Monday, June 22, 2009

Sufferfest, 15 Cows, New riders

Anticipating a good group ride, I was awake early (5:30am) and ready to go. It's been some time since I rode with the group and I anticipated a pretty good thrashing. At 6:20 when I stepped out the door I was met with an unusually warm blast of air, it was already 80°F.

There was one rider out with his first ride with the group, and another on his second. We started out with plenty of spirit, and everyone was staying close together. Turning right on Alabama rd, we hit the Red Clay climb and the group shattered, I was fortunate to stay with the first 3 riders. Regrouping we turned right on Wilhoit, and the pace immediately hit 26mph, slowed slightly at the intersection of Mt Vernon, then ramped back up. I stayed with the group for 23 minutes and an average speed of 21mph.

Not wanting to come home on a litter, I decided to drop off and find my own route.

I headed north on Carson/Wesslyann/Weatherly Switch. Dropping down the hill on the east side of Weatherly Switch, just passed the sharp curve in the road, I came across some cattle that had escaped the confines of their pasture intent on making the best of their freedom. Pounding on the farmers door early Fathers Day morning is not the best way to make friends, but they were grateful and quickly rounded up the strays.

Continuing to Blue Springs rd I headed north. Knowing my path might intersect the returning group, I paused on the corner of Blue Springs Rd/Bell and watched the very competent Rick H get top honors as king of the mountain.

After chatting with the regrouping riders, I climbed Lead Mine Ridge and spent an hour with my father.

After leaving my father's house, and adding 25 more meandering miles to the odometer, I returned home, very hot, and very tired.

Before leaving I weighed in at 215, upon returning I weighed 209. Adding the half gallon of water I drank on the road, I lost a total of 10 lbs while riding.

Planned Route:

Ridden Route:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dug Gap Road

This ride was a continuation on a theme; Ride with M.G., swap out 2 mile pulls, pull too hard, find a big hill to climb, try to make it back home.

Using Google maps to find a route we went south out of Apison, Bill Jones, Old Salem, Rifle Range road, and crossed over 75 to turn right on Bandy. Bandy turned into Old Ringgold, Old Ringgold turned into Tate, Tate into Lower Gordon Springs. On Lower Gordon Springs we were greeted by a chasing pit bull (slowed him down with some water in the face, but he didn't give up easily).

We turned left on Henderson Rd (Very rough) which soon deteriorated further into a mix of pounded pavement/gravel. M.G. wasn't too happy with this state of affairs but we didn't puncture and finally came out on GA 201. From there we headed east across the ridges to our Dug Gap destination.

Never having been in the vicinity, we didn't know what to expect from the climb. It didn't disappoint. The elevation gain started right after Hurricane Creek and got serious when the road turned north. I immediately found my lowest gear and started turning survival circles. Arriving at the top dripping from every pore, we stopped to eat and drink.

From there we dropped down the east face, skirted Dalton and rode up Crow Valley, past Lake Kathy, through Mt.Vernon Valley, and returned home down Apison Pike, tired and worn down, but grateful for another epic ride.

Dug Gap from the west is 1.75 miles of 7% grade, starting at 800' and ending 1453' for a 653' climb.

Climb Stats:
average speed - 5.8mph
average power output - 260 watts

Ride Stats:

Moving Time (h:m:s) 3:49:15
Distance (mi) 64.97
Moving Speed (mph) 17.0 avg. 46.1 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) 5,663

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Loosing Interest,

in blogging that is.

Last night was a typical training ride. Slow out of the neighborhood, a few hard sprints and pulls, return home at dusk.

25 miles/17+mph