Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Camp report #3: Another one bites the dust

Today started out pretty good; left @ 9a for another MTB ride. It was rather chilly to start out, maybe 40F. I decided to run full leg warmers and several layers up top to fight off the cold. Good choice. I never got too hot as long as I was diligent with unzipping layers when we started to climb.
Sad to report we had another derailleur hanger issue today. Zach did a better job of snapping off his derailleur hanger completely off.

Good thing he's a top notch mechanic. That makes two days of making a makeshift single speed. Today was an advanced challenged since he was riding his Giant Anthem with 3.5" of rear wheel travel. As we were really close to a sweet fire road climb (and thus descent) that Zach wanted to do, we snapped a group photo in the missing man formation to honor him:

The afternoon's road ride was a shorter one where we were targeting around 60 miles. It peaked out on Stecoah Gap at 3165 ft.
The gradient you see is what we climbed, but the descent was just about the same. The road ride seemed to have a universal head wind. This was ok on the descent but I still had to pull around 350W to stay above 40 mph. This was necessary because I had to chase back on the group since I was slow to roll out. You see, mobile phone coverage is non-existent at the village and this was the first time in days we were able to get any signal.
Back to the ride... the road out of Robbinsville had a few rollers but most of it was a false flat down, at least until the climb up to Deal's Gap. I threw down on the climb and won, naturally. I took a "little nature break" at the gas station on the top and came out to an empty parking lot. Apparently they thought I said move on but I didn't. Eh well, I figured a nice solo ride back to the cabin wouldn't be that bad... it's only 11 miles, right?
Wrong. Add in what seemed like a universal headwind and some tired gams to pretty much stink up my chase. I just decided to roll in to save whatever strength I had left for the 1 mile climb back to the village.
I really hope this is my bad day on the bike. It sure felt like it. I think tomorrow will be a semi-easy spin (with this many hills, tho, that may be hard) for a few hours to recover for Friday's epic 7-11 ride with an unpaved service road at the 50 mile mark. Did I mention it will rain? Yeah, that is going to be epic for sure.

I'm beat.


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