Saturday, May 8, 2010

Up the Creek Without a Pedal

Today I met Travis and Russell for the Up the Creek Without a Pedal road ride in Rome, GA.

 Travis and Russell

That's an awesome picture of Travis.

There were about maybe 100 people lined up for the start, we were about midway back.

 The Field

Standing there, I ran into Douglasvillans Jake and Craig, who ride with my brother all the time and I've ridden the Silk Sheets with before. It's nice to have friends on a long ride and now I had 2 more.

The first 20 minutes or so were one looooooong bridge move. A hundred people may have started, but there were way more than that on the road. Riders were apparently jumping in left and right. We'd pull through to what we thought was the lead group, just to see 20 more riders up the road. I have no idea if we ever caught the real leaders.

After probably 10 miles of craziness, me, Travis and Russell settled in at the front, making pace.


The rest of the group was satisfied to let us pull and we did for most of the ride. We had to actually maneuver other riders into position to get them to do any work. Our group whittled itself down to about 10 or so and the ride became really fun. We rolled through the green tunnel of Furnace Valley for a couple of miles, passing all kinds familiar sights like the turnoff to Keown Falls and the Pinhoti trail crossings. The wind was blasting through the valley too, unfortunately head on. We hit two unexpected climbs in there and a long, totally-spun-out descent.

We skipped SAG 1. At SAG 2 some folks had to pee and Craig had to change a flat, which he did impressively quickly. Equally impressive was the apparent cluelessness of a big group of riders to the cars that were trying to get in and out of the parking lot. "Car back!" "CAR BACK!" Nothing.

Pulling out of SAG 2, Jake dropped his bottle and he and Craig bridged back up just in time to hit a murderous set of step-ups and get dropped again when some guys who'd been sitting in all day started attacking. It always turns into a race.

No matter. I had plenty of legs. I even had plenty of legs to go back and pull Russell up a few times. I was having a pretty good day.

I had to pee bad at SAG 3 so Jake and Craig caught back up. My legs were twinging a bit in the last 15 miles. Probably from just drinking water all day. Not enough to cramp though and if there's one think I know how to do, it's manage cramps.

One guy crashed out at some point. He was OK though. Another guy stood up, stopped pedalling and pulled left across my front wheel on a climb. I have no clue how I kept from going down.

At the end there, it was nervewracking. We rolled in around 11:40 or so I think.


Yay, done. Awesome ride. No pain, just fun. Definitely going to hit up a few more of these.

We grabbed some pizza at some local joint that I don't remember the name of but it started with a G. It was good but it took a long time. I'll eat there again though.

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