Friday, August 23, 2013

Thursday Night Ride

 Riding through Biltmore Forest on the way to Liberty Bikes, I caught up with Anthony.  He was commuting home from work.  It was good to catch up with him and finally ride together.  Cool guy with a cool family. 

I decided that since I am warming up for the Pisgah MTB Stage Race, it would be a good idea
to try to hang with the A group and get some speed in my legs. 

We set out at a steady pace and I found myself on the front already with Gen.  We cruised down the parkway until the first climb.  It seemed that it would be a mellow fast pace tonight.  Not a lot of chatting, but no one pushing the pace.  I thought I might be able to hang on. 

Up and over the first climb, onto 191 left turn, left turn, right turn, then the pace picked up a little bit.  Some guys punch the pace, I stay steady,  counting how many guys pass me on the first kicker.  I figure if I stay somewhere in the middle, I'll be able to have people to ride with when the pace heats up. 

We stayed mostly together, and then a left on Pennsylvania and the pace gradually increased.  Between the fields, up the incline that gets steeper and the suddenly kicks up.  I found myself second in line behind Taylor.  He always kicks it up several notches here and I can't hang.  I flick my elbow and shake my head.  A little gap forms and then its on,  I hold steady up and over as several guys pass,  the groups splinters and the rest of the road is a bunch of guys in little groups trying to catch the next little group.  Fun times.

 The rest of the ride was mellow but fast,  it was a little warmer than it has been the past couple of weeks and Wednesday night was the last ring of fire so some of the guys were a little beat. 
some serious conversation about how cool this ride is.
 Halfway up Mills Gap Rd, Chris Brown asked who wanted to ride Merrils Cove to Pinners to add some climbing.  I said, " I do, but I won't be able to go hard".  Chris said,"  oh, we won't go hard".   All I gotta say, as I gave it all I had,  that was hard.  I managed to keep them in sight,  except around the sharp bends,  I'm not sure if they were pushing the pace,  Eric White and Chris up front,  that's how it goes,  but I definitely was at my limit. 

They kindly waited at the top before bombing down the other side.  That is probably the fastest I have ridden that climb, ever.  I'm thinking we should add that to the loop though,  its a great workout!
It was dark by the time I got home,   probably will need to change the start time soon.  Then I plan on riding my mountain bike on Thursday nights through the winter. 

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