Friday, December 3, 2010

At least you don't get cold with all the climbing...

Yesterday was the big interview day for my Greencard. Terry and I took the day off work, not because we thought it's going to take all day, but just because we could. After spending not even 45 minutes in the office, we were all set and done, approved, seal in the passport and out of the door. SWEET!

We had a cycling date with my training partner (Stacy) for AOMM at noon in Tigerville. On tap was a lot of climbing and enjoying the afternoon off... It was cold yesterday, but of course, there are no bad conditions, only bad clothing choices. We sure layered up.

I am wearing: long winter bibs (bibs are a pain for a pit stop, but great for the rest of the time... unbeatable!), base layer under short sleeve cycling jersey (a girl can dream that it's going to be warm enough to ride without jacket) under cycling jacket. On my head a cap that covers the ears (under the helmet)... That's probably my favorite piece of gear right now. On my feet: thin cotton socks, wool socks, toasty toes and neoprene covers over the shoes. On my hands: wool cycling gloves and thicker fleece gloves in my back pocket just in case.

In the background you can see Terry's new ride about to head out on her maiden voyage! Looks like he made a great choice for himself, he really likes the bike... YAY!

By the time we started at Tigerville, it was close to 12.30pm and sunny. With all my layers and the sun out, I was toasty from the get go. I even worried, that I had too many layers on.... But not for long. Once we hit the Greenville Watershed area, we were under tree cover and it got cooler right away. Also, the sun was covered up with clouds. But as long as we were climbing (and we climbed a lot) it was quite warm. The first 20 miles, I unzipped my jacket on the uphills and then zipped it up again for the downhills and that worked pretty good with regulating the temperature.

The higher we climbed, the colder it got and the further we got into the mountains, the darker it got. By the time we got to Flat Rock it was dreary and chilly. We stopped at the gas station for a little pit stop and get some food into us... Twix anyone? I so didn't feel like my Powerbar gel blasts! That was one yummie Twix! Terry went overboard with moonpie and a hot dog! I am not kidding!

Since the Flat Rock stop was a little on the longer side, we were pretty cold by the time we hopped back on the bikes. Stacy had frozen toes, but fortunately, I did pack an extra set of toasty toes that seemed to do the trick. My fingers were numb for the next couple of miles, because between Flat Rock and Saluda is actually fairly flat or downhill for a while until you finally start climbing again and get a chance warm up. On this stretch of road, we actually saw icicles hanging from rocks at the side of the road... BRRRRRRRRRR!

Originally, we wanted to stop by at Keith's triathlon shop in Saluda. He rode along with us for a couple of miles on the Watershed Road and we wanted to say hi again, but it had already gotten so late until we finally arrived in Saluda, that we didn't even stop, but started to make our way back down right away.

I was very happy that my fingers didn't go numb on the way down. I am not a very gifted downhill rider, so you won't see me zipping down the hills any time soon. When my fingers go numb in the cold, I always get nervous, because I feel like I can't grab my brakes properly. But everything went just fine and the downhills are not that steep, so I hardly made use of my brakes.

In the last couple of miles from the end of our ride, the sun came back out. Well, for us it came back out, but I think that the sun was out in Tigerville the whole time and we only ended up riding around in the clouds that got stuck in the mountains.

We ended up with 45 miles in 3h 15m... That's a good start to AOMM training. Also, with each ride, we seem to get our gear needs dialed in better. Seriously, being cold is just such a mental barrier for my riding, but so far this wintery riding season, things have been fairly toasty.

Happy weekend everyone!

1 comment:

  1. In germany it is to cold for riding bike. We have many snow. I think it is very dangerous for me and for the other people. I have only a racing bike with small wheels. I think, the people with a mountain bike would have many fun here.
    I hope you knee will be better today