Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Friday, September 07, 2007


That might not mean anything to you, but 13:38 is exciting for me.

Last night, I met up with the folks at Sunshine Cycle Shop for the weekly Thursday ride. It is route that heads out behind the shop along to base of Paris Mountain, over to Furman, and then back to the shop via Altamont Road. There is a good amount of climbing and the riders are typically more advanced. It is a good work out.

We decided to skip the Furman section because our evenings are getting shorter. So, we got off of the winding roads along the base of Paris and headed down Old Buncombe to the start of Altamont. It was time to do some climbing!

I assessed the group - all of them were regular shop riders and I knew we could make a good time if I could just hang with them: especially Art and Tony. They seem to be the climbing animals. Tony was sitting on his new Orbea Orca with iPod earbuds in his ears. Art was just Art. The man is 61 - I think - and when he dies 50 years from now, they need to go inside and find out what is in there! Now, all the other guys are no slouches either, but I set my mind to try to hang with the one of these two that made a move.

First, I hooked onto Art's wheel. I had a couple of gears to spare as we headed up. We were making good time. Once we hit the first sustained incline, I used those gears up. I settled in with the group and we kept going.

Then things began to thin out and I found myself alone on Tony's wheel. He was in a zone and his cadence barely altered. I stayed with him for as long as I could and then he left me. At that point, I looked behind me and there was no one there. So, I just decided to make the best of it and kept plugging.

I felt as though I was working just as hard as I normally do, but my computer was telling me that I was doing better. My heart rate was just over 180 and I was able to go to a harder gear off and on. I could feel that I had more power.

Near the last couple of turns, I looked back and I could see Art coming up behind me. Up ahead, Tony had disappeared around the bend. I had visions of me hitting The Wall and Art powering past me. That became my motivation. Don't let Art pass me!

As I turned around the last bend to climb that last killer portion of the route, I saw Tony nearing the turn up to the KOM. He was out of the saddle and pushing along. I couldn't tell how close Art might be. I moved the gear to a smaller ring and stood to give it one last push. My heart was screaming at me, but I knew I was going to be able to get my legs over the line.

I crossed it and stopped the lap on my computer. 13:38! I had finished the climb 1:10 faster than I had ever done it before. What a feeling! On top of Paris Mountain, I was standing on top of the world - for a little while. Now, I need to get it down to 13 even :-)



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