I completed my slowest 200k ever today - bully for me. Included in today's route is a section of road with which I have a most curious relationship. I have ridden Issaquah-Fall City Road many many times and never well. My efforts on that climb from Fall City up and over the lump between it and Issaquah range from the low end of Embarrassingly Pathetic to a high end of Merely Pitiful. Those rare times in my cycling career during which I've gained some kind of climbing acumen (read about 2 days in total) have never coincided with riding this road. I always arrive at the bottom in a state of trepidation. I grovel and tuck my tail firmly between my legs never daring to raise my eyes. It regards me with true and undisguised disdain. As I move up the road quickly exhausting my supply of low gears I am forced to rise out of the saddle to maintain some sort of forward momentum. This effort it greeted by a derisive snort. I somehow claw my way forward while gravity gains strength with each pedal stroke. The bit of asphalt just passed over now attaches itself like velcro to my butt trying to pull me back. I begin to whimper and whine and degrade myself in every way possible in hopes of appeasing the road and somehow gain that little section that likes to pretend it is the top. I begin to rejoice in my success and am quickly slapped back down to my natural level. The road tilts up again. I begin to despair but salvation comes in the form of a caterpillar or a slug or, on very bad days, some road kill that calls out "on your left" as it slips effortlessly by me seeking higher ground. The road is momentarily distracted or perhaps has become so bored with me that I begin to make headway. Yes, the end is in sight. I have triumphed (?) once again! Take that you old so and so - until we meet again!