I hate hill-climbing.
I first started riding back in my late teens after I had moved out of the free room and board and free use of a vehicle at my dad’s and into an apartment in Kits. I was working and going to school at UBC then, which meant pedaling up the 8th Avenue hill come rain or shine or dark of night. Then I applied to and got accepted at a photography school in California so I packed my belongings, including my bike, and headed south.
The school I went to was in Santa Barbara, nestled against the Santa Ynez Mountains. There three campuses, two were in the Riviera and the other was in Montecito. While most of the students would pile into their cars to get across town, I would jump on my trusty metal Norco, ride down that very narrow mountain road to Five Points and then up the narrow mountain road on the other side. I got better at hill-climbing during those three years but never did come to like it.
When I moved back to California a few years after school, I met a photographer whose work I had always admired. Although he lived in Oregon he often travelled to his jobs and rented the studio in Los Angeles I was in at the time. We worked well together and for the next three or four years I was lucky enough to learn from one of the best.
GlotmanSimpson started their Cypress Challenge to raise money and awareness about pancreatic cancer about the time I started riding again. While I will always be a proud supporter of the BC Cancer Foundation, I really had no urge to ride up Cypress. I could just donate money.
That changed in 2011. My mentor was on a job in Los Angeles and didn’t feel well. He saw his physician when he got home, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died a mere ten days later. Since then I have had no excuse not to do the climb. Damn him.
I hate hill climbing.