Saturday, May 22, 2010

Misty Mountains

A few pics from today's EXCELLENT ride in the Blue Ridge Mtns.  Sirena, Lori, Chancey, Barry and I did an out-and-back from Cumberland Knob to Doughton Park and back.  About 46 miles and good hills.  The low clouds, fog and rain really made the ride feel intimate.  This also helped keep the cars away and often times we were to be found 2 and 3 abreast with no cars for many minutes. 

Climbing to Doughton Park

Trying to get some rhythm going

Barry, focused.

We can't wait to do this again.  Perhaps a ride from Boone to Asheville later in the summer?  Gotta get my hill climbin' legs back...

Friday, May 21, 2010

hills, then mountains.

Image: up the famous Powerline Hill just outside Lewisville, NC yesterday.  I love that one, but Mitch was not so kind as to give any respite, so I had to hammer the whole way.  I thank thee, Mitch.

Tomorrow, a small group of us is heading to the Blue Ridge Parkway for a 50ish mile ride.  I've never ridden the BRP with a crew before, so I'm anticipating a great time.

Monday, May 17, 2010

the mountains win again.

In a nutshell, the tour du life road race caught me by surprise. I know the ups and downs of the blue ridge mtns pretty well, but I'd never really raced among them.

Barry was facing the daunting Cat 5 field, while Mitch and I lined up with the Cat 4s. As mentioned on the CLM blog, we had some stiff competition. The action started quickly as a team of zebra-looking chaps assembled at the front in arrears of Mr. Boone-Roubaix winner. The parade of pain might as well have been a funeral procession for the CLM as first Mitch went backwards shortly followed by yours truly. I managed to pass two guys on the next ascent then catch two more on the long flat before Rush Branch.

On Rush Branch, I had to say goodbye to my two compatriots (thanks for the pulls, Zeb) as they climbed away from me. In the last 12 miles, it felt as if gravity had doubled. I crept up the climbs at caterpillar speeds and at length, cramps crept in.

I was passed by three guys from the race behind me in the last 5 miles, and nearly by a guy in my own field, but thankfully he faded (with my cramps) on the last climb.

12th place in the hardest road race I've done. Needless to say, I've got some work to do in the Mountain dept. Once I get my right hamstring back to reasonable functioning, I plan to do so. Perhaps a weekend ride in the mtns? I bet I can drag some CLMers with me (most are feeling animosity towards gravity at the moment).

Ok, so I just re-read this post and agree (as you're likely thinking right now) that it is boring. Don't fear, more posts of an irresistible and profound nature coming soon.