So I got goat-roped into helping a buddy with his Devil's Backbone ride. Its 2+ hrs away at Wintergreen, so I'm up at 0430 and driving by a little after 0500.
Get there earlier than expected and waited for people to show. ...and waited... and... Helped set up the PA system, etc.
So 1000 (ride start) comes up and I'm assigned to stop traffic till the riders leave the parking lot. (which I do) Then I can hop on the bike and head out with em.
So there's 100+ cyclists wandering up the road to the first turn.
Up a hill.
So I'm riding thru the backmarkers and catch up to a guy on a similar bike to mine and start chit-chatting about steel cross bikes. We'd just climbed a steep section of the road and I was kvetching about it. ...till he sez 'too bad we haven't gotten to the steep part yet.'
Yup. Around the corner is a wall of road. 21% pitching straight up into the woods.
People were struggling with the pitch. People were getting off and walking. People were 'paperboy-ing' across the road (
) in order to get up and over it. It was probably the steepest thing I've climbed in about forever.
Really amazing that I was in my lowest gear, standing up on it, and barely moving faster'n a walk.
As we crested the hill, it turned to dirt/gravel. Wheee! Till the ripple bumps.
Hey! There's a water bottle!
Lookit! There's more!
Someone's gonna be upset that they lost their bottle... ...then *I* looked down, and sure nuff! one of mine was gone too.
More in a bit. Gotta get gas for the big mower