Thursday, July 06, 2006

26 to go

Rides that is. When I got my Wobble-Naught fit, Tom told me that it would take 30 days of riding for the body to get used to the new setup on the bike. So far, I've had four days of riding on the King Kikapu, still the only bike that's been Wobble-Naughted for me. I can definitely tell that I'm using and developing different muscles, primarily my Rectus Femorus and my Tibialis Anterior. They weren't being worked enough before.

The Fourth of July holiday weekend was excellent. Eddie and I took Jackson and Porter up to Dahlonega where we met Harvey, Lauren, and Fontana at Eddie's coach Josh's house for the weekend. We had two great days of riding. The first was in the Bull Mountain area, nice long one. To my surprise I actually rode most of the steepest section of trail that is always a hike-a-bike for me on Bare Hare. I can definitely see a major improvement in my steep ascending skills, just on my 2nd Wobble-Naught ride- yay me! The next day was spent riding the Helen race course which was soooper hot I wanted to crawl into a pool of ice and fall asleep in it. But, instead I opted to severly torture myself more by joining Eddie and Harvey on the 9 mile gravel road climb..that in the middle of the day in July seems like 25 miles. The gravel is dense, the road is steep, and there wasn't much shade. I had done the climb once before, but it was in January and it was it was actually much more pleasant and fast then. I actually had to walk a bit and took a long break where I laid down on the side of the road in what seemed like the only patch of shade I encountered all day. I laid there for what seemed like 20 minutes, but it was probably less. No sign of Eddie, so I figured no one was coming to look for me and my only choice was to go on..I mean up. The only motivation I had was the descent down Hickory Nut which is 7 FUN miles full of rocks and other obstacles that are just waiting to grab your wheel and take you down. It was also the entire reason for doing this ride, so I spun onwards. I finally made it to the top and just as we started the descent Harvey and Eddie saw a BIG bear. Luckily I missed it. But unluckily, I was following Eddie's lines down some rocky stuff and flatted...yikes. All I could think about was the fact that there were bears nearby and I really really really didn't want to see another one. Soon enough, we were headed back down. Funny, as soon as the hill turned downwards, I felt so much better. The entire day's ride took much longer than expected, but at least I did it. It was one of those "character-building" rides.

On Tuesday, we went up to Ellijay for the Cartecay Bikes annual 4th of July ride. There was a big crowd that was splitting up into A, B, and C groups. Unfortunately, the A group was the only one doing the long mileage, but it was about 10 guys that are super fast. No girls...Eddie sort of made me feel like a wuss for wanting to back out of the A ride, but I decided to just do the A ride anyway, even if I ended up riding most of it alone. As soon as we took off, I was dropped on the first gravel road climb. Great. It was going to be a long day, and my legs were pretty cooked from the long week of riding, but I went on alone. I ended up flatting on the descent from the upper Bear Creek trailhead, and had completely forgotten to replace my spare tube from Sunday's flat...major d'oh. And there was no one around. I descended the rest of Bear Creek and started up Pinhoti...up up up, still no one to be found. I stopped a couple times to refill the air in my tube but it really wasn't helping, so I basically rode up and over Pinhoti on my rim..luckily it's a bomb proof rim and I didn't do any damage..even though I ripped up the tire. When I finally reached the gravel road again I happened to run into Bruce Dickman and he so kindly let me have one of his tubes and CO2. Soon I was on my way again. I decided to ride a bit more to get in some more miles and ended up finishing just as the other groups were, so all in all the day was not a total waste. I wished I had gotten to ride with a group, but solo riding is always nice too.

The rest of this week is focused on getting into Grad school..then more bike time this weekend!


Blogger Danielle said...

The day I see a bear on a trail is the day that I instantly become the fastest biker in the world! I've heard that the bears usually get scared and run away, but with my luck I would get the one bear that didn't. Scary!!!

2:34 PM  

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