Thursday, May 29, 2008

Memorial Weekend Bike Ride

My friends Rick Masta, Paul Gibbons, Mark Brunner and I left Mark's house in Blairsville on Saturday morning of Memorial Weekend heading for Sylva, NC. Rick's sister has a very nice second home there and we had the place to ourselves for the weekend. All we had to do was get there! The first day was a 95 mile jaunt with about 5000' of climbing. It went well, except for my cleat sheering off the bottom of my shoe at mile 35. I could only push on the pedals, instead of push/pull. Fortunately my foot only came off the pedal 4 times. We left about 9 and rolled UP about 5. The last quarter mile to her house was straight up. I pushed, but Paul was the only one to go all the way.

Day 1 at Mark's house
Relaxing on the deck after Day 1
We called this our "album cover" picture. IF we were a band....
Downtown Sylva after a well deserved slice of pizza pie and beer!
Day 2 was a 90 mile out and back ride to the top of Clingman's Dome in Smoky National Park. Mark and I "opted" for the 76 mile ride to the top of Newfound Gap instead, just before the turn off to Clingman's Dome. The body can only take so much, and we weren't ready to try and keep up with Rick and Paul. Unfortunately the roads were really busy with cars on a holiday weekend, and lots of Harleys, as seen above. But the landscape at the top of the gap changed to Rocky Mountain type, or at least it seemed to me. We were only at 5048' in altitude, but the trees changed like no place on the Eastern seaboard I've seen before.
Day 3 we changed the return route a little and ended up with 90 miles, but probably a bit less climbing. I was worried that 3 consecutive days of almost 100 miles would really kill me, but all-in-all I felt pretty good. Here we are just outside of Hayesville, NC.
Four tired but hosed off puppies.


Sandy B & Dick said...

Cute puppies! See ya Sunday...xoxoxoxoxoxo

HaleyD said...

Great album cover! LOL I agree that the Gap looks very much like out West. We've opted out of seeing Clingman's Dome everytime we've gone through there- by car or truck of course.