountain. Ok, I can handle 5 miles of climbing, I have been working on this and thankfully my “friend” Amanda Bye is with me. We are hilarious!
Within minutes my “friend” Amanda was also nowhere to be seen. What the heck had happened to my “identical twin?” What was all that talk about being attached at the hip, and how weird it was how similar our strengths and weaknesses are, and we would rather stay together then ride alone?” It was ok though because even though I was all alone I can always find something positive to think about or a funny memory or can appreciate the amazing scenery. Pain is only temporary and I was .5 miles from the top… I got this! At that moment here comes Sharon back down the pass to ask “what was the hold up”. Also not very “friendly” but I did my best “go away your starting to annoy me” smile and thankfully she can not keep my pace… too slow. The group of 4 regrouped at the top and Amanda and I were told it was all downhill from here. Great, I love me some downhill!
2 seconds later the downhill was over and once again Ben and Sharon were nowhere to be seen. Amanda and I stayed together for a little bit as I am pretty sure she sensed that I was a little less than thrilled with how strong she was climbing. Things were ok till we looked to the right and saw “Tennessee Pass 4 miles to summit”. Ugh, huh? I had already done a summit today and really didn’t need another one. Amanda took off because she clearly doesn’t want to be my friend anymore.
Tennessee pass I hear has really great mountain views and streams to look at. All I saw was the blood coming from my eye balls and realizing that I was starting to kill brain cells from the large amount of time that I had been without oxygen. During that climb it hit me that I actually had no idea what Sharon’s plan was for todays “fun easy pace stroll”. Surely she knows how gravitationally challenged I am and wouldn’t want me to die. At that moment I was starting to really question her friendship and my lack of obtaining important details from the one we call Mountain Goat.
At the top of Tennesse pass 3 of the 4 riders commented on the scenery and how great life was and rainbows and unicorns. 1 of the 4 riders was frozen in fear over what was to come and who would take care of my dog when I die. Ben sensed my fear and said “don’t worry it is all downhill to Copper from here but I am going to turn around and go back down if you want to join me.” Sharon cut him off very rudely and said “yeah, you can go with him but hand over your kit now and you no longer have somewhere to stay in Vail tonight.” Ok, bye Ben and bring on Copper.
As we turned on the road to take us to Copper Sharon once again rode up next to me with a smirk and said “Fremont pass is up the way and just when you think you have hit the summit you haven’t”. Again she smirked, peeled out, and left me in her smoke. And like a true “friend” Amanda Bye all of a sudden had legs like a mountain goat and took of with her.
Alone again. I was starting to not have positive feelings about many things. I tried eating to help lift the mood but that didn’t work. I tried to think of jokes and I had nothing. I tried to sing songs but the only song I could think of was “I am a rock, I am an island” by Simon and Garfunkel.. not really the most uplifting message. The rode had a steady gradual climb but I knew I was making progress to the summit. Right as I was starting to really get fatigued yet optimistic that this pass was almost over I saw the worst thing ever. “Fremont Pass 5 miles to summit”. Oh dear God I thought I was almost to the summit and yet I hadn’t even started the freaking thing.
When they make this into a Lifetime movie this is when the ugly cry begins. Why you ask? Well because I was conducting my own ugly cry while pedaling a very very very slow speed and moving from side to side. I am NOT an emotional person and can always keep everything together but this ride had broken me. I remembered seeing on Facebook that morning that Berta was running the Leadville half marathon and I thought “please be driving this way back to Denver and please see me and be a true friend and pick me up”. No Berta = not my friend. With tears still coming down I then thought that this was me hitting “the wall” but I couldn’t hit the wall because Sharon and Amanda were so far away they would never hear my screams. It didn’t matter to anyone anywhere that I was splattered against the emotional wall and couldn’t get it together and definitely didn’t want to keep climbing. As I went through this giant therapy session with myself I then heard a rustling in the bushes to my right. I immediately prayed that the noise was a bear and it was coming to eat me. No such luck. One slow pedal in front of the other for what seemed like forever I finally came limping over to a very chipper and annoying Amanda and Sharon. Amanda punches me in the shoulder, laughs, and says “oh man wasn’t that just so hard.” I said nothing. Sharon said “are you all smiles and so proud of yourself”. I said nothing. Random guy at the top offered me snacks and asked if I was ok. I said nothing. “Don’t worry it is all downhill to Copper”. I got on my bike and tried to take the worst possible lines in every single corner at too high of a speed wishing I hadn’t put good new tires on my bike since going off a cliff would make me much happier at that moment.
We got to a gas station in Copper and I stuffed my face with everything I could find not speaking to my “friends” at all. I wasn’t sure I even cared what they were doing and if I ever spoke to them again I would just use lots of adult words. After the sweet goodness of a Powerbar and some pretzels I tried telling my “friends” just how horrible I was feeling and what an emotional train wreck I was. They were laughing at me. Maybe they didn’t understand me so I retold them “no really guys I cried and it got real real ugly out there on that Fremont pass that no one told me about” and they laughed harder. “With friends like this who need enemies” I said!
“Don’t worry girls we just have Vail pass left and then it is all downhill to my condo” smirked Sharon. I was over this day, over this ride, over these people, over cycling in general. As we started back on our way Sharon told us that Vail pass was only 3 miles literally seconds before I spotted the sign saying “Vail Pass 6 miles to summit.” LIAR I screamed when I caught my breath. By now you know what happened next.. smirk, peel out, smoke in my mouth.
I made it… very slowly and very painfully but I made it up Battle Mountain, up Tennessee pass, up Fremont Pass, up Vail pass, and back to where the day started. I had been through every emotion that day from life is beautiful to if I could find the strength to swerve in front of a passing truck I hope it would kill me instantly. I have yet to have that “oh man that was so worth it I am so cool look out king of the mountain” moment. In fact the only thing I have realized is that you truly do have to “chose your friends wisely” because not just anyone will push you to your limits and wait for you at the highs and lows to help you pick up the pieces you have broken all over the road. Aww wasn’t that really nice of me to say about my ex friends Sharon and Amanda? I am such a good FRIEND!
Copper Triangle Therapy 2012 done stamp!