Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Double Down 2012! 6th annual... 216 miles and a little 10k

Another Double Down in the books!  What started out as a dumb little idea to ride to Charleston for the Cooper River Bridge Run has blossomed into a BIG dumb idea that a bunch of people do every year.  This was year six, and 14 of us left Bicycle Sport at 4:15 am for a 216 mile meander through the countryside on our way to Isle of Palms, SC.   With 2 sand/dirt sections, lots of hills, and tons of gas station food, it isn't for the weak of heart.  Although weak of mind definitely helps.

Jessica's awesome departure video:

I wish I could explain the motivation I have for this ride.  It is a somewhat difficult ordeal and leaves me tired for a week or so like an Ironman does, but I enjoy it so much that the thought of not doing it is a horrible world.   I feel stronger and stronger the longer we ride, so feeling better at 180 miles than at 50 might have something to do with it...

This year's edition called "The year of the HOT" as it got up to 91 degrees around Moncks Corner.  There is a section between Santee and Moncks that has a 15 mile super straight road that drills the boredom into our brains, and combined with the heat got us an extra rest stop this year.  We were grabbing ice and cold water and cokes to keep the train moving. 

Thanks for joining me:  Riley Grier (5 time hall of famer), Bill Sweezy (4), Brien Boswell (2), Tommy Bedenbaugh (2), and virgins Ben Cooley, Mike Kelly, Jeff Wise, Rusty Bryson, Jeff Glaser, Kevin Sachson, Jefferson Farriss, Eric Lee, and Robert Mobley. 

You are all invited back next year.  Riley:  oddly enough you have already qualified and automatically entered into the 2013 Double Down!!!

After the commute to shop, doubling back a few times, etc...  I know a few people got way more than that.

Gathering at 4am outside Bicycle Sport and final prep.

Mandatory pre ride pic.

After 3 hours of dark we are south of Heath Springs and on a very nice quiet road.  Jeff Wise and Mike Kelly on the right just waiting for their turn to pull.

We send the strong guys up front.  And then go up and ask them to slow down.

Multiple finisher hall of famer Riley on the left- "Why am I doing this again?"

Ben and Kevin up front?

My favorite section- volley ball court like sand for half a quarter mile, and then gravel for a few more.  LOVE it.

The guys finally back on their bikes after Jeff Glaser and Kevin Sachson took spills.

Robert is a mountain biker.  He likes this.

Ben is a beast.  He likes it too.

Making their way through.

Hall of Famer Bill Sweezy (round 4 this year).

Tommy "Strong like bull, wide like train" Bedenbough on DD number 2.

Jefferson thinking of something to say.

The best part- old 301 bridge across Lake Marion into Santee.

Ben Cooley.

Eric Lee gets a flat and we all take time to reflect on life.  Tommy knew folks a mile away and rode off to say hello.


Jeff Glaser's sand road injuries.

Jefferson's saddle bag.  I have never seen anything that big or ugly before.  At least it was in the sale bin at a shop.

Ben Cooley, making black look good.

Jeff Glaser on one of his 50 mile pulls.

Kevin Sachson survives.  He gets the saltiest kit award.

I'm sure this was a serious discussion about something important... but cannot remember.

Cheers!  We are done!

Riley and his son Morgan, the best finish line cheering section ever!

All smiles now.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Random update dump- new Camera, Hot century, blah.

Post Utah, Pre Double Down-  rode my bike every day, chilled at the house, spent time with Soda, and got the bike ready for the DD. 
New camera, first pic.  Soda of course.

Andrew's extra extra large Independent Fabrication carbon XS.

Monday before Double Down- proposed 140 miles to Pickens.  We stopped at 107.5 and had bagels and got a ride to the finish.

This sounds like a good idea!

Hmmm.  I'm already sweating and we are only 20 miles in. 

Still sweating.

Blah!  Blah blah!

Kings Mountain climbing- beautiful (the scenery, not me).

Gas station at 101 or so.  It was 88 degrees and a head wind the entire way.  We were a bit thrashed by now.

80 miles in and snack time.  Orangey sweetness!

At 101, looking a little hot and bothered.

Chris and Jonathon come to rescue us!  And made us an awesome steak dinner, too.

At Chris's Pickens Cabin.  Very swank pad.

Back in town, a rare dinner appearance by Alex Roth.

"I'm riding a cruiser!"

Soda enjoying the lawn.

Andrew wrapping a fig newton in prosciutto.  And enjoying.

Grilling at Raab's house- Mandatory Waffles and Wine meeting.

Soda hunting something blue.

Ohhhh, a pillow.  I like this!