7500' of climbing!!
I did my typical Bat Cave Loop after work last night. As I headed up highway 9, I was pushing the pace a little harder, just a little, than I have in previous weeks and I was feeling good. I typically peak about 1-2 weeks after an important race, so here I was, cruising up the climb to the Continental Divide, feeling unstoppable. And that is how I felt for the whole 45 mile ride.
It was hot and humid, there was a good breeze blowing and I was keeping the pedals spinning. It was one of those days that I arrived to intersections before I realized where I was. The sun was bright, and the tree filled with bright green leaves. I had mentally prepared for a couple of longer grunt climbs, I arrived at the top and the climb seemed easier.
Through Bat Cave, the Rocky Broad looked inviting. Pedaling up Hwy 74, a dog ran along the cliff above me to the right. Winding my way higher, the air cools a little bit. A quick stop at the now closed Mama Gertie's to fill my water bottles at the spigot outside. I continue climbing, I wonder what I'll eat for dinner, I get excited about getting home to see my family and push the pace a little more, only to slow down to a more manageable pace, so I can make it home.
I sip some nuun and chew on some Honey Stinger Chews. My energy level stays steady and I cruise over the top of the mountain. On the valley floor, headed towards Fairview, I turn left and cut through farmland on rolling hills. The smell of sourwood blossoms, freshly plowed dirt and young hay floats through the air.
Turning left on Cane Creek Rd, the right on Concord I start climbing again. Someone yells out their window at me, the cows look at me. I keep climbing. I have not been out here in a long time, but the turn on Merrils Cove rd is suddenly on my right. I turn and keep heading up. I have forgotten how long this road is, and how many false summits there are. I keep a steady pace, feeling good. I slowly wind my way up and over the ridge, and down the other side.
The shadows are long as I start the last mile long climb up the parkway. Pushing the pace a little more to the top, I smile and am thankful for a good ride and a safe warm place to go home to!!
Have a great day.