Hey, I ride a triple ring anyway so triple digits seem only appropriate. I'll load up the bottle cages and jersey pockets with water and Gatorade and have at it. I've been out in real hot before and have learned to take it in stride. You just have to be aware of the signs you're burning out and not push quite so hard. The Great Dismal Swamp adventure taught me a healthy respect for heat and humidity so I won't be easily caught off-guard again. Besides, not much can scare me after the mountains in Virginia where Doc and I were playing earlier this week...
We only did about 15 miles on top of Skyline Drive but it sure went uphill for an awful long way, in percentages us sea-level riders aren't used to all in one shot. Creeper-low was the order of the day. The reward was going back down. I admit it, I cheated and rode ALL the way down the hill and back to Doc's place from our parking spot after he blew a spoke up on Skyline Drive. I know, it's against The Rules to descend a hill unless you've climbed it first but this was a special case and I'm not sure when I'll ever get the chance again. So sue me, I'm not shaving my legs either.
Ten-plus miles of twisty, fast descent was just too much to resist when the opportunity presented itself. The 2.1 got pretty twitchy and my neck cramped up but I was going fast enough coming down that I couldn't bring myself to stop and load the bike on the rack so I just got low in the drops and sprinted until I hit the driveway. It was like icing on the cake.
Riding in VA was certainly an eye-opener in more ways than one for the old guy...the terrain was much different than my accustomed upstate NY haunts and I learned a thing or two about attacking the climbs but more than that, as you might have noticed from my new cover shot, the view from the top was spectacular.
I won't go all Zen on you so let's just say it was worth the admission price in leg-burn and leave it go at that.
We might have been able to go further up the mountains if we hadn't ridden 40 miles of continuous rollers the day before and if somebody would design a spoke that can absorb Docs pedal stroke without snapping. I think we've ridden a couple times without his rear wheel going out of true for lack of spokes but I'm having a hard time remembering when. He popped one on each of our road days so we were left with only his mountain bike still rideable after Skyline.
Never ones to quit while we're ahead, we loaded up the off-roaders again and took in some nice single track until the sun went down. Dark-thirty found us grimy, whipped, sweaty and unfit for human companionship at a KFC trying to buy extra-crispy through exhaustion and hoping we wouldn't get arrested as vagrants. We looked like we'd just parked our shopping carts out by the dumpster. The counter help was happy to see us pack our bird and go.
So at the end of a three day excursion south of the Mason-Dixon, the total was about 30 miles on the mountain bike between a mid-journey detour on the C&O Canal Trail and the dirt adventure somewhere near Ruckersville with maybe 60 horizontal and a couple of vertical miles on the roadie. Not a lot as these things go but it was enough. We got out with no bloodshed or even poison ivy, just some broken parts and blown tires so it was all good. Photos taken, mission accomplished.
Now it's back to my familiar stomping grounds and still I'll be riding. I'm toying with another Century in the morning before the road gets too scorching. We'll see how that goes. And I know I said I was going to post more about the Tour de Cure too...just hang in and you'll see it pretty soon. First things first...miles.
Who said I was crazy?