winging it, TdB '08

le Tour.  7 stages 5 days 

plus opening ceremonies.
once again, no gears.
went coasty on the dirt,
fixed on the tarmac/pave'
(rear brake added for the big hills).
legs were flat, I'm tired.
went in tired, went in stressed.

Monday prior storms did some
damage to the garden, the post 
below a jinx?  winds and rain 
tested the integrety of the chincy 
cages, and the whole shebang 
collapsed.  Tuesday extra chore,
rig up some rigging for the crazy
vibrant tomatoes.  Made it thru the 
week, but gonna need more support 
sooner rather than later.

then onto the road for afternoon 
arrival at casa de Carpong.  HUGE
thanks for putting us up once again.

Prologue:  Prerode a lap to get a feel for things, then ripped off a stellar 19th place hot lap, riding the downhill like a little girl.  Important part was getting in tune with the scene, checking out from the real world for the next five days and doing the catching up and meeting new faces and seeing who's in for the journey this year.  
eat, drink, be merry.

Stage 1:  Welcome to my world, hike a bike to Elliot's.  Not up to speed yet, got into squirrelly rut on the first hi speed doubletracky, so laid back to breath and hiked to the top of Elliott's, making time best I could. Grabbed a hole shotish position into the trail from the top and hooked up a sweet groove with Matt Marcus onto the higher speed roll out into those sweet Crawford hikes.  The new to me descent off Crawford was FUUUNNNNN! so glad I can coast.

Stage 2:  Hot day of road slum.  Mooreland Gap, dismount dejectedly on that sweeping left hand ramp, just didn't have it.  Legs are not what they were last year, absolutely no oommph, or I'm just not digging that deep, knowing what's ahead.  Either way, "Outlook Not Good" for me having a stellar Tour, gonna be digging deeper than expected this year.  Trade 10 steps of shame now, for 50 later.  Long fireroad false flat summit and power rollers were mind numbing as usual.  Able to climb and spectate the KOM from the ez side of 675, that was nice. Fixy negated any 'coast off' participation down the fun side.  Took the opportunity to lead out the second timed section.  At least to the top, then immediately dropped and chasing down the backside of many orchard type rollers to the base of 211.  Into the oven and up thru New Market Gap, legs toast, actually unclip for first ever time on the road bike.  That was a sketchy and not enjoyable 31.2mph, can go faster pedaling if I want/can, so use the runaway truck ramp to shut it down below twenty to clip back into the one sided roadie pedals, what a pain in the ass that is.  The estimated 75ish route, was actually 90, shocking!

Stage 2b:  Rippin' Hillendale time trail.  16ish minutes of tearing braaaaaap braaaaP! rocky surprise bermed out fun.  Then chowing down on an awesome Ethiopian buffet, beer and ping pong spectation.

Stage 3: Putting the G in gnargnar.  Short Mtn kicks ass, some many ridable torquey power moves and tight seam lines and high sides and bright spot aiming.  Really wishing I either had fresh legs, or an extra tooth or two on the freewheel, or maybe just not racing, and riding instead.  Not a fan of hiking stuff I know I can ride....if only.  Then it rained, and I finally felt good pedaling the bike, got down onto a sweet roller coaster ribbon of trail to finish the stage and pulled back some of the road fix handicap in the hunt for a mid pack GC finish. sweet.

Stage 4:  Queen Stage.  The big one, the one that scares me.  Out to and over 250 into the WV, back home over Reddish via portions of the S&M100 course.  Goal as usual, don't walk.  Really slummin' body and mind in the morn, weather is looking weatherish and not helping the mood.  Make a deal on the way to Stokesville just to make it; if 250 doesn't go well, then bail.  You'll have given it all by then, and if it ain't happening, pull the plug, think of the big picture.  Inform Carp just to say it out loud more than anything.  GW rollers to 250 go well enough, final pitch of pave' barks worse than it bites.  Dropped by the trains past Braley's and make the right.  Settle into a sweet 16.4mph rythmn, Sarah in tow to Mtn House.  Just turn 'em over from here on out.  Just breath, and turn 'em over.  Work the pitch thru the elevator switch and settle in.  Just settle in, and pedal, let it roll you thru the stroke, use that fix,roll, mo. just. pedal. Done, wish for a freewheel for the ripper into WV.  Lunch break, then some quality quiet time on the valley parade to the next depart'.  Mtn valley cruising on the road bike, farm meadows, collapsing century old wood slat barns and homesteads and stone and rusting barbwire fences, a deer in the meadow.  Enjoy it while it lasts, back into the pain cave, 3rd over the unclassified kom to start the stage, don't drop toooo many spots on the down, then on up to Reddish.  Do whatever it takes to not stop pedaling.  No conversations, don't mean to be rude, but the quiet place, is quiet.  Pedal the whole way thru to the top, finish only 10ish minutes back.  Yeah, this is where the core power kicks in and where it comes from.  Was hoping for a top 10 on the summit finish, but more than happy with 12ish.  Half an hour of pedaling down Reddish at 20mph was just as tedious as last year, spectating the sprint was tight.  Steady tempo slummin' back to town was enhanced by a post storm rainbow, good times.

Stage 5:  Yeah baby!  Been waiting a year to get another crack at this ride.  Last year was a day filled with "why am I doing this fixed????" while trying to drop the descents.  This year was rippin' good times through and through.  Inspired by the knowledge of final efforts, the timed sections were a blast.  Being able to let go of that extra oomph, burn those last couple matches, cuz tomorrow I'm back at a desk.  DeathStar, oh, soooooooo much fun.  Brakes were blazing hot, trail was tight, loam was predictable sluffy love on the steeps, carving line with an occasional blip to keep your eyes open for.  Damn.  HoneQuarry-HeartBreak, yeah yeah! YEAH!!!  Final shot off the line, then recover and flow, find something for a couple of those ups, laugh at the stepped hike a bike, wait for the final one then pull some moves on the rock gnar love of Heartbreak.  yeah, hell of a time, been waiting a year for that.

yeah, been waiting a year for that.

1 comment:

Gregg "Stubbie" Stone said...

One of these years I'm gonna come back and do this race..... one of these years