I would like to do more “personal” stuff on the blog, but because my audience includes many who are only more than happy to exploit such things, I hesitate most of the time. But I’ve mentioned my cycling in the past, so I can’t see this will be a problem.
   For a long time I’ve wanted to somehow attach a digital camera to my bike while riding South Mountain, and today I did it. Here is a video clip of “the Wall,” the steepest, and of course, the last, part of the ascent to the Towers on South Mountain. You can hear me calling out the grade from my Garmin 305 GPS cycling computer, as it calculates the current grade for you. Anything over 10% is “stand up in first gear and hope you don’t fall over” steep, and you will note this clip gets me up to, as I recall, 13%. This is the last third of a mile or so to the top, ending with a great view to the south.

But, of course, once you go up, you get to go down. Honestly, I prefer climbing to descending. Sure there is a thrill, but I’m not a thrill junkie. I like my skin right where it is, and my appendages attached.

If you watch closely to the right about a minute into this clip you will see the world fall away. The drop off is 150 to 300 feet, almost straight down. If I missed that first turn I wouldn’t hit the first boulder for quite a while, but once I did, there wouldn’t be much left. This is the same cliff-face you can see in this picture; not the middle roadway, but the one just below the towers at the top, way up there. Yeah. That’s what is off to my right.
   I think I could improve the stability of the camera a bit, now that I’ve done this first run at it. It is very easy to make out despite the shaking that you are going to have due to the fact that you have a camera attached to an aluminum/carbon road bike with at least 125 to 130 lbs. of air pressure in each tire (for my fellow cyclists, I ride an ’06 Felt F65). Not an overly forgiving combination when it comes to the road’s surface.
   This morning was absolutely perfect for riding. A very, very unusual cold front came through yesterday, and it will only get up to about 92 today, which, for Phoenix in June, is just about unheard of. It was only around 70 when I started the climb today, and I guarantee you, within two months I will start that climb in the dark, 20 minutes before sunrise, and it will be a humid 94. So I was thankful for this gift of coolness!
   Yes, I know “bodily exercise profiteth little,” but that is in comparison to godliness. God created us a single whole, and when you don’t take care of the body, the mind and the spirit will be impacted, whether you want to admit that or not. I do my best work when I am in my best shape, physically. I recall that I rode over 1,000 miles while doing the final writing of The Roman Catholic Controversy, and I managed around 500 miles, I think, even during the writing of From Toronto to Emmaus. Thankfully, I live in Phoenix, where you can ride almost 365 days a year.
   So enjoy these clips. It is not quite the same as feeling the wind in your face (and seeing the cliff to your right), but it’s not half bad!

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