Bridge to Bridge was epic. What else can you say? 8 hours on the bike, rain and fog? Epic. Der Jan and Big Red lined up with the 10 o’clockers, and we held our own on the modified route. It seems the first 45 miles are somewhat negotiable. I have no idea where we were or where we were headed. It was round and round in circles until we reach 90 and then made the left hand turn onto Adako Road.
Der Jan was a champ. Not having been on his bike, say 7 times, in 09 made the trip a little arduous. Granted he had the power (spin class doe help), but the climbs were a little uncomfortable. Big Red, too wasn’t used to the high pace either–too much riding alone. Nevertheless they made it to 181 and it’s 13 mile climb up to Jonas Ridge.
Red had time to snap this photo of Der Jan just after the turn onto 181. Jan, are your feet wet? He seemed to be say, “Where’s the Merlot?” Indeed, “More wine.”
Jan held out for 65 miles, and then packed it in with her Pinkneyest. Good call, Jan. I hope the ride home that evening wasn’t too terrible. At least we’ll have the memory of being flashed by the boys at the SAG stop. No kidding. A couple of dudes pulled up their shirts to cheer us on. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. We also rode with the lead group (left at 11am) for, oh, I’d say about 15 seconds as they blew past us.
Rumor had it that Chum and the Good Doc were gunning to catch and pass on 181. After stopping at the rest stop at the top of 181, I could hear some chatter behind me. Guess who? Red was now on that cruel false flat just before Jonas Ridge. He hollered back, “You can’t catch me, I’m going downhill!” We’ll that was just enough taunting, and Red was caught by Chum and the Good Doctor. From then on we rode together. Up through the fog and rain, the Viaduct, the descent to Price Lake, up to Shulls Mill and the return on 221. They were kind and waited.
Chum, the Good Doctor, Red, and Pat from Charlotte, rode together most of the way up 221. Red wasn’t too chatty, he’s never liked 221 much. Each reached the gate prior to the 6:30 cutoff, but Red had had enough and skipped the climb up Grandfather. Instead he opted for the escape into McRea Medows.
Great ride, Ramblers. Thanks for the commraderie!