Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stokesville Douthat Stokesville

Two days. Many miles. Tired mind, body, soul.

I am not Superman.

Pat put up some pics here. Sure was pretty.

Two weeks off before riding that much didn't help me out much. Climbing out of the campground up Hankey, I knew it was going to be a long day. Not just because it was 5:30am and still dark but because my heartrate spiked to 175 or so and stayed there much of the climb. That's bad. Down Dowell's, up to mountain house and past Ramsey's then up to the Shenandoah Mtn Trail all the way down to the Southern Traverse of the SMT. Lunch. It gets pretty fuzzy after that. Little Mare (little, my arse) then into Douthat and the Creasy Lodge. Boy was I happy and spent. Shower, a ton of food and a little sleep.

Up at 6:30am with weird feelings all over my body. Out of bed by 7:30 for a ton of food and packing for the ride back to Stokesville. I felt a little better but knew things were going to be tough. The climb out the back of Creasy is up, up, up the switchback to the ridge trail then up a few times along the ridge to the descent to the bridge before the road ride to lunch. Beautiful lunch by the river then the 3 hour climb up Elliott's. Ouch. I bailed before the Five Hike-A-Bikes on the ridge and rode the road back 20+ miles with some other riders who had bailed earlier. We rode the small climbs and made it into Stokesville campground at 7:30, 40 minutes before the first riders got finished climbing Dowell's and Hankey and dropping into Stokesville.

17 hours total ride time, 23 hours of trip time. Carpenter's rules in effect. Amazing time. HUGE thanks to Chris and Carp for the route and our amazing support crew. I never eat so well as when I'm with the 'burg crew.

I was honored to be invited and I'm glad I went. I am mostly glad I made it back under my own power...


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