Monday, June 26, 2006

Blood Sweat and Gears

I love the name of this race, BSG. I did the BSG ride last Saturday. Oh that was a tough one. So many hills/mountains. It took place in the western part of the state in the mountain communities of Watuagua County. One of the big landmarks there is Applachian State University (the other ASU, since me and Lisa are totally partial to the real ASU - Arizona State).

We took off w/ the threat of scattered thunderstorms, but the good Lord was good to us and the rain held off until the event was over. There were 672 riders doing the full century (100 miles) and another 335 doing the 50 miler. The ride was billed as 13,000 feet of climbing and also as one of the spots Lance Armstrong used to train in. The race is so popular that it sold out.

At first I felt sluggish then about 10 miles into it I starting getting a little zip to my legs. It was probably that first early climb that woke me up. The initial climbs went good and I just soaked in the awesome scenery of the mountain ranges. Man its really pretty up in the western part of the state.

Throughout the ride I hung on w/ different groups of riders and also spent some considerable time solo. The most streneous part of the ride was a climb called "Snake Mountain". The grade was advertised as 18-20% in the steepest section. I did see a number of riders stop and walk their bikes up this section. I managed somehow to keep the cranks turning and made it to the top w/o stopping.

All in all it was a good day. I finished w/ a time of 6 hours 41 minutes. That put in 369th out of 672 riders for the 102 mile ride. I'm not sure if I'll do this again next year. My weight picked up a bit after IMAZ; I'm now at 182 lbs. Before IMAZ I got down to 176lbs. Although its not a lot of weight gain, I feel it, especially on hilly rides.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

3 Mountain Madness

June 3rd I did the 3 Mountain Madness bike ride up at Pilot Mountain, NC. That was one tough ride. I did the 75 mile version, however there was a 95 mile version as well. The ride consisted of 3 climbs interspersed w/ a bunch of rollers in between. The total elevation climbing was billed as 9280 feet.

The first climb was up Sauratown Mountain. The GPS topo map showed that this climb was ~1500 feet. I had a 12-27 cassette installed on my bike and I stayed in that 27 tooth cog for the complete climb. I had good energy and the weather was ideal so this climb went pretty good.

The 2nd climb was up to Hanging Rock park. This was the easiest of the climbs. I got through this one w/o much problems. It came up at about mile 30 and I was still feeling kinda fresh. I saw my buddy Dave passing me on the way up and he told me that the last climb was more difficult.

I hung on w/ a group of riders that I believe were from Greensboro. There was this one lady that was kinda funny. I had my Ofoto jersey on, and see would keep shouting out "Ofoto" when I'd push the pace a bit on the climbs. I got to the point of looking forward to her shouts and pulling that good energy from here enthusing.

The test. The Pilot Mountain climb. This climb was tough, tough, tough. It came up about mile 62. At this point I'm a bit spent and I still have this climb in front of me. Obviously I dropped down into the 27 and started spinning up the mountain. At first it was good, but quickly I started fading. About 3/4 of the way up, I was reaching the breaking point where I seriously considered stopping, the only problem was how would I start back? I eventually made it up to the top. It started getting pretty warm, so I unzipped my jersey for the climb. I felt like those guys on the Tour with there jerseys flying open for the climb.

All in all it was a great ride and day. I enjoyed myself and I'm looking for the next mountain adventure, "Blood, Sweat, and Gears" this Saturday in Valle Crusis, NC.