Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tennessee (mini) Training Camp

I ventured down to Knoxville, TN this weekend to do 3 days of riding. I went up the Foothills Parkway up to Lock Rock on Friday. It is about 11 miles. I then found a shorter 3mile climb but it was obviously much, much steeper. I will take the longer variety any day. I was down in the valley for a while and things took on a bit of a "Deliverance" feel. This sign on a church was great!
On Saturday I started at the visitor's center in Smoky Mountain National Park outside of Gatlinburg, which incidentally is one of the worst places I have ever driven through. I decided to do the 16 mile climb up to Newfound Gap which is almost 6000 feet.It took me 2 hrs to cover 32 miles, 16 up and 16 down. It was awesome. I have never done that kind of climb before, I would love to do a race that included that type of terrain. I may try to do "Roan Groan" in June which apparently has a 40 min+ climb to the finish.

Here are some pics of my sweet new Canyon, with SRAM force and some SRAM AL30 wheels. Thanks to Panther and Competitive Cyclist.
On Sunday, I ventured back to Knoxville to meet up with Adam Rodkey and Josh and Jake Prater. We climbed up the Foothills Parkway again as well as some other brutally steep climbs. I was also nearly bitten by a dog, it ruined a sock. I am just glad it didn't rip out my Achilles tendon. It was by far the closet encounter I have ever had with a mean set of jaws.

It was an awesome trip, the weather was beautiful and it was nice to get away and spend some time with Caitlin. Here are some awesome photos she took.