Well, Kris and I are back in Wisconsin. We took off yesterday morning at 8:00 and got in at 9:00. Not bad, since it included a stop at the birthplace of KFC. (We were curious. Now we know.) Here are some of the things that were noted about Hendersonville and the surrounding area while we were down there:
• Lots of car washes. Is that a thing?
• The locals like to play jokes on out-of-towners. The gnats/bugs were thick in the woods, buzzing around all up in my grill, and Robb told me that raising my hand would lure them up to the highest point. So there I am, standing around in the woods in spandex with my hand raised like I had a question, looking upward expectantly. Did it work? I couldn't tell. But I do know I looked like a goof.
• If there's a billboard for an adult store, there's an even louder cross nearby. We saw one that was three stories high and it looked to me like it was made out of metal roofing material. Inventive.
• Lots of driveways have street signs marked with 'Private', and they get to name them themselves. Some of the better ones: Mine Hollow and Plum Tree Holler.
• Plus this. This doesn't make any sense.
Observations on riding:
• I was too out of shape to really tackle the stuff out there. I couldn't handle the sustained climbs very well. I tend to want to charge up the hills quickly, and that works for a lot of things in WI. The last day I was coming up on Robb at the bottom of climbs, because he was in it for the long run and I was trying to bang it out. Doesn't work that way. Steady as she goes is better.
• Camel Baks are not that dorky. When it hit me how far we were out when I busted my derailleur (I think unfamiliarity with the area made it seem further, too) I realized it was important to pack a lot of extras along, just in case. I guess some stuff at Kettles is pretty far out if you do the Full Monty, but there are roads nearby.
• I bruise easily. My legs are covered.
• Most of the rides I did, I got pre-race jitters for. It was hard to eat and I didn't sleep well. You may not think that makes sense, but it does. I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up, and nervous because I didn't know how it would pan out. Just like a race. A little stressful, but mostly exciting, and a great diet. What with all the excitement and riding, I lost about 6 lbs. Crazy.
They're few, but the one thing I sorely regret is taking the bridge instead of fording the river on my last mountain bike excursion. It sums me up, taking a bridge to keep my feet dry (for the last ten minutes of a ride) instead of wading in. Too timid, too practical sometimes. Put me back there and I would splash in.