Photo credit: Berry M. THANKS!
We were supposed to go out of town this weekend, but the trip fell through and so I was able to do the Bee Buzzin' Bike Tour in Greenwood SC. I knew that one of my Mitchell training buddies would be there, so I would see at least one familiar face and I also heard, that the course was pretty fast and "as flat as things get in the Upstate". Sounds like a deal to me!
Greenwood is a 1.5 hour drive from the house, so I headed out fairly early. Also, because I did walk-up registration, I wanted to make sure, that I'll be there on time. The registration went off without a hitch and I even got a t-shirt in my size out of it.
After a short pre-ride meeting (hydrate, hydrate, hydrate) we were sent off.
The ride was fast right off the bat. We were booking it out of Greenwood and on the back country roads. The first rest stop close to mile 15 came after less than 45 minutes. That was really quite speedy and all that, while catching up with my training friend. Pretty sweet hmmm? After a quick pit stop and a banana, we were on the road again. For the next 15 miles, I was able to tuck in with a group of guys that made a good pace.
We reached the second rest stop at mile 28ish close to an 19mph average (for me). So far, it has been pretty overcast, but at this point, the sun decided to come out and heat things up, like it wasn't hot enough before.
The second rest stop was also the point, where we started to head back again. As soon as we turned that one corner, it was clear why it seemed so easy so far... We had tailwind on the way out and it was also a slight downhill.
Once we turned onto Hwy 176, I found myself in a little group with two others. When it was my turn to pull, I pulled and probably overdid it
Time for a group picture!!! ;-) I started this ride only knowing one person, but ended up riding with a whole group of fun people! Thanks guys and gals for letting me tag along.
The last rest stop was at mile 48ish and we just had 15 miles left in the ride. Those 15 miles dragged on longer in my head than the 48 miles before. The sun was out in full force and my stomach had gotten a little iffy.... Besides the headwind was just brutal and yes, the downhill while heading out was now an uphill.
Eventually we made it back to Greenwood and with a 17.5mph average over the distance, this has been by far my fasted metric century EVER! Yay! I guess all those mile repeats, that the coach has me do these days really pay off!!!
Even though it was quite a speedy ride for me, there were hardly any cars left in the parking lot when we got back. I thought I saw something about lunch being served, but I couldn't find anything other than drinks and the usual rest stop food. Well, I brought my own food anyways, so it wasn't all too bad. I sure enjoyed the iced water!
Very pretty ride and yes, this is a fast and fun course without a ton of turns! Prepare for hot weather, because... it's in SC in June. The rest stops were stocked plenty with food and drinks even for us in the back of the pack. The volunteers were super friendly and there were plenty of them on the course. Definitely a ride worth the trip down there.
Extra bonus for everyone riding back to Greenville on Hwy 25... Perfect reason to stop at the Happy Cow Creamery! ;-)
Half a gallon of chocolate milk and three kinds of cheeses later...... Thank you, Happy Cows! ;-)