I woke up Saturday morning with a little bit of a hangover. Water, gatorade, and finally a couple advil took away that pain and after a huge migas burrito for Hennessey and myself, we made out way to the far and were on the road by about 11am I was loaded with a rack, my sleeping bag, thermarest, and a stuff sack with my food and clothes.
Ivan the beer man and Thad had bob trailers, and Hennessey was riding his SS road bike with a rack and panniers, and a tent on top. Thad was also riding a SS, but he was also on 26" wheels God bless him. From the beginning, we could tell it would be a much longer day than originally anticipated. We made out first stop at the gas station in Leipers Fork after 9 miles.
It was a good opportunity to adjust and force Dan to buy food instead of him having to ride alone into town once we get to our destination. He thanked us later. We continued on and stopped after a little while so I could lower my saddle which had really been bothering me and we all got a snack.
A few more miles and we were in fly for a soda and another snack. Slow going so far, and we had been on about the flattest part of the trip. We also happened to be riding into the wind the whole time. After a long slug up the hill out of Fly, we were on the Trace, heading south.
We were tending to stay grouped pretty well, often chatting or whatnot, when all of a sudden a Trace patrolman rode up behind us and scolded us for not riding singlefile So, in other words, it is our responsibility to squeeze over against the side of the road so that cars could squeeze by use without getting over into the other lane.
I guess that makes sense. Don't want the cars to have to slow down on this "recreational" highway nor have to pass us with any clearance like they would another car. From that point on, we tended to stay in a single file configuration, but I also made a point of riding a little further out in the road to assume my own space. After a couple of really long gradual hills, and then a couple of really long not-so-gradual hills, we landed at the Merriweather Lewis campground..
We setup tents, started a fire, prepared a stove to cook dinner, put on somewhat warmer clothes, ate our dinner, drank our personal sleep-inducing medications Ivan's cherry wine being the most inventive , and then, as we sat by the fire to stay warm, we realized it was only about 6pm and no one was ready to call it a night So we hung out by the fire for a couple more hours, keeping the heat coming, swapping stories, eventually figuring out we could move the picnic table over to be more comfortable, and then, soon enough, becoming hungry again.
But we had already exhausted most of our supplies, and we knew we would need what we had for the ride the next day. So we started dreaming of pizza, and through the use of the google txt message service, got the number of a pizza hut in town. We called them up, and wouldn't you know it, the one driver they had on their schedule for that night had called in sick, so there was no one to bring us pizza.
After scheming for a while about how to get more food that nigth, we eventually decided it was mostly useless and instead re-routed out ride home on Sunday to go through Columbia, where we would get some breakfast. We each trickled off to the sleeping bags and found some sleep among the cold air and the yelping of coyotes. In the morning, I got out of the sleeping bag and tent just in time to warm by the fire that Ivan was stoking. After a leisurely morning of breakfast, two percs of coffee, and a roaring fire, we finally headed out by about 11am.
I was still cold, and the overcast sky didn't promise any warmth that day. It never delivered what it didn't promise, so none of us removed much clothing after the first cold downhill. We found the road to Columbia, which we had estimated to be about 12 miles to be actually But we rode there and found a great little cheap 24hr sandwich shop in the historic area. We had a big breakfast of eggs, pancakes, bacon That fueled us all the way home. We rode up 31 all the way to Franklin and then back out to the farm.
At one point, I felt some sprinkles, but didn't want to say anything. The rain held out for us, and we managed to get back with no crashes or mishaps at all. Not even any flat tires. Just some fatugued muscles and joints and a great feeling of accomplishment. After the finish, we went and got what we deserved That was the perfect way to spend some time talking about our trip and enjoying what we had just accomplished.
And a fitting way to end what was a great weekend. So I was reading a write-up from a fellow who finished the Grand Loop race last year.
His descriptions were very informative and quite inspiring. There are other post-ride musings by others online, but often they talk about how difficult it was and all that jazz. One guy, for instance went on and on about how much he suffered which I am sure he did - everyone does from the heat and how he was stopping all the time, but then at the end it talks about how he was close to breaking the record and was busting it to finish.
He missed the record by about 8 minutes. Very cool, but all that tells me is that he is very fast and that everyone suffers. I can identify with him more than the others. He slept a decent amount and just kept a slow, steady pace. By the end, he was wishing he had ridden harder because he felt he could have.
For him, it was more or less 4 long days in the saddle with sleep each night and he still finished in less than 4 days without doing much racing. Makes me think that I could do even better if I take in a little less sleep. When thinking about preparing for this race, I keep thinking saddle time and training is the most important, but I am not so sure. Saddle time is definitely a big thing in order to last, but psychology plays a bigger role.
I think that doing rides and such leading up to this one in order to build experience and confidence will be the best training. This weekend was very busy with bike related stuff.
Friday night included a trip to the taproom for a couple beers, barely making last call it seemed. That place was ripping. Ivan was there and showed his generosity. Not my idea, and while I was hungry and they have great sandwiches, I wanted to go home and get sleep before the early morning Woke up Early Saturday morning, about , in a little of a beer haze, but it was just as much a sleepiness haze. We spent about 3 hours taping off what seemed like the entire 2 mile cyclo-cross course.
Thad and I each did a side while Dan the man Werle went about doing all of the other things that needed doing before a race could be had. After walking miles up and down hills and raking leaves and such, I changed the tires on my bike to my cx tires and rested for a while before the race. Race 2 was a good course that flowed pretty well. It was not easy though. It was one of those courses where you notice the uphills much more than the downs and you never seem to be on a flat section.
I started out pretty easy not wanting to burn up, but I also didn't feel much quickness in my legs. I was in last place for almost the entire first lap. I wasn't far off from the next position, but I couldn't seem to bridge up to him. I held a very steady pace my lap times were all within abotu 20 sec of each other ; so I felt pretty good about my race It was at that point that the hotshot that was leading the race by a large margin lapped me on his last lap.
What that meant was that my race was over one lap early and I didn't get to finish with the rest of the group. I was a bit disappointed. On the other hand, I was more motiviated to not be lapped in the next race. After that race, by about 2pm, almost everyone was gone So guess who got to tear down all of that tape we put up that morning Repeat of Saturday on Sunday but at Seven Oaks Park, which we would learn toots one of the best frisbee golf courses in the world.
Who would've thought? Dan had already completed much of the work. Thad and I finished up some of the details for him on the completed sections, and then we got to more taping. This included adding to part of the course that was routed through the woods. We finished a bit faster this time and had a little more time to hang out and such before the race.
Race 3 was loads of fun. The course was very diverse and had the right kind of hills but also alot of flat sections to keep things moving. I had a little more quickness in my legs this time around. I didn't go out last amd I was able to pass one or two people in the course of the first 3 or so laps. From that point on, I held my position, being passed only by a couple speedy masters riders who started a minute after us.
I was also not even close to getting lapped. I felt I was able to push harder than on Saturday and also sustain my effort longer. I think Saturday's race actually primed me better for Sunday, and I guess being better positioned also helped keep me motivated.
I finished strong and, once again, posted very consistent lap times. This was a better day for me. Following the race, the cleanup went alot faster. Dan decided that maybe we didn't need to roll up all the tape. We were out of there by about and home to rest. Initially the book looks like the ponderings of a person who lived a year without buying anything. Upon closer examination, it is a little more realistic, describing a year with very minimal purchases. This is a way I have been trying to live lately.
More by necessity than anything else. What it has turned into, however, is an examination of my own priorities. For instance, it is usually more important for me to have that guiness at the bar than to go out to lunch when I can just pack a sandwich in the morning. Sometimes it is more when I run out of some essentials… but nut much more.
This total does typically include beer and pringles and fresh fruit and stuff to make migas on weekend mornings. I also try to keep some stuff around that Emma likes to eat. I prefer to save money to buy stuff I really need like bike tires and such instead of just nickel and diming it away.
Expensive meals out are very overrated. As are new clothes. I also tend to ration gas for my element. I could certainly do a better job of this by riding to work and such… maybe I will do that again soon. Another area where I am cutting back is in the collection of things.
I rarely buy books because most can be found at the public library. I still have some collections that I am unable to part with pint glasses, old dirt rag magazines…. One of these days, if I ever have a house of my own, it will be empty.
So maybe I need to keep that in mind. Or maybe I just get a house that fits this lifestyle… like a motorhome. So I guess my main motivation for this, like I mentioned, is currently necessity. In the long run, I would like it to be freedom. Maybe freedom from working for the man. Maybe freedom to travel.
Or maybe just simply the freedom from having all that stuff. Emma raced and won. She wore the 1 numberplate. She was the only kid in the kid's race, but she showed her chops by riding about half of the course. She was a champion the way she climbed over those barriers. My race was not so successful. I did manage to make it over the barriers and up the stairs and around the course without any major mishaps, but I also managed to get lapped so that my lap count was one less than the winners.
The winner in our race was flying. I ended up 8th out of 10 in my class. It was a fun time, but it did hurt like a cyclo-cross race should. Two weeks until the next suffer-fest. Sunday, after a morning of coffee, relaxation, and giving my mountain bike some love, Thad and I headed down to Columbia TN for some mountain biking.
There were a bunch of people there riding, including the chump rep from Lynskey, a Gran Fondo racer dude, an old-school rider on a sweet rigid vicious and a few other guys. Forgot password? Keep me signed in. Your email? The email you used to create your account. The last part of your Myspace URL. Ex: myspace. Facebook Twitter Email. Full Name? Most people use their real name.
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That's all I noticed that hasn't already been mentioned, above. Thanks again for this great article! Thanks Reidgreg , I was puzzled as to why SnowFire wanted me to change the sentence in a way which didn't seem to change its meaning but seemed to me to be clumsier. As Canadian English is not my strong suit I made the change, but now I understand why.
The original is unambiguous in British English, but clearly doesn't travel well. How about 'Before it could be carried out the order was countermanded and the village was spared. This isn't responsive to the previous sentence. Anythingyouwant talk , 25 November UTC.
I was wondering if I could have permission to post another nomination. I am painfully aware that this one hasn't attracted a character's worth of review for a month, so if your view is that I should be scaring up further reviewers for here, rather than thinking about my next one, I would entirely understand.
Nick-D , Reidgreg , and SnowFire : , did you have anything to add? Looking to promote but I think we can improve the opening A place-marker. I'll be back with comments shortly if the review is still open. Tim riley talk , 26 December UTC. Thanks for marking this as the answer.
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