Monday, August 31

A road race less traveled

Around 4:30PM on Friday I decided on my plan for the weekend. I did not do the marathon race right here in the Queen City on Saturday. I did hear that they had a great turnout (despite a soaker passing through Friday night), and there were somewhere around twenty guys in the SS class. I'll admit I was thinking about the race from time to time all day, but I chose to spend the day with the family. The rest of the family was headed to an adoption class to regale the students with tales of our adoption of Nia, and I went along to give the happy father's perspective. The Pie takes a lot of time outta her life to help other's along the bumpy adoption road, so I did my small part today as opposed to riding more circles in the dirt.

On Sunday the Notorious B.I.G. Worm and I headed down to Greenville to participate in a cycling double header. First we hit up the trails at Paris Mountain. I was amazed that the citizens of Greenville have such an awesome trail system right at the edge of the city. It was hard at times to not feel like I was in THE mountains... fast flowy trails, little technical sections, a worthy downhill course, actual CLIMBING, and views.

all photos: Big Worm

I was not able to ride up the wall of this culvert no matter how hard I tried. No, this is not part of the actual trail system, but being Paris Mountain noobies we had to check out all the tourist attractions.

Little drops abound all over the trails. Here I am the instant I landed (as you can tell by the complete compression of my front tire). Do I love the Rampage combo on the Flow rim? You tell me...
Yes George, this is why I want the new WTB Kodiak as soon as it gets to your toy store.

Then it was time to don my civvies and head over to part two of Sunday's double header.

We rode over to the US Pro Road race course and then backwards up the big climb. We met up with Tomato (who was a big help in the logistical planning of our day) and company. As much as I liken watching road racing to watching paint dry it was kinda neat to have lead motos and such trying to shave off my kneecaps as they went by. We watched the big boys crush the mountain climb, observed as the crazy Columbian spectators pushed the stragglers up the climb, and marveled at how much gasoline it takes to keep all the riders safe on the course. VIP SUV's, cop cars, motos, a helicopter, ambulances, and of course the Broom Wagon... all in the name of bike racing. Weird.

Hopefully this is the start of a new trend. No, not skipping the actual participation of races in order to spectate more slightly less interesting events. Instead I hope to have more new experiences and avoid doing more of the same old same old. Some of the races I've done in this year 2009 I've done quite a few times. There are a few I hope to do forever (like PMBAR), but I think some will have to go the wayside to make room for new events in 2010.

This year I made the mistake of passing up the opportunity to travel to the Dakota Five-0 with the Twin Six fellers in order to do the Shenandoah 100 for the fourth time in a row. The Shenandoah is one of my favorite races, but I regret that I didn't go for the new adventure and chose the safe and familiar instead. Meh. Next year I hope to avoid that situation entirely and try to pick something new over the same old same old when possible. Ironically, I can see my year starting out just as it did in '09 (Six Hours of Warrior Creek, PMBAR, DSG), but hopefully the Trans-Sylvania will turn it all around and get me on the right track. Of course it will still be mostly East Coast oriented, so coming up with a whole slew of the new won't be easy, but I'm gonna do what I can.

FYI: Backcountry Reearch is having a sale till Labor Day. Now is your chance to get Awesome at a lower price than usual (with free shipping). It has never been cheaper to emulate me with your choice in fine (yet affordable) cycling related equipment, so take advantage of this opportunity to strap it on like Dick.


brado1 said...

Sorry missed riding w/ yous guys. yeah Paris is a pretty awesome little gem, six miles from the center of of town & 70+K people.

Blair said...

In another life, I carried a photographer on the back of my BMW R1100RS for a stage of the Tour Dupont. A buddy of mine still does it. He prolly passed you yesterday.

Mike said...

See Rich, this is what 40 is all about...trying new things and getting out of old ruts. Good for you.

Anonymous said...

Love it! A little closer to home the Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic will be.
I no longer hope for 12 hour drives in the vehicle...

What about the Pisgah stage race in Oct? Is it going down?

dicky said...

The Pisgah Stage Race is still on.
I'm still on some kinda race decision fence, but I'm pretty sure they will race without me if they have to.