Sunday, April 10, 2011
We turned a corner in Brevard NC and we saw a start line and tons and tons of cyclists. It was also my first ride ever that they had us to wear numbers. I thought this was a social ride, but it looked like a race... Hmmmm... Well, I guess, if you want it to be a race, it's going to be a race and if you are there for the social ride, it's going to be a social ride. With that being said, this was the best organized ride that I have done so far. From the start/finish line activities, to the course markers, the volunteers on the course and the volunteers on the water stops.... INCREDIBLE!!! And the course.... BEAUTIFUL!!!
The cyclists were led out of town by police and there were actually spectators... Spectators!!! Not only at the start/finish area, but also on the course. Actually, there was one little old lady in her front yard maybe two miles before the finish and she was encouraging us, that we just climb the very last hill.... And we were certainly back of the pack. It just seemed like the whole community is standing behind this event and we just felt very very welcomed.
The first couple of miles, the course was a little congested, because there were just sooooo many riders and all three courses (40, 60 and 100k) were still together. At around mile 10, we hit the first major climb. It was a juicy one. Sorry for the picture quality, I had the camera in my pocket and the lens fogged up.
We followed the French Broad River for a little while... Very pretty... Seriously, the whole course was just so pretty and vegetation seemed to change every couple of miles, so there was always something to look at.
A little forced smile here, but feeling good.
Booyah.... Crossing the Eastern Continental Divide on a bike... That was a first me!
From that sign on, I didn't take many pictures anymore.... But we had an awesome downhill stretch that was just so much fun. Not to steep and not too curvy, so we got a good speed going. At the third water station, we made our first stop. That was around mile 30 and we stayed maybe 10 minutes to get some food into us... Peanut butter and jelly all the way. I tried to get a good amount of calories into me, because I knew I had a round 10 miles for the food to settle before we had to start climbing Caesars Head.
Caesars Head: The challenge of the day. Last time I climbed CH, I felt like death, so I was kind of dreading it. On the other hand, I also knew what to expect this time around and knew that I had to pace myself better. And... I had a great climb. I felt good all the way and even chit chatted with people on the way. SWEET!
After Caesars Head, we just had 18 miles left and those were just the icing on the cake. Rolling downhills and some flats.... Just booking it to the finish.
In the finish area, we parked our bike and had some post ride food and listen to the band for a little while before heading out again.
Another great training ride for Mitchell... Trucking along!