Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 3 Roanoke to Asheville, 2013

 I have noticed that day 2 of my rides is typically the hardest.  Mentally and physically, I'm not sure why.  Nutrition, hydration and RPE seem to be the same,  but by the end of the day, I am usually ready to throw in the towel.  Add in the day long freezing temps and, well,  I called the wife and made plans to ride 45 miles to the interstate in TN to bail early. 

Day 3 dawned, and as I looked at myself in the mirror, I confirmed that I was making the right decision.  I ate breakfast, drank some more crappy hotel coffee, and got dressed and loaded.   But, I couldn't do it.  I couldn't throw in the towel just yet.  I called the wife back and set a cut off time with her so that we could touch base in a couple of hours and reassess.   By the time that cut off rolled around, I was still cold, and not having a great time,   but I decided to go for it and attempt to make it to Asheville.

3 hours later I arrived at Christa's in Pineola.  This awesome little deli on 181 and the Parkway is a must.  The pulled pork was tempting but I went for a bacon, egg and cheese with tomato on a homemade yeast roll.   The ladies tempted me with coconut cake, but I don't ride well when stuffed, so I passed.  

I mailed a post card to the kid and headed out.  Instead of attempting the parkway, I took 181 to 183 to 221 all the way to Marion.  As I dropped down into the valley, I was greeted by warmer temps and sunshine.  My body started to warm and my spirits lifted.  Only 50 miles to go.  Once into the valley, I stopped and shed my layers down to knee warmers, arm warmers and short sleeve jersey.  I swapped the insulated gloves for some lightweight gloves and took of the toe warmers and toe covers.   Then I cruised.  It was not all easy the rest of the way, and I was definitely beat, but I knew that I had stood up to the challenge and succeeded.  
I wanted to get home and had only 15 miles to go, but I knew that I needed a boost.  I stopped at a gas station for a coke and that gave me the kick I needed to make it the rest of the way. 

It was my first long ride on the Siren John Henry and I am pleased with the piece of art that I get to ride.  The steel frame provided a smooth and stable ride,  and I will soon need to go for a Wobblenaught fit to perfect the comfort level!   I swapped the fat tires out for a set of 700c x  35 semi slicks and they worked well.  The night before leaving, I considered taking the Foundry road bike but did not want to risk the slick tires on snowy/icy conditions.  That turned out to be a good choice.

Leaving the camping gear behind was a good choice too.  It was great to be able to eat well and rest well, not having to deal with trying to stay warm for 12 hrs of darkness.  

I look forward to the next trip, but will be spending my time until then, cherishing the here and now, loving my family and growing with them.

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