Sunday, July 22, 2012

Two weekends of Training Rides - Saturday, 14 and 21 July

The last two weekends have been great. They've also been wet. For the second time in a week, I am putting on sopping wet shoes for a Sunday ride, after they've been (literally) chilling over a floor vent.

I am also OK with this.

Last weekend I rode with mentee and new participant A, who started the season guns a-blazin'. She is  strong and powerful and has great handling skills, and with a bike that fit who knows what she could do. We rode with anOTHer new participant, B, up in Cartersville, the flattish and fast BBC 48 route. We ended up doing 50, however, because in the rain we weren't able to see the road markings on the way back and just rode the route backward instead. The extra 2 miles weren't a big deal, but the buckets of rain we had for half the ride were. It was A's first time riding in a downpour, and besides the fact that our legs were getting tight from the chill (and that we were reading road markings backward), it was only the stinging of the rain hitting our eyeballs that dampened (ha!) our spirits. The ride was GREAT.

Thankfully, Strava recorded the whole thing, as my computer gave up the ghost (I killed it) when it started raining. Given that we were WAY slow on the way back in, the average speed of 15.0mph is impressive.

Details can be found here.


This weekend the team found itself back in the Gaps, and I found myself riding with survivor and alum A and my trusty sidekick D. The day started out hot, humid, and sunny, so the shade of Wolfpen Gap was more than welcome (if the grade itself wasn't). I was feeling GREAT after warming up, but A had never ridden the route in the counter-clockwise direction before and D was coming off a couple weeks of not riding much. I took the opportunity to ride up ahead of them and then descend back to where they were a few times on Neel's and Wolfpen. They looked great, and steady paces prevailed. We made it across Neel's and Wolfpen without incident, when about a mile from Suches I looked ahead and saw a big cloud of fog. As I was saying "That doesn't look promising" the sky opened up and we were caught in a downpour. We hunkered down under shelter provided by the gas station at Suches, listening for thunder in the distance (we heard it).

I knew that my brakes were already soft from the water and that I was not interested in the descent from Woody's (my favorite part of the whole ride, dammit) in the torrents of rain we were experiencing, and convinced (in a manner) D and A to ride to the top of Woody's and assess the situation from there. Well, the sky continued to piss all over us, and we hitched a ride in the bed of the SAG truck (thanks, K!) back to the start. We saw A (see last week's summary) and R, both completing their first ever gaps experience) about four miles from the finish, meaning that they BOOKED it down the hill (we were at the top with them).

I think everyone, with the exception of M, had a great experience yesterday. So proud of our team!

Maximum speed: 40.02 mph
Average speed: 9.78 mph
Distance: 30.81 mi
Time: 3.09.13
Climb: 3,954'

Details and map here.

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