Sunday, March 22, 2009

Blue Collar Training

Saturday brought sun and uh, not really warm temperatures to Tennessee. It wasn't wet though and it wasn't as cold as it has been so I took the opportunity, along with a few pals, to head to the hills for some mountain riding.

This time it was the road bike's day to get out and see the country side. The route for the day was a fairly short (50ish miles) trip over the border into North Carolina and back but it included two major climbs - Spivey Gap, and the much-feared Indian Graves Gap. A lot of work for such a short ride. It was sunny but pretty damned cold still and a lot of the descents were shaded which made it even worse. Still, it was better than the rain, ice and snow we have had off and on all winter.
Pretty much any trip from Tennessee to North Carolina is going to take you into the mountains and this route is real popular with the roadie crowd due to the good roads, relatively light traffic and fairly tough climbs to whip your butt into shape.

Not a big deal in a car but on a bicycle, to get to North Carolina from Tennessee will make you work for it.

At the bottom of Spivey on the NC side, we stopped to regroup and grab a snack. The Grand Finale of the day would be coming up in just about 12 miles - Indian Graves Gap. IGG is a true bastard among climbs. It is a stairstep climb with 4 steep pitches separated by some fast descents and rolling flat stuff. You cannot get into a good rhythm and you will hurt if you choose to go that way.

Something wicked this way comes...........

It's a good climb to train on though and one that I try to incorporate into my schedule as much as possible every Spring. After the first 3 steep parts, you have a little bit of flat stuff that lulls you into a false sense of security. The worst is still to come...

Tennessee is just beyond that ridgeline. The only way there is up and over.

I am almost afraid to say it but this trip over IGG wasn't as bad as it has been in the past. Maybe I am getting fit after all. I can only hope so but I am reluctant to say so just yet. I still have work to do yes.

It was a great ride. Cold yes but dry and sunny. I'll take it.

I took a break from riding Sunday to take my family to the NASCAR race in Bristol. I am not a fan and haven't been to a race there in about 25 years (uh, the place has changed a little). I will have to admit, it was pretty interesting and a fun day.

We had great seats, you could see everything.

Say Cheese.........

Nathan was hooked up. (The radios we rented were COOL! You could hear the pit guys talking to the drivers.)

The racing was pretty good and there was a gazillion people there.

1 comment:

My name is Stephen said...

I love Bristol Motor Speedway!!!