Posts tagged ‘calendar’
I am very excited to be heading over to Athens, GA to kick off the USA Crits Speedweek tomorrow. Tomorrow night at 9PM, I will be racing for nearly 50 miles in front of 30,000+ screaming fans with an average speed of close to 30mph. It is without a doubt the most exciting race of the year. Check out this video describing the race that was filmed at last year’s race that includes highlights of the race:
Also Velonews has a really nice write-up about the 2009 Athens Twilight criterium.
Sunday’s race is the Historic Roswell Criterium in Roswell, GA and will feature mostly the same competitors, a great crowd, and a challenging course with a little bit more climbing. Then the racing continues throughout the week, but since I still have a day job that I love (teaching at Samford University), I will be missing all of those races and then picking back up for the last race of the series next Sunday – the Sandy Springs Classic. Also, I am looking forward to racing next Saturday in Alabama’s only nationally ranked race – the Sunny King Criterium in Anniston. Hope everyone can make it out to the races!
It has been a longstanding tradition dating back to my college days at Clemson to end the season the week after the Michellin Classic (now called the Greenville Cycling Classic) with an epic solo ride. While I was at Clemson, I had a 200 mile loop from Clemson with an insane amount of climbing including Brasstown Bald – the highest point in Georgia – and the climb up to Highlands, North Carolina. The ride would take me about 12 hours (7am to 7pm).
Well, I moved away to grad school and stopped racing for several years. I still managed to squeeze in a few epic rides out in California (e.g., Mix Canyon), which were even more epic since I wasn’t training as much and there was always a real possibility of not being able to finish a 4 or 5 hours ride. I picked up racing again in 2005 and at the same time began teaching at Samford University. Along with that came a 2 day fall break right at the end of the season so for the past three years, we have been heading back to Clemson in the middle of October and I have been able to continue the old tradition of an epic ride while Kristine graciously watches the kids for 5 (or sometimes 6) hours.
For the past three years we have been staying at the Fieldstone Farm Bed and Breakfast which is on one of the roads I used in my 200 mile ride! It is also a great launching point for a number of other rides. And it is a very cool farm, too. When we first stayed here, I did a 90 mile loop through Highlands, North Carolina. For the past couple years, I have headed out to Sassafras Mountain instead. Last year, I did an out and back ride that ended up being about 92 miles and over 9200′ feet of climbing (http://www.toonesalive.com/cycling/maps/Richland-Sassafras.pdf).
This year I wanted to ride to Sassafras again, but I wanted to turn it into a loop through Clemson. It ended up being close to 100 miles taking 5 hours 45 minutes. The ride was awesome. I took roads that made up cycling routes from my days at Clemson and the reminiscing of long ago rides was nearly as awesome as the ride itself. I wound my way over to Clemson through Seneca remembering sprints for stop ahead signs, county line, and city limits signs – through the university passing dorms that I lived in when I was a student – then taking the traditional route (map to be posted soon) up 133 through Six Mile passing Six Mile Mountain and Woodall Mountain before making it to the first real obstacle – Beasley Gap (13 minutes of hard climbing in zone 5), a short rest during a 1 mile switchback descent to Rocky Bottom and finally a 35 minute climb up beautiful Sassafras Mountain finally making it to some real fall colors in the higher elevations. It almost doesn’t do the ride justice to try and describe it so I’ll leave it at that, post a detailed annotated map, and encourage everyone to go try it some day. You won’t regret it (if you can make it)!
I love that the last big race of the year and the end of my long racing season each year is in Greenville, South Carolina – very close to my alma matter of Clemson University. Check out my topocreator map! Clemson is highlighted near the center, Greenville is in the upper right, and Highlands, NC is in the mountains in the upper left.
Tomorrow in Dalton, Georgia (B) is the next to last race weekend of the year. We are hoping to make a fun trip out of it, leaving right after church (A) and heading to the race, then after the race heading to Rome, Georgia (C) to meet one of Kristine’s friend who just moved there before driving on home (D) so I can be ready for class Monday morning. We’re looking forward to some nice fall weather and hopefully a good result at the race!
Here’s our travel plans carefully avoiding (hopefully) all the traffic associated with the Talledega NASCAR race weekend.
We’re heading to the beach this weekend with Lennie and his family. It’s going to be fun, but I am hoping to get in at least one long easier paced ride, maybe even riding part of the way back to Birmingham on Sunday before Kristine picks me up. No matter what, I am definitely not racing this weekend or next. Only two more race weekends left!
This weekend … check it out – we are going to the beach! Here’s a map from Birmingham to Seagrove Beach, Florida where we will be staying.
We are taking our bike trailer because we are close to some very cool bike paths so we want to take the kids on a ride. I think we are going to take a bike for Kristine, too, so this will be the first time she has been on bike since UC Davis!