Wednesday, July 4, 2007


The Fab 4th ride was today so it meant a 4:20am wake up and drive to Tryon, NC. Thank you Jittery Joes Espresso Blend...

500 or so people started the ride this morning and the first 15 miles felt like a Cat. 5 race...I was totally gripped with people swerving, dropped chains & bottles and a general high degree of sketchy-ness. I made my way to the front and sat about 20th wheel for the rest of the day...that was much better.

The TSB don't lie and I felt incredibly good today. When we got to the lake Jay and another dude took off and when they got out of sight the pace dropped major factor was the guy in the break with Jay was on the same team as some of strongest guys there (Bianchi--Boyd's team) so they didn't do any chasing. So the lake loop felt relatively easy. One nice thing about staying near the front here is there's no accordian effect around the whoop-de-do's and you can go fast through the turns (thanks to karl for that advice).

Over Camp "Old Indian" I stayed with the front group and just cruised along until the watershed. Once we turned uphill I tried to be in a position behind Boyd and his boyz because I knew he would drop the hammer and I at least wanted to be near the front. He set a moderate tempo for the first half then drilled it. I lost contact with the 20 or so Cat 1-2 types and just kept climbing at my own pace. People were getting shelled right and left.

Funny...once I got dropped a Mini Cooper came crawling by with 3 guys "motorpacing" (if you want to call it that at 12mph!). Of course I jumped on the train and he pulled us up for 5-10 minutes until a final steep spot popped me again.

I got over the watershed just as a group of 10 riders caught me (with Toby S. and Jamie from Harrells). Man, that's a fun descent...I got on the front and drilled it...then just sat in the back for the last couple of fast miles. Jay finished second at 2:49 and I came in at 2:53 and overall I'm pretty happy with the way I rode. Karl was sick so he just rode along then waited for Chris at the watershed. A healthy Karl today would have made a big difference in my comfort level! (and the outcome)

The Fab 4th ride is great but it's even better due to the nice lunch (and Cokes!) they provide at the end and the showers, massages etc. Lot's of Columbia folks were there today as usual, and it was nice to hang out after the ride. I'll be in Louisville till Sunday (those 5 hours sitting in the car didn't feel too good...).