The 5km-to-go sign had just appeared when I’d thought (or perhaps was just helplessly hoping) I was only 2km from the finish line at Wuling Pass atop the mighty Mount Hehuan. I’d been there before in November 2015 and the painful memory of that occasion came pouring back into my consciousness from the dark place where it had been safely hidden.
However, in most tough cycling rides or races, pain is only temporary, and sure enough, when 35 minutes later – yes, it took me over half an hour to complete those final 5km, which includes 1km of downhill! – I climbed off my bike at the end of our sport’s longest “hill” climb, the all-over ache was gone, replaced by endorphins flooding my brain as I basked in the glory of accomplishment, my eyes feasting in one of the wonders of the cycling world.
Click on this link to find out why Flat Spoke Media's Alan Grant believes the Taiwan KOM Challenge or its sister sportive events should be on every cyclist's bucket list.