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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Mike planned a ride for this morning. The idea was to leave the shop before 8 AM and get in the old Thursday night ride before the doors opened at 10 PM. Supposedly there were to be about 6 to 8 of us. Turns out it was just Art, Mike, and myself.

We started out on the normal route that would take us along the base of Paris Mountain to the Furman campus. However, when we reached the CVS on the corner of Altamont and State Park, Art stopped and suggested instead of taking the route along the base of the mountain we should go over the mountain.

I don't know about Mike, but I wasn't real thrilled with the idea. Art seemed so set on it I didn't want to disappoint him -- or come across as a wimp for not doing it. So, we started off. Then Art threw in another wrinkle. "Let's do Audubon Road."

Now, I've never done Audubon. I had heard about it, but I had only been on the road once with my bike and I turned off of it to climb Woodhaven (which is a killer itself). With the way my legs were feeling, I wasn't so sure I was going to enjoy this. Still, I wasn't going to let Art show me up.

Mike is just getting over a cold and decided to go on up to meet us where Audubon meets back with Altamont. Art and I took off. The road is really quite nice. It is newly paved and for most of the distance there are no houses... just beautiful hardwoods that are just gorgeous this time of year.

Once back on Altamont we continued to the top of the mountain. Art again suggested and alteration to our route. He wanted to go on up to the very top of the mountain where the radio towers are - up Old Bridge Road. I was starting to think at this point that Art was just trying to kill us! This took us up over 2000 feet in elevation which would mean over 1000 feet from where I left my house that morning.

The view was worth it as we could look out over Greenville. There were the buildings of downtown sticking out from the green of the trees. Wow, we were just down there less than 40 minutes ago. I think I'll climb up there more often!

I had a little scare on the way back to Altamont. The road was covered with leaves and they were wet (from what I don't know - maybe a frost). As I went into a turn I was carrying a little too much speed. I braked and tried to turn the bike without leaning over. My rear wheel fishtailed about 10 inches and I collected it to make the turn right before going off the edge of the road.

From there things were pretty uneventful until the climb back up Altamont after riding through the Furman campus. Mike told Art and I to go ahead. I hooked onto Art's wheel and tried to follow him up. I stayed with him pretty well until the halfway point.

At this point I started feeling the bad effects of the weight training. My muscles were just tired. Plus, I was having trouble breathing because my nose was running something awful. I just slipped in a easy ring and started spinning my way up. As I crossed over the KOM line, I looked to see a very slow 14' 20" lap time.

I left Mike and Art as we approached Pine Knoll so that I could ride over to Dunkin' Donuts to get a bagel and a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, they were out of bagels and I had to settle for a banana nut muffin. It was pretty good. Then I took my life in my hands and rode home via Wade Hampton Blvd. It wasn't too bad and I got several extra miles on my ride.

I'm hoping this weight training is going to be worth it. Right now it is hurting me. I can feel power for short bursts, but for the long steady rides it seems to affect me negatively. If I ride for a sustained period (like climbing Altamont - or on a trainer) my muscles just feel like their swelling and tight. I feel like I'm dragging two sticks of concrete around.

I guess the idea is that I will shift away from the weights to get my base miles in. That will bring back my riding legs with the additional power from the weight training. At least that is my hope! If not, I'm going to have to keep eating Art's dust. Uggggghh!



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