0600hrs Tuesday: This just in to the Traffic Stop studio via a sound bite on NPR-Charlotte's AQI is forecasted to be 175 toonday launching us high into the Code Red and fast approaching the Purple mark. Yes, another victory that this victory culture can be proud of! The heat is not the question, the voluntary breathing in of the poison is.
The funnies started soon after Aaron Kangalangamangis picked me up in his older model 40 plus miles per gallon Honda Civic. Just before the 321N exit on the I-Hatey Five I was sitting there when I felt a release and heard a strange soft sound behind me. Aaron looked up into the rear view and calmly said at around about 70mph, "Oh, your bike is falling off the rack." What he said sounded as a matter of fact as, "Please pass the potatoes." I turned around and saw that the front of my bike had come undone from the trunk rack and was swinging around like an open door blowing in the wind over the asphalt. The back of the bike was still attached by one of those flimsy little rubber straps which acted like the perfect hinge. Aaron pulled over and we were able to solve the issue by using good networking solutions. As the cars were zipping by on the highway I became completely aware of how close they actually were to our physical bodies. Aaron told me to not worry about the cars by using the Ron Moore approved active choice to not think about it. That works well for around about 86.4% of this culture but it does not float good for me. Freak Show.
The roughly 40mile route with enough climbing to make a goat smile: Andrews Aqueduct, Star Gap, Lower Heartbreak, Never Ending Grassy Road of Death, Curtis Creek, Parkway, Heartbreak down back to Star Gap and out.
Here is the view from our first and only stop on the NEGRoD.
Aaron rolling in with bloody arms that he was not expecting to receive this early in the ride.
Once on Curtis Creek FR we stopped to fill our bottles at the CLEAN spring just past the Ranger Trailer. That water was delicious and cold on my skull.
Here Aaron displays how to rinse the gel out of his hair and into his eyes which caused them to sting badly and rely on my lens towel to relieve the pain. Hmmm, note to self: Oh wait, you do not use gel so you do not have to remind yourself to save the application before a big ride.
I made the top of Curtis Creek in around about an hour and 12 minutes. Then I laid down on my back to feel the mountain against my spine and brain.
In my eyes you can see the reflection of light and clouds that I was looking up at.
Turn camera around and this is the cloudscape up high.
Rough Ridge Tunnel.
Heartbreak trail head not looking overgrown enough to miss and ride 2.5miles passed only to have to back track to it.
Hell yeah, Heartbreaker.
I only crashed once on the ride. It happened on lower HB while trying to manage over a large log across the trail. My left pedal caught something vaulting me and the bike down and off of the left side of the trail. When I came to a stop in the Rhodos, this is what I saw looking back up to the trail.
Team Schlitz wrote the text book on under log crossings too high to go over on the trail.
Notice the clever crouch and squat method he uses while never letting go of his bike.
From this tucked position he can leap up into the saddle and continue his speedy race efficient descent of Star Gap.
Greenery just before the tracks.
The best for last! Upon arrival back in Dooleyville we discovered that Kangalangamangis' pedal gouged my fairly new white hoop. I heart travel damage!