Looks like the kindergarten games are over...we're going to head north to Dahlonega, Georgia in late September, and join hundreds of other cyclists in riding the "Six Gap" 100 mile bicycle tour.
Check out this description from the event web site:
"The Six Gap Century’s ultra challenging route takes you up and down six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains. Test your stamina with more than 10,700 feet of vertical climbing over the 100 mile course. Elevations for the six gaps in this ride range from 2,949 feet to 3,490 feet. The toughest climb, Hogpen Gap, will test even the strongest riders, averaging a 7% grade for seven miles, with sections as steep as 15%. 100 miles. 10,700 vertical feet. 2,500 friends."
Sounds like serious business to me. Don't know if I have the stuff to make a fast run at this course, but I do believe that if cautious and conservative, I'll make it to the finish.
This past Thursday, I received a stern lecture from my back surgeon. I was in to request another injection for my tender L-5/S-1 disc, which is pinching the nerve into my left leg. He was adamant; it's time to revise my lifestyle, and that the nerve block is not about 100 mile ultras, but rather a quality of life. Part of that lecture included a positive comment on cycling, so I thought maybe something epic on two wheels would be more realistic than fall ultras.
On Friday, I jumped on the Six Gap web site and entered. No time like the present to plan the future. I receive my second nerve block next Friday, and will then begin training for the hills to come.
Man, life is tasting sweeter already.