Friday, June 27, 2014

Thursday Night Liberty Ride

Traffic Jams everywhere

Now we know the truth (Kevin Hessler)

Another day in paradise!

Hot but hydrated

Fun times (Chris Brown)
Fun ride,  started mellow,  then ran into a ton of traffic.  Traffic was backed up on Hendersonville Rd, I-26 and Hwy 191.  Is Obama in town? 

The pace picked up mid ride with the typical antics.  Fun times, good training. 

A few of us rode up and over Reynolds Mountain to finish out the ride.  A nice change to fighting traffic on Hendersonville rd.

My fitness is good,  I hope it stays around for ORAMM!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pulaski VA to Asheville NC: Day 3

 After about 3 hours of sleep, I was awake and rolled out of bed around 6am.  I walked across the street to the gas station and got a 16oz cup of coffee.  I was so tired I didn't even think to complain about the quality.  I was beat.  I had around 90 miles to get home, and an extra day.  I really wanted to extend my trip, but realizing that this week is the beginning of a very busy summer season,  I wanted to be properly rested going into it.  I had a couple of ideas, places that I wanted to detour to, but decided against it. 
So, I headed south and stopped at Christa's or some food.  Her homemade yeast rolls weren't ready yet, and there was a pile of smoked butts on the counter waiting to be prepped for sandwiches.  I opted for one bacon, egg and cheese for now, and one bacon and cheese for later.  And more coffee.

I took my time.  I had been doing that on this trip.  Slowing down and stopping at some overlooks.  It is a good thing to do.  Enjoy the view, stop and smell the roses.  I need to do more of that everyday.

After a few miles, the mountains kicked up and the real climbing started.  VA has climbs but NC's are longer and steeper.  The miles tick by slower. 
 My muscles warmed up after a while and I was enjoying the ride.  My thoughts turned to my night's lodging.  Why do I bother bringing camping gear, if I'm not going to use it?  I considered my reasoning,  and realized that comfort is a big deal.  Feeling some sort of comfort,protection and security from the weather is an important mental element.  Endurance athletes talk a lot about muscle recovery, but not quite as much about mental recovery.

I remembered how I used to love pitching a tent, regardless of the weather and feeling warm, dry and secure.  Sometimes in wind,  other times in a downpour.  It was then that I realized that maybe the tarp set up is not for me.  It does protect from rain and can be set up in several different configurations to protect from wind.  But,  when it storms and the wind and rain pound and swirl,  I definitely get splashed.

There is also the issue of wind chill.  Anyway.  I'm going to do some research on my shelter options.

 I worked my way up and over the numerous climbs.  Each one different,  each one taking effort and energy.  Stopping periodically at overlooks to refill my water bottle and soak in the fresh air. 
 I definitely lingered,  not wanting the trip to be over yet.  This is such a beautiful place we live in and I don't get to take these trips very often.   I don't take the time for granted, and no matter how tired I felt,  I knew I had to make the most of it.  As far as I knew, it would be a while before I would have the chance to get out again.  (but as you know, if that window opportunity opens, I take it!)
Spinning along

Big Views

One mile to go.
 And then I was home.  I rolled up to my front door and stood there for a moment,  looking at myself in the reflection.  I was glad to be home.  This had been a good trip.  I was tired and content....
... I'm looking forward to next time!

Pulaski Va to Asheville NC: Day 2

 Morning finally rolled around. I had planned on sleeping in, but woke up at 6:30am.  I was a bit sore but got up and got on the road.  A quick stop at Hardees for a couple of biscuits and then heading over to the parkway.  There was not a lot of climbing to get up to the two lane ribbon of pavement, so I made good time.  The skies were clear and it was already warm.  Summertime.  As I pedaled my thoughts turned again to why I was doing this.  I was tired, and hot, and my saddle was not adjusted just right because I had failed to take a measurement correctly.  I wasn't having fun at the moment but knew that things would eventually change.  Maybe I should have had another cup of joe!
 My plan today was to make it the roughly 90 miles to Moses H Cone Memorial Park and camp.  I was concerned that there would be no spots left, so I had several other campgrounds in mind if that one were full.  That would entail another 10 - 20 miles of pedaling though. 
 Most of the day was uneventful,  just pedaling,  enjoying the scenery and planning my next ride.... 
 I stopped for lunch at the Northwest Trading post.  A ham and cheese sub, coke, and I saved the chips and pecan tart for later. I enjoyed not moving for a few minutes but didn't want to linger too long.  Time was ticking and campsites were filling up. 
 About 15 miles I crossed the VA/NC state line, the topography starts to change with longer and slightly steeper grades.  I'm pretty familiar with some of these and they seem to never end, especially the ones on either side of Deep Gap.  My other nemesis is the stretch between Hwy 181 and Hwy 80.  
 I arrived at the campground earlier than expected, around 3:30pm.  I was please to find that there were plenty of spaces left.  But it was early, so I took a look around trying to decide what to do.  I was pretty disappointed in the condition of the campground.  It was pretty run down, and that diminished my desire to stay.  The campground host called ahead to Linville and told me that they only had 9 spots left and they were filling up fast.  I filled up my water and decided to keep riding.

 It was getting hot, and I had gotten a little behind on staying hydrated.  It was my own fault so I tried to drink a little extra and keep going.  As I pedaled around Grandfather Mountain,  I watched the storms passing by in front of and behind me, knowing that at any moment, I could be ducking for shelter, hiding from lightning.  As I neared Hwy 221 where I could drop down into Linville, and then head to Pineola,  I decided to head to Down By The River Campground and camp for the night.

As I cruised the 2 miles down the mountain,  the skies grew dark and I got worried about what was coming and what the night would hold.  I saw The Pixie Inn in Linville and like a Siren I was lured into false security.

Dinner was crap food from the gas station: Sprite, Pimento Cheese Sammy etc; because after 107 miles and dehydration, I didn't have the motivation to cook my mac n cheese. 

 For $50 I got a room, hot shower and a mouse that woke me up in the middle of the night trying to steal my nacho cheese flavored Bugles.  I had to stick a spoon in the window latch because the lock was gone.  I only got about 3 hrs of intermittent sleep and laying there, I wondered if I had it in me to pack up and pedal on.  But it was 3am and I decided to wait a little longer. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pulaski Va to Asheville NC Day 1

 It dawned on my about 30 minutes before I got dropped off, that I would be riding the trail upriver.

I have wanted to ride The New River Trail State Park for a long time.  I first heard about it about 16 yrs ago, when the wife and I stopped at the Shot Tower.  I have followed the trail's progress ever since.  I finally had the opportunity to ride it, then get on the parkway and head home.

After driving through thunderstorms, my awesome  family dropped me off under mostly sunny skies.  It was 5:15pm by the time I go rolling.  With roughly 3.5 hrs of daylight left I was itching to get rolling. 

The New River Trail is a rail to trail conversion.   It goes from Pulaski VA to Galax VA with short side spur to Fries VA.  I saddled up and got into a rythym, anxious to see how far I could make it tonight.  I did not think that Galax was within reach but I was pleasantly surprised at my pace and became hopeful as the miles ticked by.

A gentle grade, barely discernible took me mostly along the New River.  The forest walls were dense on both sides and limited view, but the trail was clear and smooth.  Horses are allowed to use the trail and I passed a couple of rodeo arenas.  I imagine that at times the area could get pretty crowded with horses.  Somewhere in the middle of the distance, I came upon a group of about 8 horseback riders were had ridden out and back.  The trail was now pockmarked with hoofprints,  not deep, just enough to rattle me to the bone.  I was really wising I had a carbon bar instead of the aluminum one, but such is life. 
 I maintained a steady pace but stopped to take pictures fairly often.  I was not worried about the impending dark.  I was prepared with lights, one on the handle bar and one on my helmet.  And a blinky light on the rear.  Actually,  I was hoping that I would get caught out in the dark so that I could practice that. 
 I rode past numerous old train depots.  There is a campground at Foster Falls that I did not stop to check out.  I was aiming for the campground at Cliffview, about 5 miles outside of Galax. 
 The trail crosses the river several times with these wooden trestles. 

 As I climbed gently, the river became narrower and more scenic.  There were multiple places that I wanted to stop, but being unsure of the night's "lodgings", I decided to keep rolling.

I arrived at Cliffview Campground with about 15 minutes of light left.  I looked around.  The campsites were nice and clean, but empty.  There were several families in the area picnicking.  Hmm.  I really wanted to camp in this pristine spot by the river, but prefer not to camp alone.  I've seen some crazy things and feel safer with other people around.

After talking to a local who was very helpful,  I decided to try my luck in Galax,  upgrading from campground to motel. 

I got into Galax around 9:30pm, after dark and began the search for somewhere to sleep.  I considered my free options: church, city park etc.  But, then I found the Rhodeway Inn and for $50 had a chance at sleeping well,  so I took it.   After checking in,  I headed 3 blocks down to Macado's for some grub and was in bed by 10:30pm.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

ORAMM Training

 I took off Saturday for an ORAMM training ride.   I was trying out a couple of things and was hoping the results would be positive.

The main thing was my nutrition.  I was going to find out if I could make it without a Camelbak.  Just two bottles.  For some people, this is a no brainer,  but I've grown accustomed to needing more water.  Recently, I realized that I am probably diluting any electrolytes that I am consuming.  The cool water feels good temporarily,   but of the course of 3-4 hrs, my body is lacking the necessary minerals compared to the amount of water I am taking in.

So, I started out with two bottles, one with sports drink and one with nuun.  I planned on refilling at the spring on Curtis Creek Rd, and was hoping to find some water at the seep on the way down Heartbreak.

The other thing I was trying out was my single speed gearing.  I wanted to see how the 32x21 worked for me on a longer ride.
 I parked at the geyser and headed up into the woods onto Star Gap.  The air was cool and felt like it stayed that way all day.  Later people talked about how hot it got, but when I finished up, my thermometer read 75.  I enjoyed the cool,  and hoped it would be like this on race day.  Speaking of race.  I'm not racing this year, I'm finishing.....

Up and over the gap, down onto Jarrets Creek Rd,  winding, climbing, cruising.  The gravel grind was uneventful and I popped out on Curtis Creek Rd.  Here I was spun out.  But I took the opportunity to relax and maintain a low heart rate.  I started climbing and was feeling great.  As I neared the spring, I emptied my bottles.

I continued to enjoy the cool lushness.

I thought ahead to the climb and realized that it might not be a good idea trying to make it the rest of the way on only two water bottles.  I considered that on race day, there would be 3 more water stops between here and Heartbreak and that if I could make it today, I would definitely make it then.  I got back on the bike, ready for the climb.

I assumed a steady pace.  Knowing that if my heart rate stays too high to long, I overheat and I'm done.  I pass a couple of people on the way  up and we chat briefly while we ride.  Once I reach the parkway, I'm halfway through my bottles and wish I could drink more.  I know I need to stretch it, so I do.

South on the Parkway, I lookout over the ridges and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range.  I'm so privileged to live in a place like this.  48 mph down into the gap and then another climb up to the Heartbreak trailhead.  The hike a bike does not seem to be as difficult as I remembered.  Either I'm stronger, or I'm more in control of my effort and not about to blow up.

In fact, I'm feeling really good. I can almost stay on top of my gearing but consider going with a 32-22 on race day so I can spin more.
I'm almost out of water as I ride down Heartbreak.  I could definitely use a full bottle.  I know I can refill at the creek at the bottom, but I stop at the seep.  The trickles are running pretty good and it takes me about 10 minutes to fill up and mix my sports drink mix.  I'm closer to getting this nutrition thing dialed.  4 hrs and nothing solid to eat except a granola bar and a pack of Pro Bar blocks.  This will be my 3rd bottle of sports drink holding about 400 calories. 
After filling up, I drink and my body is happy.  I cruise down the hill, considering how my body feels and coming to the conclusion that I definitely have it in me to climb Mill Creek rd,  if only I had the time. 

I'll save it for another day. 
Another good ride finished up.  I'm actually excited about finishing ORAMM this year.  This thing has been my nemesis.  I won't get caught up, I'll go my own pace...

...enjoy the ride!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thursday Night Ride

Well.  Tonight, I thought my number was up.  Once again the group decided to ride north up the mountain rather than go the normal route.  Some felt it would be more chill, others didn't want to get wet.  I wanted some long flattish high speed interval type work out, but that was not going to happen tonight.  Hopefully next week.

We headed through Biltmore Forest, single file and stopping at the stop signs.  Through Biltmore village, and out Meadow rd.  Just after we crossed onto Wyman St, I was following Kevin.  He signaled to point out a road hazard which I simply did not see.  We were rolling along about 25 plus mph this point.  I ran over the large chunk of metal.  It was big enough to cause my bike to jerk and bounce,  my left hand slipped . 

I had been listening to the car approaching and slowly gaining on us,  it was just behind me and to my left.  As my bike jumped and my hand slipped, my body shifted and I leaned and veered left.  In that split second, I knew that I was going down.  I knew that I would land on my left hip and that the car, if they didn't hit the brakes would fold me under the front bumper.  All that crossed my mind in the split second. 

And then suddenly, I was upright and rolling again.  I never hit the ground, never got smacked by the car. 

I almost quit and went home.  I could not explain how I stayed up right.  I'll chalk that one up to miraculous.  I'm glad to be in one piece.

We decided to head up Elk this time instead of Town.  I figured that if we were out here, we might as well get a good work out.  Most people were game. 

Jamie and Chris told me to attack at the bottom.  I did, but I was in the middle of a snack and there was a head wind so I got reeled in.  Then the suffering started.  I don't know how long it took, but at 104% HR almost the entire way, I pushed as hard as I could.  Jane just in front of me, and Chris Brown just behind me. 

At the top, south on the parkway and then down Town Mtn.  I rolled my own pace and got dropped,  I need to take a skills camp with the focus on descending! 

As I looked out over Asheville, I could see the rain coming and we ended up getting the edge of the storm.  Immediately cooled down, it felt good. 

Riding through my neighborhood, cooling down, chatting with neighbors.  Home to family and leftovers. 

Good ride.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Stopping Point

10 yrs ago I bought a house.  My elderly neighbor lady called it a crackerbox.  I wasn't insulted.  I had ideas that eventually turned into plans, which then became blood sweat and tears and is now our dream home.  Lot's of early mornings, late nights and anything in between. 

With the help from a handful of friends (to who I am eternally grateful), I spent the last 9 months on a final push getting the larger projects wrapped up. 

I am excited to say that I have finally reached  a stopping point.  I'm done.  Well,  mostly.  Still have some caulking, touch up painting etc to get done, but that stuff can wait until fall/winter;  aesthetic kinds of things.

Any holy moly am I relieved.  Looking back on the past ten years, and the sacrifices we have made, it is amazing and I never want to go through that again.  Hard work with positive results, but there are other things I want to do..... like ride my bike! 

Long live long rides.

When we moved into the house, we didn't have a house warming party.  I was too ashamed and embarrassed about the condition of our home.  I shouldn't have felt that way,  I know now that my friend would have come over and eaten my food and drank my beer regardless of the condition of my house.  That's how it is with true friends!

So,  stay tuned,  we'll be having a house warming party in the next couple of months, to celebrate where we started and where we are today!

But for now,  I'm gonna ride my bike,  by myself, with friends, with family and with !

Monday, June 09, 2014

Jackrabbit= Fun Times

 With the house remodel to-do list dwindling, we finally took the time to hit the road for a short camping trip.  We were all excited about exploring somewhere new as we packed up and pulled out of the driveway, heading west to Jackrabbit Mountain, near Hayesville NC.  The campground only costs $15 but we paid the extra $10 to reserve online and not have to worry about having a spot when we got there.
The trips took just under 2 hrs and as we drove over the ridge line and down into the valley that holds Lake Chatuge, we were greeted by heat and humidity.  The campground is laid out well and the site we chose from the online map gave us a beach of our own. 

We got camp set up and the kid wanted to swim.  I was anxious to try out the trails so we decided I would ride,  find the best trails for the wife and kid, then we would ride together.  With close to 15 miles of trail, I figured that I could ride all of them in under 2 hrs, come back and grab the family for another hour or so. 

I set off and road the loop by the boat ramp.  This trail was older and less maintained.  Fun but not what I was expecting.  Then I headed over to the newer trail system and was greeted by some fun, fast, flowy trails. I was on the single speed and with a 32x 21 I was under geared.  Next time I'll know.
 The trails are very well marked with a central loop, and then several loops branching off of the central loop.  The system makes it very easy to ride all of the trails in either direction without crisscrossing or backtracking.  I made it to the first loop, Sneaking Creek and turned left.  Someone in a Cartecay bike shop jersey turned in behind me and I stopped to ask if this trail loops around.  The guy said yes and hit the gas.   Ok,  it was on.  I followed him,  staying close,  and waiting for my time.   We didn't say much, just rode.  Finally, on the last little climb, he cracked, and let me pass.  I thanked him and we bid farewell.  Then,  my phone rang. 
 The wife and kid were ready to ride, so I rode back out to the trailhead and met up with them.  We rode the entire white loop and green loop.  They did awesome and were having a blast.  That made me really happy; mountain biking road tripping family.... After 4.5 miles the family was done.  I dropped them back at the trailhead and went back out for a couple more miles. 

Back at camp, it felt great to walk right into the lake after a hot ride.  We swam for a while then got the fire started for some roasted hot dogs!  Yum. 

Late night smores and another swim, it was the kid's first time swimming at night.  I have a giant mag light that he took in the water with him.  He loves the water.  Reminds me of me when I was just a little older than him.  The Caribbean Sea turned out to be one of my best friends.  I gotta keep getting this kid around water!
 Bed around 10pm and sleeping well until around 2 pm.  Lightning and thunder in the distance.  We closed the rain fly.  The thunder was creeping closer.  I sat up, trying to decide if we should move to the van.  The tent was dry, but I was concerned with falling trees/debris.  Lightning hit nearby and we scrambled.  The kid was scared and shivering.  We crammed in the back lying on the floor.  After about an hour, the storm rolled on and we headed back tot he tent.  The rain continued through early morning and we were able to get some more sleep. 
 Morning rolled around and I fired up the stove for some sausage and pancakes.   We were disappointed that we would not be able to ride after the massive rain storm so we swam some more.  Large gray clouds were rolling in, looking like rain, so we packed up and prepared to head home.  On the way out of the campground, we stopped by the trail head where some people were on bikes.  We asked how the trails were and got reports that they were fine.  Some SABA members were there getting ready to ride as well.  Sweet. 
 We unloaded and and saddled up.  We rode the white trail out to the slightly more narrow and techy blue trail.  Another 5.6 miles for the family.  They had a blast and so did I. 

I definitely recommend this campground.  It was not at all crowded and neither were the trails on Saturday and Sunday.  The trails are beginner/intermediate level, but it was great to be able to go for a longish ride and not feel bad about leaving the family behind. 

Can't wait to go back!

Friday, June 06, 2014

Thursday Night Ride

We met up for the ride and a huge storm cloud greeted us.  Taylor suggested going north.  I wanted to do the same route and risk getting wet.  I can be stubborn sometimes, and a little rain isn't going to change my ride.  I went along with the group and we wound our way through Biltmore Forest, down Meadow Rd and eventually up the side of Town Mtn. 

I was frustrated with the route change and my thoughts quickly went to what I am trying to teach my kid: our ideas are not always better and its ok in certain situations to go with the flow. 

So,  I went with the flow.  Took too long of a pull at the front and dangled and got dropped. 

Taylor and Rebecca waited up and we formed a gruppetto up and over the top.

After a quick break, we headed down the parkway.  I got excited and went towards the front, then realized that with my skills,  I would be better off following someone down.  Might be able to learn something. 

It was fun bombing down the grade past Haw Creek Overlook with a dozen skilled riders.   We were like falcons diving in on our prey.  Tucked in, aero,  constantly watching around us, yet focused on going faster.  Down, we dove,  gliding on little slivers of rubber.   Close to 50 mph.  And then we were at the bottom with only a few miles to go.

The last couple of miles was a more social pace.  The cloudy skies started to let go of some moisture, sprinkling us.  I peeled off and bid farewell.

I look forward to the high paced training sessions on Thursday night, but after letting go and going with the flow,  I ended up enjoying tonight's ride. 

Thursday, June 05, 2014


 Awesome ride in the woods yesterday.  My body still feel less than 100%.  Recovering from a century takes some time,  sickness on top of an already weak body takes it's toll.  I just spun around on some easy trails.  Hoping my legs would loosen up.  Interestingly, it was my lungs rib cage area that were tight.  I didn't do anything active on Monday and Tuesday.  I started getting a little bit of angst build up so knew I should get out on Weds for sure!
 The woods are vibrant and green.  The smells of the flora have been amazing this spring.  Fresh air filled with honeysuckle,  makes my brain happy. 

Life is hectic,  about to get crazy.   I've been prepping bikes and scheduling the 8 weeks of summer.  It wears me out, but to get groups of kids out in the woods is an amazing experience, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  The smiles they show and the confidence they take with them is amazing! 

Liberty Ride tonight,  I'm hoping I will at least be able to dangle after being on my feet again all day!! 

Ha,  good luck with that!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014


I'm still tweaking my nutrition for longs rides and tried something different at the Flyer.  I have been experimenting on my shorter rides with this and it had been working, so with full support  over 100 miles, I decided it would be a good place to experiment. 

After talking to several nutritionists and endurance racers,  I started wondering if I was still taking in too much plain water.  My theory is that even though I am taking in enough calories/electrolytes,  the additional water I was drinking was diluting the nutrition. So,  why not include electrolytes in my water intake, and eliminate plain water.

The one element missing on Sunday was heat.  It was humid but not hot. 

The result of my experiment turned out well and I actually felt better than in the past.  I also noticed that I was sweating almost the entire time and don't remember getting nauseous.  Of course, I was on the single speed so it was more difficult to get my heart rate up and over exert. 

I used nuun in one bottle and a personal sports drink mix with a maltodextrin base in the other.

Lots of factors,  but definitely a move in the right direction.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Fletcher Flyer Weekend

 It was the day before the Fletcher Flyer, but when Mike called and said he was coming to town and wanted a 40-50 mile ride,  I couldn't resist showing him around the mountains!   We met a little after 8am on Saturday and headed out towards Black Mountain winding through Reems Creek, around Warren Wilson, and out old Hwy 70.   We pedaled through town then hung a right on Hwy 9.  Up and over the Eastern Continental Divide, we were up in the clouds.  Misty and cool, dropping down the other side and greeted by a Buncombe County Sheriff roadblock.  They waved us through.

We then turned right on Old Fort Rd,  enjoying the scenery at a mellow pace.  We were bombing down the hill at Echo Lake and I saw a fox,  standing there looking at the water.   I yelled for Mike to stop.  We turned around to take a look and found a plastic decoy,  apparently to scare the geese!  I was disappointed and considered chucking it in the water..... but I didn't. 

We came out on Hwy 74A stopped for some food and coffee at Mountain Mojo, then headed home.
 The afternoon and evening were spent preparing for and executing the kid's birthday party.  Our little yard packed with kids running around screaming.... fun times!

Then Sunday morning rolled around early,  5:15am.   Time to get up, eat, load and drive out for the Fletcher Flyer.  I arrived to find a traffic jam getting into Oskar Blues where the start finish was.  I pulled into the Elementary school,  got changed, mounted my single speed and headed to the start. 

Yup,  single speed.  Why?  It is something I have always considered doing and since this year, is my year of "Take bike racing less seriously"  I figured it would be a good time to go for it. 

I had taken one short ride with a 42x19 gearing set up and was hoping it would be alright.   After the 100 miles on this course,  at least an 18 or maybe even 17 would have been a better option.  Next year....

We lined up and headed out.  I was with the lead group when my computer popped off the handlebars.  Dang it.  I pulled over and grabbed it, managing not to get run over.  Hopped back on the bike and took off.  I worked my way up through the pack and grabbed Kevin Hessler's wheel for a 3 seconds, then the pace went up and I was forced to find my own rhythm.  I spent the rest of the ride hoping for that perfectly paced group to come along.  It never happened,   I was faster up hill,  I would tuck in on the down hills but had some difficulty keeping up if the speed got above 21mph.  I could maintain 21mph but that was my limit, and with the gearing  18-19 was more comfortable.

 It rained on and off for the first part of the ride, but I was maintaining a steady pace.  Around 40 miles in I was riding just ahead of a small group when a truck coming the other direction, ran over a large chunk of gravel and launched it straight into my face.  The larger than a quarter sized piece of granite smacked me on the left side of my nose,  narrowly missing my eye and my mouth.  I was stunned for a second then pulled over and sat on the side of the road to assess the damage.  I would like to say how impressed I was that the hoards of cyclists stopped to make sure I was ok.  That didn't happen so I sat for a few minutes while the pain faded slightly, then I touch my nose.  Everything seemed intact except for a little skin missing.  Thankfully, a guy in a Road ID kit stopped to check on me.  I continue riding.

As I ride, I started thinking about rest stop food.  I consider all of the research on proteins and how they should be taken before or after, but not during,  and if during, only a little bit.   If that is the case,  I wonder how much a pb and j affects performance during these rides.  Especially with whole grain bread?  It does not seems like this combo would take a lot of energy for the body to process.  Cheap and easy yes, but good for energy?  hmm
After 6hrs and 10 minutes of winding around the valley, I arrived back at the brewery, excited to be done and looking forward to some Moe's BBQ. 

It was a great day overall,  the rest stops were great, super helpful and even funny and entertaining.    The rest of the evening was uneventful,  home, nap in the hammock, hanging with the family etc. 

Around mid nite though, I woke up feeling bloated and yucky.  The next 3 hours was spent in the bathroom, allowing my body to purge itself of who knows what?  Ugh.  I wish I could figure out what causes that and avoid it....  But I survived and woke up to tell the story. 

20 days until my next adventure!