My friends Mike and Jason road the entire BRP. Here is their write up: http://parkwaybybike.blogspot.com/
I rode up to meet them at Little Swizterland, spend the night and ride back to Asheville with them the next day. I couldn't help but take the scenic route though.
The next day, I was a bit tired, and Mike and Jason were pedaling a little bit faster than me. They had farther to go, so I encouraged them to leave me behind. They were having none of it, so we ground up and over the hills to Craggy, where Ton and John Paksoy met us. This created a train and we bombed down the grade all the way to Asheville, making quick work of the miles.
I peeled off and went home and the guys rode on to finish their day at Mt Pisgah. Big ride.
Congrats to Jason, Mike and Rhonda (Mike's Rhonda) for completing the entire parkway! Mike has talked about that ride for a long time and finally went for it!
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Upon gathering and considering all of the info, I should have turned around, gone back to the golf course in Celo and grabbed a burger at the grill there. Then spend the night at Black Mountain Campground.
Then I considered riding home. Only another 30 miles, which would make 100 for the day. I headed south, the sun set and it was dark, except for the light of the moon. The next hour and a half was spent riding alone through the darkness. With only an occasional car passing. Some times, I turned off my lights and rode by the light of the moon. It was almost magical.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Friday, October 03, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
Thanks Siren Bicycles, I-9 Wheels, Suspension Experts, Endless Bike Company, Namrita for the nutrition help, Tom Coleman and Eddie O'dea at WN Precision, and Liberty Bicycles for keeping my ride rolling smoothly!
And of course, thanks to Blue Ridge Adventures for giving me this opportunity.
Posted by Stephen at 7:11 AM
Sunday, September 28, 2014
|Stage 5 podium|
I first attacked on the 2 mile gravel decent to Gloucester Gap. I got a bit of a lead and settled in to my own pace up the gravel road toward Farlow. Minutes later, Mike and Dave caught me. I upped the pace and stuck to Dave's wheel. I stayed there all the way until the last 1/4 of a mile. He is strong as an ox, Mike too, and their pace was just a little higher than what I wanted, or should be at so early in the race.
I let them go and continued pushing, past the gate, up, down, around and finally down to Farlow. I rode cautiously, hoping I would see Mike and Dave on Farlow. They don't like the wet rocks and roots. I had prayed for rain, but was not granted my selfish wish!
Making the right turn onto the first rocky section of Farlow, I saw Dave, walking. I had ridden part of it, but was now walking as well. He greeted me, I greeted him, then I put my trail running skills to use and dropped him like a hot potatoe. I had to get a cushion on him because he can climb. I was worried that I would not be able to keep his pace on the gravel road to Bracken.
I arrived at the sketchy creek crossing and spotted Mike on the other side of the valley. I kept pushing. He would be loving lower Farlow and Daniel's Ridge. He was also geared a little higher than me so would be able to outpace me on the gravel, but he was also tired.
I enjoyed this section of trail as well. I hit the gravel end of Daniel's Ridge, motored into the rest stop, Karlos lubed my chain, swapped bottles, grabbed a pb&j and rolled out. The elderly lady that made the sandwiches said "Take two, their small". I didn't have time. I just smiled at her and stepped on the gas.
|Stage Race Overall Single Speed Podium.|
About 3/4 of the way up the gravel road that never ends, I caught up to the guy on the geared fat bike. He mentioned that Mike was just up the road. I was still feeling good, pushing my limit for sure. He offered to trade pulls. We did for about a mile. I was able to recover enough to keep going on my own. Up and around the bend, there was the wooden post, signifying that Bracken was in a couple of hundred yards. Just as I hit the single track, I saw the orange Poc helmet and the yellow leader's jersey. There was Mike. He was standing and I could smell weakness. I stood and punched up the first little grunt climb. My legs responded. I was happy.
I caught Mike right at a long sweeping left turn. He glanced back and said" Aw, S#^t! " I smiled and passed him on the inside of the turn. I said" Hello, Mike". Then his single speed attitude showed through and he yelled" GO, Go GO!" And I did, like a scalded cat, like a bat outta hell, like a.... well you get it.
My legs were burning. Punch it, spin it, coast it, what kind of idiotic maniac was I? I thought about bike packing. Then I focused. Punch it, coast, lean, watch out for the acorns. I glanced back a couple of times. Pushed the bike up one steeper section, pedaled hard, and finally hit the last steep decent to the Brevard Music Center.
Wrapping around through the lot and follwing the CYMBL course, I crossed the finish line in 1st place! WOW. A lot of whooping, hugs and high fives ensued.
I have been racing for close to 8 years now, and this is my first time ever being 1st! It feels good.
Posted by Stephen at 9:25 AM
Saturday, September 27, 2014
The day went about as I had hoped. Still 2nd in single speed, I followed Mike and Dave. Mike is too strong for me to keep up with, so I decided to stick with Dave and make sure we finish together so I can hold on to 2nd place. Dave was pushing the pace, even on the hike a bikes but I was fine. At the top of the first climb he pulled over and had to tighten a skewer. I rode on and was able to ride my pace the rest of the day.
I was a bit fatigued from trying to stay away on stage 3. I wanted to conserve as much as possible so I could have some fight left for Stage 5. It was a long hard day through some of the best single track we have.
I had trouble riding anything moderately techy and did a lot of walking. But, I kept moving forward. I knew that 3rd place was close behind. If he caught me, I would be forced to ride his pace again.
I got to the last 8 mile stretch of gravel and held a steady pace to the end.
Mike got another 15 minutes or so on me, and I beat Dave by 6 minutes. Not enough to be comfortable on Stage 5. I'm stressing myself out a bit. I need to chill and just ride with Dave. If I can ride the technical stuff today, I might be able to get a lead on both of them once we get to Farlow/Daniel. But I gotta be patient and not blow up.
Posted by Stephen at 5:59 AM