2009 Specialized Ruby Sworks SL w/SRAM Red; 2006 Fuji Team RC; 2008 Felt F1x; 1980's Lotus Excelle; Mangusta FG/SS; Rossin (yet to be built up)
This is gonna be pretty short & sweet, I think....
Started with cool temps, opted for no warmers cause it was going to get up to the mid 80's and i didn't feel like carrying them around. The ride got started around 9am - BikeWNC, NealH, and myself were close to the front but not with the lead group. Those guys were fast!!!
I took off and didn't attempt to stay with either of the guys. BWNC had told me not to worry about him and treat this as an AoMM training ride, which it was...hooked up with 2 cuties in green kits from Boone maybe and 2 other guys. The 5 of us were doing well together, taking pulls (I took short ones, remembering the advice of "don't do any work, let the others pull you around") and then we got swallowed up by the group BWNC & NealH were in. Probably 30+ riders.
Lots of slowing/speeding up, which I knew was going to happen and I wasn't nearly as concerned about it as last year. Not to say, it wasn't nerve wracking, it was, but I was better prepared for it. I stayed up towards the front of this group until around 36mi, where the first climbs started. Got to this point in 1:30 and at this time, I had a 23mph avg.
BWNC and NealH caught me on the climbs, as I knew they would, both passing me. I didn't find the climbs to be all that difficult this year. Last year, I thought they were hard as hell. I eventually caught up with BWNC a few miles from Bakersville and we got to the rest stop together. 41mi/1:52/22.5avg.
I felt really good to this point - last year, I suffered and didn't think I was ever going to get to that rest stop. We refill our bottles, and set out to do the climbs on Hwy80. Not anything like it was last year. I was spinning pretty well up some of the climbs too. I started to feel a little on the bad side towards the end of the climbs on 80 - I could feel my calf getting a little tight and when I stood on some climbs, my dang quads wanted to start cramping. but, it was never enough to really cause any problems.
Reached the last rest stop, where BWNC was waiting on me...he asked, as I rolled up, if I needed to stop and I said no and kept on going! He caught up with me shortly and I pulled us all the way to the next turn, which took us off of the main, trafficky road and told him he could do some pulling. He comes on by me, says "get my wheel" and off he goes! I didn't even have a chance to!! He dropped me!!!!
So, I didn't bother trying to catch him, I was getting tired, had a headwind, and my legs were not feeling too good. Started to get a serious cramp in my inner thigh, left leg when I was very near the last climb in Burnsville. Managed to keep going and finished about 6min behind BWNC.
I am very pleased with how I rode today. 62miles/3:18hr, 3100'+/- climbing. No pictures from the first part of the ride, but if you want to see hte scenery, check out BWNC's Burnsville Metric Recon thread...I do have a couple of pics from late in the ride, but haven't downloaded....later...
Tomorrow, NealH and I are going to ride teh BRP from hte intersection of Hwy80 up to Mt Mitchell. Another training ride.
Good write up Karen, and good stats. Actually, all three of us finished within minutes of each other. The weather and visibility were great today, we had about 500 or so riders, and our dinners and lunch in the local restaurants were unusually good. I guess since life sort of moves slow in these parts, the people here have plenty of time to practice and perfect their cooking skills. They were particularly good meals.
Like last year, those first 41 miles were fast, and a bit nerve-racking. One wreck almost sent the rider over the bridge, and it would not have ended well. I'm just glad he bounced off the top of the concrete railing and back into the road. That was bad enough, but it would have been much worse had he flipped over the rail. The large groups on a roll are fun but, it takes a lot of focused attention to say out of trouble. Once the hills were upon us, the groups broke up quickly. It was much easier on the nerves from here on out.
Burnsville is really a great route. The added stop this year in Bakersville provided us with a nice view of Roan Mountain, a mountain we will be climbing later in July. We decided to drive up this afternoon from the NC side (the descent side during the event) to fill in some time. So we drove to Bakersville and, 12 miles later and 2700 feet higher we arrived at Carver's Gap. Needless to say, we didn't need the air conditioner on up there.