Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring Break days 3 & 4...

After arriving at the NOC a little after 1:30 AM on sunday night I settled into my diggs for the week. I was sharing a room with Tank and Alex. Tank took the loft while Alex and I shared the double bed on the main floor. Being pretty exhausted I fell asleep within a few mins of my head hitting the pillow.

We got up ~7:30 as Alex was on Breakfast detail. I have to say that I was floored by how well organized the trip is. Every night a new group of 5-6 people cook dinner for the masses. They are also in charge of breakfast the next morning. The food was always good, and prepared on time. Also there was no bitching about having to cook and clean. Those that were give a job, did it and did it well with no bitching.

After breakfast we got prepped for riding, picked a route, and rolled out. We had a solid crew of 6-8 strong riders. THe route we picked out had a few decent climbs including a six mile jaunt up Junaluska. Pretty early in the ride the rain started and again I was in the middle of a cold wet day on the bike. Fortunately I had my rain jacket and was not freezing for the most part. We rolled steady tempo for the most part, but got a little chippy up Junaluska, which was fun. At the summit we stopped for some road sodas (Natty Boh), and decided that climbing the route we planned to take would be a mess as the forrest road (711) was old broken pavement. Thus we cut the ride short which was a the right call.

For Tuesday's ride we decided to head up to 711 for some fun dirt/broken pavement descending action. To get there we climbed for 30 miles with only a few flats/downhills. It was great pretty much locked it in at a tempo pace for 2 hours. After reaching the summit on the pavement we descended a mile or so to 711 which started out with another 15 mins of climbing on moderate pavement. At the top we snapped some photos and Alex gave himself a double-calf chainring tattoo (aka CAT X Tattoo).

After we finished poking fun at him we started our descent. It was about six miles of breakneck bliss. Gelling and I went to town bombing the downs and trying to avoid the huge craters in the turns. Below is a google maps terrain view of this portion of the ride (on the right side). You can see that it was pretty twisty. This is probably the most fun I've had on a bike in a long time. The whole ride was a blast, but this was the icing on the cake.

When we got back to the cabin the shenanigans began. Tank called dibs on the shower but he realized that he needed to take a leak before getting the shower. He turned the water on and came out to use the toilet (in another room). While he was pissing I slipped into the shower (still wearing my bibs) and pulled the curtain closed. He returned and I scared the shit out of him when he pulled back the shower curtain. For this move I have been dubbed the sneakiest of rhinos, and can now be followed on twitter @SneakiestRhino. I plan to deluge all of my followers with silly hip-hop lyrics and other nonsensical musings. I hope you join me for the ride.

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