I've heard of this race, (for all intense purposes we will call it that), referred to as many things, including Hell. And its not just the name that's clever. The courses are well designed and all the proceeds benefit the farmers and land owners that want to protect it from unwanted development. And without farmers....there would be no beer.
I must admit, studying those elevation maps, watching all those videos and reading the numerous blogs prior to the event, had me a little terrified.
|Time to pick up our race kits and meet a few locals|
his stories were as vivid as his paintings. "The People's Pint", a local brewery and restaurant in Greenfield attended, serving up burgers and beer. Plus a few more. Cornel and I anxiously grabbed for a cold one, for the carbs of course-it had absolutely nothing to do with that seven hour drive. Unbeknownst to us, was the group of cyclist that had gathered on site at the People's Pint. We'll be sure to follow up on that one next year. Oh yeah, there is definitely going to be a next year.
|The starting line|
|The stunning views of Franklin County|
|Cornel pondering how I beat him up that last hill.|
One of the most significant clambers in my opinion was on the way up to the orchard. It is appropriately named Apex Orchard. I received the full definition from a cycling perspective from Cornel. Who Knew? We were greeted with cold peaches and apples, cookies and other hydration. It was hard to leave, but, knowing that there was only 20km remaining before cold beer was enough to put you back in the saddle. Upon leaving, Dr. Evil made his usual remark.....just one more climb.
It was a nice descent and although, I still felt good, I was content knowing that the ride would be over within another hour or so. There was a technical tailspin close to the end and this is where I suspect I broke my spoke. It was the only casualty, so not so bad. This last sag was also another concern for Cornel as he felt I was taking it way too fast for my level of expertise. Poor guy, I can only imagine the amount of cringing he must do riding behind me making sure that I'm safe.Without him, I'm not sure I would have been able to do this journey. He has taught me so much. He is my rock. Fortunately, the broken spoke didn't cause any further damage, most of which, I was totally oblivious to anyways.
Following that, it was just a nice flat section where you could sprint to the finish if you still had the legs to do it. It was such a moment to cross the line with some energy left to eat, drink and enjoy some camaraderie amongst the other cyclists. Each of us giving a full description of the days events and our favorite portion of the course.
Looking forward to heading back up there next year and hopefully taking some friends along for the ride.
Happy trails my friends.