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Our new sports obsession: Bicycling

Michael & other riders at the 2004 Assaults on Mt. Mitchell & Marion With the heaps of overly specialized gear — gloves, shoes, and biking jerseys — most cyclists realize that every day on the road is Halloween. Plain and simple, it's wearing a costume each time out of the gate.…We're neon signs, stylistically impaired wonders blinding pedestrians and fooling small children into thinking that the circus has come back to town.

Joe Kurmaskie, the Metal Cowboy: Riding Outside the Lines


The Thornhill Mobile HomePage Cycling Pages

2005 Cycling Page (this one)

2004 Cycling Page

2003 Cycling Page

Cycling cartoons from the webmaster of the Thornhill Mobile HomePage

Cycle North Carolina

Asheville to Wilmington: Click here to read my CNC 2005 journal.

BRBC Spring Fat Burners

I've again planned to take off every Tuesday in April and even May this year. We'll see if that goes better than last year.

(April 5, 2005) This first one, from Asheville First Baptist to Hot Springs and back through Marshall, would have been OK, except for the wind. I paced myself better this year, skipped the Rector's Corner loop and headed toward Doggett about 20 minutes before everybody else (a few others skipped or just missed the turn, but waited for those who took that loop), which meant only 11 of them caught me before the top. I only stopped for about ten minutes in Hot Springs (instead of the hour-plus lunch stop last year). I think everybody else took about an hour break, because Charlie Clogston & Mike Nix passed me in a car just before I got to the Bus. 25/70 turnoff.

That gave me a pretty good head start — enough time for a Mountain Dew break at Zuma Coffee and I didn't get caught by anyone until just past the Zillicoa (sp?) red light on Broadway. Without the wind (seemed like an almost constant headwind or cross wind from a front angle from the top of the first climb out of Hot Springs all the way back to Asheville) I think I would have done OK. I was actually looking forward to the rollers going into Marshall, but the wind pretty much sapped my will to live. I rolled in at 95.78 miles in 8:10, without enough energy left to circle the parking lot for an even 96, much less complete the century.



Jubilee Joy Ride

(April 2, 2005) This may be the last year we do this ride. Both years we've done it, it just doesn't seem like it's up to the standards of the other Electric City rides: the T-shirts only come to XL (like at Issaqueena, they apparently don't think big boys and girls ride bicycles), the route includes a nice long stretch of chip-seal road (not that big a deal on its own, but doing the 28 mile route means the two times on that stretch is a pretty good percentage of the ride); there's no food or drink at the finish; and I'm just not fond of rides without a mass start (it's too easy to sleep in, lollygag around and show up later than planned). This year was particularly tough because of the wind. Tracey made it further than she expected, but still made the smart decision to abandon at the 15 mile rest stop. The wind was just brutal: we even saw one woman get literally blown off the road just after she passed us. Luckily, she wasn't hurt. It seemed like there was maybe a half mile of tailwind which pushed us up one hill, and the rest was all a headwind or a crosswind from the front. On the way back, I had to pedal pretty hard to go back down that hill where we had the tailwind on the way up.

Assault on the Carolinas

(March 26, 2005) Made a last minute decision to do this ride, thanks to a little guilting from Chad Holt at work. My plan this year is to not do so many rides where I have to pay, but instead to get out on my own more. So far, that's not really working out, but I am ahead of last year at this time. Also found out that waiting until the "day-of" to sign up means you get stuck with whatever's left in the premium box: in this case, a size large T-shirt, which will just about fit over my big watermelon head but little else of my size XXL physique.

Since Tracey opted not to burn out her lungs on this one this year, I went for the metric century, which included the climb up Caesars Head. It really wasn't as bad as I expected. The approach took me through some of the area that's on one of our driving routes to the in-laws' in Anderson, and I managed the climb with only a few stops to catch my breath. As usual, I was one of the last ones to finish, although I think a couple of people must have quit on the climb, because there were 4 or 5 people at the last rest stop in SC when I headed out.



We're members of two cycling clubs:

Blue Ridge Bicycle Club in Asheville

Blue Ridge BITS