Sunday, February 24, 2008


The plan for saturday was to get 4-5 hours in on either the road or the mountain. Since it rained all day friday, that left me with the road. Temps looked to be in the low 40s for most of the day, with a high of 48. So I bundled up, and was nearly sweating as I was filling up tires and bottles. At that moment, I was convinced I had way too much clothing, but decided to just roll with it and zip things down. This would prove to be about the last good decision I made for the day.

I made it about 4 miles before I was again convinced I had way too many layers, but unzipping everything made it bearable. As I got about 15 miles south of Knoxville, there was a consistent mist. So much for staying dry, but at least it wasn't full on raining. After getting to Walland, I had the option of either taking the flat way out to Townsend, or climbing up the Foothills Parkway. After convincing myself that taking the flat way out would totally be an amateur move, I headed out towards the parkway.

What, no sun? Com'n!

I wasn't really paying attention to the obvious signs on the climb up. Constant mist, along with a nice drop in temps had me zipping up all my layers while I was still climbing, and visibility kept decreasing. After making it to the top, I downed a gel, and turned to head back down. This moment would prove to be the last time during the ride that I could feel my toes. I made it about a mile and a half down before I was shaking enough to move the bike and had bright red shins. Great start, as I'm freezing to death after 1.5 miles and still have 8.5 to go. All my clothes being wet from the mist wasn't helping, and my body fat was not so much protecting me. Getting the rest of the way down required stopping twice to warm my hands up and trying to brake and pedal on the way down to attempt to generate some heat.

At least the visibility was good.

I finally felt sort of comfortable again on the way back into town, but it took almost an hour of riding. The rest of my afternoon was spent thawing out my feet and fingers. Red, swollen, and tingly appendages are a good thing, right? I won't say it's the coldest I've ever been, but I can't remember having a colder day on the bike. Definitely more of an epic ride than I was planning for, but I guess those are good every now and then. I know for sure now that I will never be a tenth of the man that Andy Hampsten is...

In bike news, the bits and pieces of the Rig build are starting to trickle in. Hopefully everything will show up and I can get the bike built up by the end of next week.


B-Dot Christmas


  1. elizabeth said...
    how long until you drop your camera while attempting to take a picture of yourself on the bike?

    we should start a pool
    Dave Holmes said...
    It sounds like you're trying to imply that my one/no handed bike handling skills have not reached "mad" status... You're probably right.

    But I think I'll be good once it's warm enough to lose the gloves, they def don't help with holding on to it.

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