Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Emerald Mountain Toll Bridge Ride

Frank suggested that we depart from the retail parking lot by the north end of this toll bridge. I think I last rode over that way 4 years ago, so it sounded like a nice change of pace. The weather forecast was good, and there is more color in the leaves. Four of us shoved off at 8:00 AM, in 43F degrees, but ready to peel off layers as the mercury climbed during the day. I looked at the elevation profile on MapMyRide and thought our worst climb was in the first 5 miles. I was wrong. That climb was tough, but the toughest climb was at about mile 35. What made the 1st climb tougher was following Frank as he bolted from the parking lot at 18 - 20 mph. That's fast for me anytime, but tough on cold legs. He pulled off the lead at 2 1/2 miles and let me pull the next section, which I did at a more normal-to-me 16 - 17 mph. I was tired though and when that 1st hill came, I got off the front and let the speed wagons go by. Pete asked me at the top if I was doing okay, and I replied I just needed a moment to catch my breath. The engines did finally fire up and there were no further problems during the day. We stopped in Tallassee for water bottle refills and then looped on back. Steve and Frank both did well today and Pete is getting his legs back under him after some years off the bike. He does have some new gearing on order to handle the hills better. The route was almost all bucolic countryside. All the cotton is now harvested and the hay for winter silage is baled up.

Some of the lovely foliage we pedaled past:

I waited for Pete at a horse farm. Here I'm wearing an Ebay score; Jonewares Eddy jersey. Very comfortable!

And of course, the farm:

We were surprisingly spunky at the end of the ride. A line of Club riders zipped on past while we took a rest at a corner, and I'm proud to say that Frank, Steve, and I ran them down. Frank in fact passed them all and led most of them all the way back in. They on crabon frames, and he on his Bilenky steel ride, loaded down with auxillary battery packs for the Dinotte rear flasher. My steel bike could only catch up and pass the last 2 riders. Maybe I need some battery packs and a Dinotte? Nah, more leg would help though! In the name of full disclosure, Steve rides a carbon frame too and speaks well of it. This ride put me over my original annual mileage goal, so everything else is just gravy!  Stats: 41.2 mi at 14.2 mph, climbed 2,395'. Steepest grade was 16%. About 2,100 cals burned. (I notice a little paunch returning. Gotta get on that pronto...)

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