Thursday, September 29, 2011

I survived.

I've done Six Gap.  11,200 feet of climbing, 104 miles, eight hours of riding.

The drive up on Friday was long.  Around six hours.  Don't know if I'll sign up for another ride that is so far away from me.

Saturday morning, we checked ourselves in for the ride then checked out the bike expo.

We picked up a nifty tool for massaging muscles called "The Stick."

Then we watched the Six Gap Criterium.

Really fun to see these guys ride 28 mph around downtown Dahlonega.

After dinner, we headed to our campground and tried to get some sleep before the 5:45 a.m. wake-up call.

We woke up cold and tired (someone was playing loud music late into the night) but managed to throw our tent in the car and head to the start.

Around 4,000 people participated in the ride this year, so you can imagine how packed the start area was.  We hung back until the bulk of the crowd left, then we rolled out into the chilly morning air.  "Let the games begin" is what I remember saying to myself.

How did I feel during the ride?  Strong at first but tired after 70 miles.

The ride wasn't terrible.   The first climb (Neel's Gap) was great; I rode at 8-9mph the whole time.  By the fourth and hardest climb of the ride, I was feeling fatigued.  My computer read 3-4 mph for most of that climb.  

So many people around me were dismounting and walking up.  I made a promise to myself that I WOULD NOT do that.  Come on, it's only Georgia.  I had to think back to the amazing climbs I did in France and tell myself what a badass I am.  In all seriousness, the hills of northern Georgia make for really good climbing.  No disrespect.

At the 70-mile mark, I remember thinking to myself, "Hey, there's the SAG.  Man, it would be so nice to throw my bike and my body in the car and just drive back."  Well, I didn't.  I rode my slow behind all the way back to the finish and had a lot of spaghetti before starting the car ride back home.

How do I feel now?  I feel like I haven't slept properly since last Thursday.  All of that driving to and from Georgia combined with studying for tests has rendered me exhausted.  Yep.  Big black bags under these eyes.

Now I leave you with a cute picture of a cat riding a bicycle.  Ged gave me this kitty, which is now in my front yard.  Enjoy.


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