Sunday, February 03, 2013

Snake Creek Gap TT #2

 With the temps in the upper 20's and the sun barley peeking over the top of the ridge, we lined up for the start of the 2nd installment of The Snake Creek Gap TT.  If the temps warmed up, I would be overdressed, but it the clouds rolled in and the precip came as was forecast,  I would be fine.

Right away after the start, I knew that the lobster gloves were a poor choice.  They were doing their job and keeping my hands war, but it was difficult to brake and control the bike with only 2 fingers and a thumb on the bars.  

I reminded myself to control my pace and headed down the gravel road warming up.  As I came to the big creek crossing, I slowed, stood up and pedaled through.  My feet dipped slightly under and seconds later, the water seeped through.  Not soaked but wet.  I was glad that I chose to wear my woolie boolies! 

In some ways, that is the worst part of the ride,  the wondering how wet its going to be for the rest of the ride.  Once the feet get wet, knowing how cold they are going to be, I can stop thinking about it and focus on the rest of the ride.  

Onward and upward,  about an hour into it, the sleet started to fall, was spot on this time.  I was feeling good,  watching my pace and eating.   The worst I felt was the second hour.  Quite possibly because I had trouble eating much more breakfast.  But as I continued eating and drinking, I was able to bring my body up to speed.  I was feeling good, not great, not powerful, but steady. 

I made it to the halfway point and met my support crew.  Rhonda replaced my water bottles and the kid watched from the back of the mini van.  It was snowing and cold.  I decided to keep the thermal jacket but change my socks.  At the last minute, I added the toe warmer the wife and kid had given me for Christmas.  While it was not like sitting by a toasty fire, they definitely helped keep my toes from going numb! 
 Starting the second section I was optimistic.  Hot and humid shuts me down,  cold and rain is miserable,  but snowy and cold?  I dig it.  It is so peaceful and quite in these conditions, the trail tends to harden and except for the icy glaze on the rocks, it makes for a fun ride. 

With about 8 miles to go, I came upon an old man, backpacking,  strolling along and enjoying the woods.  As I passed, he greeted" May the Lord bless you".  Cool.

On through the rock gardens, walking some riding others, always moving forward. 

 And then after hours, I came to the towers, attempted to spring the last 300 yds, backed off the pace, and hit the gravel road down to the pavement.  When I hit the pavement, I asked the volunteers if it was icy,  they said "not too bad".  Unsure if that meant there was ice or not, I use a lot of caution on the wet blacktop.  Down to the finish, to be greeted by my crew and some hot peach cobbler. 
 Good day, good ride, one more and I get a belt buckle!!

Around the toes are covered in ice,  the toe covers are dry where the toe warmers are.

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