Saturday, March 29, 2008

Assault on the Carolina (Just one)

Left yesterday for the mountains. Stopped by Sumter, SC to do some moto riding. Went out to Manchester State Forest to ride. Rode there in 02' but haven't been back since. Remembered having a good time when I was there so I was looking forward to going back.
I had a great time. Fast trails and I was riding smooth and having a great time. Did 60 or so miles ( 3 hrs.) The last lap was pushing it as I was getting tired and starting to make mistakes, so I decided to call it a day and head on up to Asheville. Rolled up at Robert's ready to relax. Robert was dressed to ride and made me ride my bike. I didn't want to but felt better after a short spin. Nathan, Jay, and Thaddeus showed up around 10:30 and we hit the sack.

Assault on the Carolina:

Woke up to a VERY rude alarm at 7:00 this moning. If that wasn't bad enough I was also hearing the sweet sound of a torrential downpour. Great- I love racing in hard conditions, but a charity ride cruisin' with friends in a downpour- not so much. Anyways- rolled down to Brevard High School for the Assault start. The rain stopped long enough to start the ride and we rolled out nice and mellow. I was actually feeling really good today and rolling comfortably in the lead group. I told Jay I'd ride with him so I figured I'd ride hard till the top of Walnut Hollow then double back for Jay. However, it wasn't my decision. Broke a spoke on Country Club road and had to stop. Robert doubled back instantaneously. I wrapped the broken spoke up around another, checked to see if the wheel would turn, and we were off. We rolled easy for awhile and Jay along with a small group caught up. We had a nice ride for a bit. As soon as we got over the Continental Divide however, the bottom fell out. Torrential downpour of epic proportions ocurred. Hail, dropping temps, and water running down the road made the descent on 178 very dangerous. Not to mention that my front brake was disconnected so the wheel would roll. A fact that I had forgotten until I hit the brakes in the first switchback and nothing happened. I was getting colder and colder and we still had another 1/2 hr. of downhill left before we could warm up by climbing. I stopped at the state line and waited for the other guys to catch up. I proposed that we head back up the mountain to get warmed up then head back to Brevard. I didn't even finish my sentence and everyone was u-turned and left me standing. Instant warmth once we got rolling. Saw some other guys I knew and they joined in as well. Looped back through Rosman and on to Brevard. The rest of the ride was great once we got out of the deluge. Made it back, cleaned up and waited for the others to get back. My other teammates rode well getting back at the front 3rd and 4th ones in and anothr in the top 10 as well. Sycamore cycles had a good showing in the top 10 as well in a very strong field today.
Even with the bad conditions, the Assault on the Carolinas is one of the best around and I had fun anyways. Seems like every other year the conditions are good. So- I guess next year will be nice. Better be beause I'll be back again. DH

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