22 miles | 4,300 vertical climbing | 4.5 hours
Village >> Road warm up >> Up Tom’s Thumb (grind grind) >> Down Tom’s Thumb (hoot hoot) >> Up Windgate >> Down Wingate >> Down Windmill >> Down Coachwhip >> Pemberton >> Up Dixie Mine >> Up Up Up Prospector >> Up Bell >> Down Bell >> Gateway >> Horseshoe >> Village.
“Recover on the bike.” That was our motto. We knew we had to keep moving to finish this ride by 10:30 am. Riding solo I don’t usually push myself to keep going when I feel like it’s time to break. I use the camera as an excuse to stop. Riding with Paul, it was all I could do to keep up with him.
It has been a while since I rode with someone who can smoke me on the climbs and leave me nothing but dust to eat on the descents. Paul kept motivating me. Complimenting me along the way and setting time goals for the next climb. It’s been a while since I rode with structure. It was good for me to keep pushing.
Honestly, I had my doubts that we could do it. It was a big ride and a small window. But that’s what I enjoy most about riding, doing what your brain tells you is going to hurt. Pushing past the easy turnaround point. Going the distance, so far out that the only way back is climbing.
By the time we got to Prospector, I was slowing, but not stopping. Every granny stroke only brought me inches closer to the goal. But inches add up to feet add up to miles (as well as turn the tires).
I’m not quite ready for theMcDowell 60, but I’m closer. And that’s what matters.