The grade of the gravel mining road was steepening and littered with cobble-sized rocks, creating some challenges for bicycling, particularly for this novice off-trail cycler. My buddy Pete Panarese seemed to be doing a little better, riding a short distance ahead of me. But soon we were both walking our bikes. “This hill has got to let up pretty soon,” I said to Pete between huffs. “It doesn’t look this steep on the map.” (I’m quite positive these eight infamous words are eternally chorused by hikers and climbers the world over). No sooner had I uttered those words when we came around a bend - revealing another undocumented stretch of steepness.