An uphill struggle

healy pass

Question: Why the repetition. You posted this photo last week???

Answer: Yea (with attitude) But it’s relevant, OK??

Question: Why?

Answer: Well,  I drove along this route today in the midst of an oncoming bicycle race and it was ..horrible… there were thousands of them, all coming at me, lycra-ed from head to toe.

Question: What madness would possess you to do this?

Answer: Aversion tactics. I needed bread, milk, toilet rolls…and  I thought I’d make it home before the onslaught.

Verdict: It was a big mistake.


We have a dog called Willow. German Shepherd.  Lovely dog, good as gold. The problem is that she has spatial awareness challenges. It manifests itself when she runs at speed. In her head she wants to gallop up alongside you and be your best friend.  In reality she crashes into the back of your thighs knocking you for six and is your enemy.

And some cyclists are a bit like Willow. Having negotiated the steep climb up the mountain, they want to free wheel all the way down the other side as FAST as they can. (note how twisty and windy this route is) The problem is that they have spatial awareness problems….

And me.. a nervous driver. A very nervous driver (Picture me, crawling up this mountain pass at 10 miles an hour)

When it comes to nervousness I probably deserve a gold medal.  I spent 48 years on this planet unable to drive. This year, I took the plunge-did the lessons, passed the test and took to the road…cautiously.

Anyway back to the race. What worried me was that I had far more concern for the safety and well being of the cyclists than some of the cyclists themselves.

Why else  would they cycle two, three abreast on this road?? Why would they overtake each other in the face of an oncoming car-albeit it, one driving at snail’s pace?

Why would they take photo’s of the scenery as they negotiated the arduous climb to the top.. something which caused them to wobble precariously when they realised the approaching snail was a motorised vehicle??

And then, when they get to the top of the mountain, the euphoria made them oblivious to my tension filled hill starts as they lay, prostrate on the road,

I can’t tell you how happy I was when I arrived home.. successfully having avoided all the cyclists who hurtled themselves at my car, had a cup of tea and prepared for the second challenge of the day… donkey castration. Ah, the life of a country gal….






37 thoughts on “An uphill struggle

  1. The Cyclists’ Revenge! They’re normally vastly outnumbered by cars, so when the situation was reversed they made the most of it! Incidentally, I think the Healy Pass is a nice symbol of life in general. It wanders all over the place, up hill and down dale, without rhyme or reason, with superfluous twists and turns, but still actually gets somewhere in the end…

    Liked by 5 people

  2. As someone who is a nervous driver, I can’t imagine driving that road without any traffic, much less with a hoard of cyclists on it. I commend you for your courage. 🙂 That’s a beautiful picture.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh my goodness, can you weave a tale! I’ve many perilous trips for the basic necessities of life, and I can relate! But I have never come home to castrate a donkey, so there is that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had a similar experience last year when I inadvertently drove to my yoga class in the opposite direction to a cycling competition. Not only were the cyclists riding 3-4 abreast on small, twisty turny roads but they were accompanied by imperious ‘guards’ on motorbikes gesturing at cars to keep over and supporters who stopped their cars to take photos and gawp so that you had to sit behind them, helpless and fuming, unable to overtake due to the constant stream of bikes coming from the opposite direction. Even (a curtailed) yoga session was not enough to calm me.

    I’ve never castrated a donkey but, if I’d had the means on that day, I might have tried out the procedure on a cyclist or two.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Since we are a cycling family, I’m used to hearing stories only from the cyclist’s perspective. How interesting to get the driver’s perspective.
    I’ve never driven into a race of any kind but I’m better sure it would not be pretty! … although not nearly as brutal as the poor donkey’s day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh you poor thing! How stressful that must have been for you! I do have to give you a round of applause though for going out and getting your license! That must have been kind of scary!

    I hope your donkey is recovering nicely. 😀


    Liked by 1 person

      1. For what it’s worth, I don’t have a license either. It’s a long story, but when it expired a few years ago, I wasn’t able to renew it. So, you weren’t alone in your license-free state! 😀


  7. Hahaahaa! Hilarious, truly. You are so funny Marie and you can spin an excellent yarn.. You see, most people would have written that as a sob story or as a moan, but not you. It’s your approach and attitude that makes you special – love it. Although, in the final sentence I’m not sure who I feel most sorry for – you or the donkey. What a terrible task to have to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my- what a lovely thing to say. Thanks so much- and there is good news on the donkey front. Despite a horrible ordeal- much worse than I could have anticipated, they are actually fine. Things are healing up, and they literally galloped up to the mountain today-in search of new grass.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Terrific post! We have groups of cyclists in our area as well, and most of courteous and careful. But there are a few who behave exactly as you describe…and we live in a busy urban area! It makes me so nervous when I see that, for everyone involved. Thanks for making it funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I live in a small town that is known for cyclists. They come from all over the place to ride on the quiet bike path, and then cycle themselves around the streets and subdivisions of this area. They will get in your way, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident. I understand your stress. Now as for the donkey… no experience at all with that sort of difficulty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Part of me is really happy that people cycle. It’s such a sustainable, healthy activity- and most cyclists are very courteous, like most motorists- but there’s always the one…


  10. Oh my gosh, Chez Shea! What an experience. Light and blessings to all of those bikers, and to you as you traverse the country roads. 🙂
    Gorgeous photo, by the way. I love seeing it twice! Blessings, Debbie


  11. Hey, that’s amazing that you just go t your licence. I’m the same age as you and have never driven. I’ve now concluded that I will not learn (either to drive or to castrate donkeys). While you haven’t changed my opinion on that, I really admire that you went out and passed your test. Posh x

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks so much. I spent years being terrified at the thought of driving- I kept starting to learn-then dropping it again. I still don’t like driving much- but it’s not as bad as I built it up to be in my head.


  13. I felt sorry for you all the way to the end…then I felt sorry for the donkey!:-). You made it safe and sound in the end…so I would say, it is a victory for you.:-)

    Liked by 1 person

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