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My 27 mile ride over a mountain, and back

My husband and I signed up for a Labor Day bike ride on the Silver Comet Trail, from Rockmart to Cedartown. Neither of us had ridden that section and our goal has been to ride all of it. This was the last big section to tackle, and since the rest of it had been relatively easy, we felt we could go 27 miles. It was longer than any ride we have done, but we figured, what's 4 more miles! We read the registration form, which said:

27 miles - 9:00 a.m. - Cedartown and Back:  Ride to Cedartown and back on the SCT.  Plan on taking advantage of the rest stops containing plenty of food and drinks.  At the 8.2 mile mark (Grady Road Trail Head) you will begin your ascent of the "Polk County Pyrenees".  No shame in walking your bike up the steep incline and braking down hill.  The return route is generally considered easier than the ride west.  This ride is challenging but doable if you take your time and not allow your pride to dictate your pace.  If there is any doubt about your equipment or level of fitness, opt for the 13 mile ride option.   Return to the park for refueling!

I mean, how hard could it be? Right? We rode for about 8 miles, crossed a road and then there, looming over us, was an incline that was so steep we couldn't see the top. That was a good thing, because once you got to the top, you realized there was another incline. Then another, and then another. The problem was that you had to start the first hill (mountain?) from a dead stop or slow roll due to the road. There was no way to build up any speed or momentum. I made it maybe half way up the first hill and had to get off the bike. The Bike Walk of Shame! Ugh. Because that absolutely wore me out, I didn't have the muscle strength to make it up the other hills and had to stop and walk those. There were some downhills, some quite steep! I didn't think I would make it into Cedartown! What was worse, once I got to Cedartown, I had to turn around and ride back. Oh, the agony! Not to mention the moaning and groaning, the whining and complaining! It was nonstop, and it was all me! My poor husband was such a trooper, which really didn't make it any better because all I could think is "Why am I having so much trouble and he isn't!" There were several times during the crossing of the mountain where I thought I was going to fall down in a puddle of mass muscle fatigue, never to stand again. Fortunately there were several places to stop along the way, and I had enough water with me, not to mention protein bars. The group putting on the ride also had fueling stations with gatorade, water, and lots of snacks from fruit to peanut butter sandwiches to candy, crackers, and nuts. They were greatly appreciated! Once we returned to Rockmart, we were fed a lunch of barbecue sandwiches, hotdogs, slaw, baked beans and chips.

There were several times during the ride that I thought I wasn't going to make it. Once I even saw a buzzard circling overhead. Seriously. I survived, though, and completed the ride. I've never been so grateful for 21 gears. One rider did make a comment about my bike, saying, "You're riding a Townie, though. It's a nice bike, but it really isn't made for this kind of ride." Well! Of all the nerve! No, it isn't made for this kind of ride. It's made for the kind of ride that is fun and enjoyable, not that kind that almost kills you. My Townie and I made it to the end, thank you very much, and if I had to get off and walk, it wasn't the Townie's fault. Besides, have you ever tried to push a Townie up a steep incline? It isn't easy, let me tell you.

That was my day. I got snacks, a lunch, and a t-shirt. I pushed my body and my bike to the very limits. I am exhausted.
I still love my bike.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)

That is awesome...and who the hell cares if you had to walk up a hill!

Hills are hard, even with all the gears we have. And they are climbable, but some aren't. We have to remember that all the mileage we do, we work for. It's not like getting on a lightweight road bike that's made to climb. You conquered something far greater...and that has to feel good.

27 miles is a good ride. Even when we get out there and do a 30...we're beat and there aren't any Mountains involved.

I'm really proud of you. You didn't give up. You went out there and pushed the limits. That's so cool. Good for you!

How was the weather? Two weeks ago when I rode Bike the Bay, I felt that same fatigue. You think...how am I ever going to finish, but then you dig deep and you just do.

Thank God for rest stops! Water and snacks. When we ride hard like that, those stops are soooo greatly appreciated.

I'm so glad you got out there and rode.
*claps* Yay Pearlie!!

A bet a year ago, you didn't think you'd be doing that!

Ride on girl!!
Sep. 8th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
Well done.
That's what it's like around here - I'm always getting off and walking up the hill. But that is tough when you're pushing a bike as well. So not to be sniffed at in the exercise stakes!
Sep. 8th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC)
It's all good .. congratulations on conquering that buzzard!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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