The Big Hill.  It took out a lot of riders today.  You can see in the picture the folks walking their bikes.

Near the summit was a lady cheering us on:

If she’d been passing out beer half-way up that hill, it’d have been more effective

The Big Hill didn’t kick my ass, but it didn’t exactly kiss it, either.  I made it about half way . . . and found myself going slower than the folks walking their bikes.  Sweat was pouring off of me in buckets.  (You’d think someone had a hose trained on my head.)  Lungs were overtaxed and threatening to just shut down completely if I didn’t stop.

I pulled over the side of the road and got off the bike.  Stood there long enough to let the heart attack do its job.  Talked to the cheerleader lady for a bit.  She was cheering us on . . . because at the top of the hill was her lemonade stand.  If we died on the side of the road, the bodies would stack up.  She wouldn’t meet her Iowa Lemonade Quota.  Could get disbarred. De-lemon’ed if you will.