The one constant that comes with bike touring is hills. There will always be hills. You can check Google’s terrain map, plot out a mellow day of riding and there will still be hills. They are inescapable. So how does one tackle yet another steep incline after 5+ hours of riding, exhausted legs and a tired mind? With a smile.
No matter what my mental state or how much my body complains, at the bottom of each hill I physically form my face into the shape of a smile. And even if my grin is forced at first, that artificiality quickly fades. I ignore the pain by thinking about how fortunate I am to be experiencing the world on two wheels. I wonder how much stronger my legs will be at the end of the day. But mostly I just say thank you, and of course, I smile. 🙂