What I thought was going to be a 60 miler - was a mistake - we were supposed to do 70 - but mother nature - once again had different plans for us - so we cut it short - to 50. From Heddonite to Wilkesboro - UUUUP and over Brushy Mountain - and back again. Good ride - Coach Mike was there but not riding due to his recent accident and healing collarbone, Stacy Irwin ran SAG - our support vehicle with tasty snacks and collected and re-distributed jackets as the weather changed.
So the first 11 were rolling hills with some climbs, but not bad. Then the turn onto Brushy MT road - and up we go - 6 miles of climbing....three hills with moderate plateaus or downhills in between...my average speed up those hills was close to if not in the single digits....lots of shifting.
The hills of Brushy Mountain were alive with the sound of my cursing, every time we rounded a corner and saw more incline...but it was good practice. Short stop at the top at the Brushy Mt Volunteer Fire Department..yes - on top of the mountain...
Then a speedy descent down the backside - 8 miles or so to Wilkesboro - to the, as Coach Mike pointed out, "there are two gas stations, one of them looks much cleaner than the other - go to that one" Saw Scott and Missy flying back as we went down - Missy joined us as a tour guide b/c she knows the course. Caroline and another woman who joined us...didn't catch her name - met up with me at the BP...we hung out avoiding the inevitable climb back UUUUUP and over Brushy.
Up and over the top, then back down...funny thing - bad road surfaces and rain make riding really exciting...for some - for me - I almost needed to buy a new pair of cycling shorts a few times. Also - will probably need some new brake pads after today.
Got back to the 11 mile point - and met up with Scott and Missy - tagged along with them for the rest - until Scott jumped in his big ring, and I got the urge to as well...really flew back over these hills which at the beginning seemed pretty challenging - but it was fun.
A few points to note:
Bad road surfaces, rain and loose gravel are NOT a good combination on any ride, especially downhills...steep downhills - that may explain the dozen or so churches we saw on the route..seriously and graveyards.
Lawn gnomes are alive and well, and apparently prospering in the brushy mountain area...a little creepy - not as creepy as clowns, but still
Running over a dead opossum on ones bike is DEFINITELY much more noticeable than in a car - and more disgusting
34-38 miles an hour may seem slow-ish in a car, but going down hill on questionable roads (see first point above) that one doesn't know - makes it seem like warp speed...quick Chewbacca - light speed...not. ludicrous speed - no doubt
Road signs for winding roads ahead should come in different flavors...the gentle "wiggly" arrow really misses the point of 90 degree turns - at 34 miles an hour on a bike.
Helmets are very good things to have, as are good brakes and an appetite for bugs, or at least the ability to be OK if one happens to fly down your throat as you are cursing at Brushy Mt
Little Debbies PB&J oatmeal pies/cookies nom, nom, nom...damn good
Brushy Mt is in fact a mountain - not a hill as facetiously advertised by one of our coaches. But it was a great ride - and excellent training for Tahoe and Fletcher - where a bunch of folks are riding the same day we ride in Tahoe
50 miles later in just over 3 hours, we finished.
Props go out to Coach Mike and Stacey for the SAG and the snacks
Great job goes out to everyone, Scott, Missy, Mark (Coach) Cat, Cheryl, Cara, Caroline, girl from BSG I didn't meet.
Tahoe here we come!