Published: 7 October 2012 // Updated with additional new photos: 18 December 2020

There are three stages to climbing a big, long hill.

First it's set out in front of you, looking like an impossible task.

Then you're on it, and your perspective closes in on the few metres ahead of you, so that you lose the context that tells you just how steep it really is, and it feels steeper in your legs than it looks to you like it should, to make you feel like you must be weak and making no progress at all.

Then you reach the top and the view opens out and suddenly you can see just how amazingly far you've come, and just how steep it is, and it looks impossible that you could have done that so fast.

There's a metaphor in that, I'm sure.

I was going to turn it into one of those adventure-metaphor-filled self-help business coaching books, but that blank page just looked too much like hard work.

Gallery: Cycling

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