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Blood, Sweat, & Gears ride/Tiger Rag mtb race rept (long)(9 posts)

Blood, Sweat, & Gears ride/Tiger Rag mtb race rept (long)_rt_
Jun 30, 2003 8:20 AM
Warning: this post contains both road & mtb content. If you don't like one or the other..well, that's too d@mn bad for you! stop reading now & go find something shorter. ;-)

Sometimes I amaze myself. This weekend was one of those times. My goal was to do a hilly road century on Sat in western NC and then head back down to Clemson, SC and do the 4th Cane Creek Series mtb race on Sun....
So, on saturday I did this:


Then on sunday I did this:
http://www.clemsonchamber.org/Sports/tiger%20rag/03racecourse.htm

And, surprisingly, I didn't die. Not only did I not die, but I finished the century in 6:05 and won the mtb race...(for those of you with short attention spans you can stop reading now.)

Now, for the longer, more descriptive version:

We headed out Friday morning to go up to western NC for the BSG century. 102 miles & 9000+ feet of agonizing fun (Note: I use the term "fun" loosely) . Depending on when you checked the weather forecast for the weekend it was either going to be sunny, partly sunny, raining, scattered thunder showers, or isolated thunder storms. The answer was ‘yes': We pretty much saw all of that. I guess when you ride 100+ miles you see a lot of weather!

BSG was my 2nd century. I went up with a group of friends whom I saw at the beginning as we lined up to start and then 6 hours later at the end. The group rolled out and I jumped on my friend Katie1's wheel as she made her way toward the front pack. Knowing that I would likely be dropped by this group early on (if I ever even made it up that far) I wanted to see what the "real players" looked like. We hit the first hill (a 5 mile not too horribly steep climb) before I made it up that far in the group. As I climbed I settled into a comfortable rhythm losing sight of the lead pack and along the way was caught by or caught up to a group of people who I would see & ride with on & off for the rest of the day.

Here we are an hour & 48 min into the ride.


And here i am...

(see, it's early in the race: I'm still smiling)

My goal was to finish. Having never done this ride before I wasn't sure how long it would take. But based on my current level of fitness & the time it took me to do the Six Gap century last year I was figuring on about 7 hours of saddle time. So I just settled in.

Mile 61 brings the steepest climb of the ride, Snake Mtn, which climbs about 2200' in 4 miles & finishes with a 20% grade. I grabbed some food at the aid station before the climb and was off. I caught up to a group of 3 riders (1 woman & 2 men) and sat in & chatted with them. The hill got steeper. Chatting ceased.. And steeper. Our little group splintered as we each found a grinding rhythm that didn't hurt too much.. And steeper. Wow! This hurts.. I'd been told that the real pain starts when you see the water wheel. I passed (in ultra-slow motion) the water wheel and looked up. I saw fog,. and one of the guys from my little group traversing in slow zig-zags, and the guy on the single speed walking (YES!! There was someone out there on a single speed!! I don't remember his name but he rides for Franklin St. Cycles in Chapel Hill, NC. Whatever your name is, you da man!!!)...I kept grinding away thinking ‘I will ride straight up. I will ride straight up..' ....the fog got thicker & the hill got impossibly steeper. As I was beginning to think my legs would explode I passed a female spectator who yelled, "You're the 5th woman over the top!!" Top? Where?! Me?? the 5th woman!!?? With a small grin I crested Snake Mtn and began the fast twisting descent down the other side.

I caught up to 2 of the group I had started the climb with and rode with them for the next 20 miles
ps..._rt_
Jun 30, 2003 8:38 AM
many thanks to all the folks i rode with & got pulled by. it was great to meet & ride with such an awesome group of random strangers.

congrats to all who finished BSG! hope to see some of you in Sept at Six Gaps!

rt
re: Blood, Sweat, & Gears ride/Tiger Rag mtb race rept (long)AcesFull
Jun 30, 2003 9:05 AM
This was also the first time I had ever done a "hilly" century. I'm not a climber, and I don't play one on TV. I wiped out on the first descent and was happy just to finish without a brown streak down my leg.

I don't know which side of Snake Mtn was more intimidating! I finished about 30 mins behind you, so proly about 15 mins after you crested Snake, there was a serious accident on the descent. Through the rain and fog, I saw a mangled C'dale on the top of a official car coming up the mountain. That was enough to make me grab two handfuls of brake.

A great ride with fantastic support and great volunteers.

Now, I get to enjoy some nice road rash for a week or so.

Also, where'd you get the pics?
yikes! scary._rt_
Jun 30, 2003 9:11 AM
congrats on doing the ride. it's a tough one & was my 2nd hilly century....if you really want to get spanked give the Six Gap century a try! http://www.dahlonega.org/sixgapcentury/
Six gaps was my first century. ouch! ;-)

i probably hit 50 mph coming down Snake.....but then, i really like descending and it wasn't too wet when i was coming down.

i "liberated" the pics from here:
http://216.234.235.103/www.birdseyeview.net/cgi-local/store/imageFolio.cgi?direct=Cycling/Blood_Sweat_and_Gears

i'm pretty sure all the photos were taken in the same spot on the 1st climb.

congrats again....oh, and tegaderm works wonders for road rash.

rt
re: Blood, Sweat, & Gears ride/Tiger Rag mtb race rept (long)AcesFull
Jun 30, 2003 10:44 AM
Thanks for the URL.

If you are interested, check out that blood on the left elbow. Plus the rip in the in the new PI's.
re: Blood, Sweat, & Gears ride/Tiger Rag mtb race rept (long)_rt_
Jun 30, 2003 10:57 AM
i remember seeing you.....or your jersey, at least. bummer about the new PI's. those aren't cheap!

congrats again!

rt
re: Blood, Sweat, & Gears ride/Tiger Rag mtb race rept (long)AcesFull
Jun 30, 2003 11:06 AM
Thanks!

I'm looking into six Gap. I live in Douglasville (about 20 miles west of ATL). Maybe I'll see you there.
re: Blood, Sweat, & Gears ride/Tiger Rag mtb race rept (long)katie1
Jun 30, 2003 10:12 AM
Like rt said, it was a great century. I would post my pic, but I'm not smiling. In fact, I look like I would rather die. I don't think it is as hard as 6 gaps but it was worth the drive to try it. All of the climbs are pretty short but Snake Mtn was challenging. The weather cooperated for the most part with lots of fog and some drizzle in the beginning. Temp wise it was fine. Kudos to the sag stops. I stopped with a group right before Snake Mtn. I felt like a car at a NASCAR race. They ran over to me, grabbed my bottles, filled them up, handed me bananas and pushed me off. Afterwards, they had much needed massages, pizza, subs and coke. Overall, I was pleased with my time < 5:40.
re: Blood, Sweat, &amp; Gears ride/Tiger Rag mtb race rept (long)AcesFull
Jun 30, 2003 11:11 AM
5:40 is fantastic!!!

I would have gone 5:40 without a crash, and err, well, maybe the last 15 miles.