Cycling Grenada: My Toughest 60
When you live on a mountainous Caribbean island, the amount of route options is very limited. On a daily basis, if I want to ride over 20 miles I either have to head up coast and do some pretty serious climbing or opt for monotonous loops.
I don’t like either option, really……so most of the time I put in 20+ miles and call it a day. But for a while now, I’ve been yearning for the solitude that can only come from putting in the miles.
Ever since coming to Grenada 2 1/2 years ago, I’ve considered cycling around the island. At 60 miles, the circumference ride is far from what cyclists would call a long ride…..but this ain’t your typical 60. Steep percent grade inclines, rough patches of road, and grueling heat and humidity make the ride around the island feel more like 100 miles.
When I lived in Austin, putting in 60, 80, or more miles was tough…..but so much less intimidating. What I loved about those rides was the opportunity to be all alone, to suffer, and be one with my bike. It’s a feeling only a cyclist can understand. And it was a feeling I needed to experience again.
So last week it was time. I had no idea how long this ride was going to take me. All I knew was, “it’s going to take you much longer than you’d think 60 miles would take”, based on what I’ve been told.
The first 15 miles or so was very familiar as I’ve ridden that far up the East coast several times. But after that, it was foreign territory to me and my bike. I rode through villages I had only breezed past in a vehicle, and I cycled on roads that I had only even driven once before. For most of the Northern part of the island, it was only me and my bike….and the occasional person walking by.
It took just over 4 hours to get around….and it was the toughest 60 I have ever done. Seriously. But that feeling of solitude, of wanting to achieve something, and to bust out of the box was the best feeling I’ve experienced in a very long time.
There’s nothing like time in the saddle….know what I mean?