Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year !!!!!!!!!

We last chatted on Sunday, the 29th. Monday came and we loaded up and went to the mountains! Yep we spent New Years Eve in Saluda! A nice quite couple of days in our favorite small mountain town. I know every time we go I come on here and tell everybody you need to check it out sometime.

But you do! It's nothing fancy but it has it's own unique charm. We are lucky enough to have friends who own a house right there in town and we can walk anywhere we want once we get there. My favorite part of the town is the fact it has no "commercialization".

The closest thing they have to that would be Dollar General Store out near the highway. Besides that it's all locally owned stores and business's. You can't beat the charm.

For New Years Eve we went to Asheville and had a good dinner at the Mellow Mushroom. Then spent a little time walking around checking out the street performers and trying to stay warm. Once we were all chilled we headed back to Saluda and watched the ball drop in Times Square. Kind of low key but perfect if you ask me.

We got out of town for a few days and enjoyed the mountains. We spent time with our kids and had no video games to distract them. It's amazing how they can go with us up there and they relax and enjoy the same things we do. The peace and quite! It's like they look at Saluda as a novelty, it being so quite and such a slower pace.

Now for the ride! Bicycling Magazine listed the Green River Cove climb as one of the top ten climbs in the country last year and that just happens to be about a mile and a half from where we always stay. I have been waiting for the chance to do it and it finally came. Sort of....

Well we get there and Paula our friend, had picked up some cycling literature for me. It listed a few really good rides from downtown Saluda. One being a 25 mile loop that included the climb I wanted to do. My plan had been to just do a 10 mile out and back that included the climb. I was going to go down it and then at 10 miles turn around and go back up it.

Well when I got to the 10 mile mark I was enjoying the ride so much I decided to just keep going and do the full loop. Besides I had just descended about a 1000 feet in 2 miles and I wasn't even sure I could ride up it anyway. Plus I knew I was in the valley bottom with the river and I knew I would have to climb back out somewhere!

Damn was I right!!!!! Two different times I had to stop and push my bike up the road! It was that steep!!! No Joke!! Other times I was moving so slow I probably could have walked and made better time. I was literally just trying to keep turning over the pedals. It's amazing how when you tackle a road like that and then hit a "regular climb" how much easier those are.

When it was all said and done I had ridden 25 miles and climbed 2546 feet! Total time was just over 2 hours and I had an average speed of 12.3 miles an hour. According to Strava the bicycle website I had crossed through 3 different timed segments. Of the few people who have done this ride I wasn't last!!!!!!

I sure as hell wasn't at the top of the list but I wasn't at the very bottom...... Close but not all the way...

I did learn a few things. 1) I need to change up my gearing on my bike. My gears are to tall, or to hard for riding in the mountains on a regular basis. 2) They don't call it the mountains for nothing...

I can't wait to do it again! I now have a bench mark, personal time to beat.........

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