Metric century down the mountain - From the Mountains to the Coast - CycleBlaze

September 29, 2019

Metric century down the mountain

Blowing Rock to Hickory: 62 miles

Typical view for the day
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The day started with a small 3 mile climb and then a 13 mile downhill run down the mountain. It was a day rollers that were at times gentle and at times not so gentle. The end result was 3, 238 feet of elevation gain on the ride.

Leaving the mountains
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The first half of the day was a pleasant ride during the cooler morning. The scenery was pretty amazing from the mountains to rolling farmsteads. The afternoon proved to be more challenging with slightly more elevation in a rolling countryside. The bonus is that we are going downhill. For most of the elevation, the downhill loss was double or more the elevation gain in the up side. 

Always look for the horses
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The afternoon was quite warm, near 90. At mile 40, I was suffering from heat exhaustion. After a brief rest, I moved on feeling better. In about 2 miles, I experienced severe muscle spasms and ended up with almost no mobility in my legs. After a short rest and some painkillers provided by Greg, I was back on the bike and spent the afternoon with a with an occasional off the bike and walk up a steep incline. I was being pretty conscious of when a spasm was returning. My main objective was to finish the ride. I knew I needed to keep myself going and that meant monitoring and controlling the spasms. 

LOL Not sure what this contraption is that the mules are pulling.
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At the final rest stop at mile 50, I was feeling pretty heat exhausted. I finished off three bottles of water and a bottle of Diet Coke. After resting in the shade, I was doubtful if I could continue. The SAG wagon sitting there was very appealing. Ultimately, I went back to my objective of finishing the ride. There were 12 miles left. The final stretch into Hickory proved to be mostly downhill but those elevation gains continued to pop up. It was almost totally uphill into Hickory for the last four miles.

Our finish deserved a photo
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I am pretty happy that Greg stayed with me and understood the situation. Greg was also experiencing some issues and his battery was running out. We both overcame our obstacles and peddled in to Hickory a little bit after 3. I had hoped for a little earlier arrival but what really counted was that we made it here. That's why I like touring with Greg. 

Food truck frenzy after a ride like today. Venezuelan arepas and Korean kimche fries. I only ate half of them though.
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Tomorrow is a slightly longer day with 65 miles. The elevation gain is only 2,000 feet and the profile is largely downhill. There are maybe about a half dozen steeper inclines. I need to be conscious of how I undertake those. My hope Is that as a pedal more this week that the legs become stronger and accustomed to the ride. Everyone knows how much I hate hills, commonly called MOFO hills by me. 

A beautiful sunset to end the day
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Today's ride: 62 miles (100 km)
Total: 62 miles (100 km)

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