Tuesday, February 10, 2009

3 Gaps on the road bike

Saturday, February 8th, 2009
62 degrees, 31 miles, 3 1/2 hours

3 Gap has always been a dream of mine to accomplish. We took the shorter route of 34 miles clockwise from the Rock pile we (instead of Dahlonega as pictured) traveled straight up ascending towards Woody Gap, 3,160 feet. My first mountain climb, it was long, but I maintained my focus by keying in on my pedal stroke. Luckily Christi-Ann was there to keep me smiling and the view to my left was just spectacular. The team beat me up the mtn, but I wasn't too far behind. I was trying to push at least 7mph, but at some points I was only able to ride 4-5mph, so frustrating. I knew I couldn't push too hard, or I would never make the entire trek. I MADE it to the top and it felt AMAZING, especially knowing that I get to fly downhill for at least 5 minutes!!

The rolling hills into Suches were not too bad compared to the gigantic mountain I had just conquered. The view of the valleys and familiarity with the terrain was just invigoration. MY new Michelin tires were feeling great, and my ass was finally in my comfortable, trusty PearlIzu knickers!
Once we reached the gas station at 180, I knew it was going to be a long rolling mostly uphill, but I was determinded to not give up and blow a kiss to my beloved Lake Winfield Scott! Once the group starting rolling more than 15 mph, I always had trouble hanging on, which makes sense since I don't typicaly ride faster than that when I am training.... POINT in case::: ride in groups MORE OFTEN!!!! But, I pushed on, enjoyed the scenery, and knew that Lake Windfield was just ahead... I made it there and continued on past the lake, which had a layer of ice on top! I noticed that it must be getting pretty chilly up here at night with all the ice that was left over for my ride.
I started to hit the uphill that leads to Wolf Pen Gap. My muscles were giving out on me, I had no power to push and I was loosing speed as I started to ascend. With my team powering up the hill in front of me, out of site, I felt it would be smarter if I rode this one in the SAG car, and saved myself for the Neel's Gap climb. KISS ! Keep it Simple Stupid! This is my 1st EVER mtn ride, and the goal is to finish, not KILL myself! So, I rode up Wolf Pen in the SAG.
The decent down Wolf Pen Gap toward Vogel State Park was AWESOME! The winding road and horseshoe bends were really fun! The gravel was a bit danagerous, but I love handling my bike and had no trouble flying down on my new michelin tires. It got pretty cool on that descent, my teeth were chattering away!

Vogel State park started to show up on my right, the huge lake looming through the trees.I knew that once I hit 19 it was going to be a BIG climb. I remeber as a kid seeing the truck runaway ramps on this road, and knowing that, I knew that it was going to bee steep for a long while. I started my trek, and I felt great! I kept going and trying to make it to the horeshoe parking lot at the base of Neel's gap, once I saw that, I knew there wasn't too much further to go. It was a tough climb, but luckily Pink Floyd was singing Shine on you Crazy Diamond in my ear, and it helped me zone out and focus on keeping my pedal stroke steady! Cristiy-Ann was hung back and climbed with me, which helped a lot!

This is me almost to the top on the lef!! Robin was awesome (on right), she's a Pro! She came out to help us with riding technique and manuevering. One NOTE here to myself is: RELAX & DROP back your shoulders! It was a long ride up, but I DID it! I never gave up! I was very glad I saved myself, because I think if I would have climped Wolf Pen Gap, I may never have made it on, maybe, just saying!
Amazing Weekend. Saturday was Team training camp in Peachtree City where we rode 55 miles, practicing team manuevering and sprinting.

No comments: